You are positioned now to take a look at your process steps, and your data and determine where can I make a small change. Put your stickies against the wall somewhere and take a look at it. Anything jump out at you?
What small change can you make that would alleviate a problem. Here are some questions you can ask yourself
Which steps takes the longest time? (and Why?)
Are any steps out of sequence?
- Is the right skillset applied to task? (is everyone trained properly?)
- What simple thing can I implement that would make a huge difference?
- Is a task still necessary or relevant?
These are powerful questions that can help you identify opportunities to help you.
Congratulations, you have completed 2 important steps:
- Determined where you want to start
- Collected some data
I don’t recommend that you go to the next steps without completing step 1 and 2… I was helping a group once with process improvement, and you guessed it, they had no data… We spent 6 months having to collect data, because they had no clear idea of where performance was. Once we had the data, improvement became easy. I can’t stress this fact enough.
Why should we bother? What’s the point?
Efficiency allows you to work smarter, not harder. When you work more efficiently you also use less effort, which in turn gives you more time to work on important tasks. A nice benefit of more time for important tasks is increased opportunities to make more revenue.
Think about it this way: if you are more efficient and you can lower your margin, you can grow your business, and potentially employ more people. Everyone wants to get better, it is in our human nature.
Why should you measure you ask? How do you know you are performing well? Meeting your customer expectations? These are all valid questions, but we should break it down.
Let me tell you a little story… When I was managing a call center early in my career, we had some basic measurements in place. Our performance was measured solely on call duration. We were performing relatively well… so we thought. I got the idea to monitor calls my reps were taking, and realized that call length alone did not meet the customer satisfaction.