How to use SMART goals, analytics and real time reporting to self-set goals and self-motivate your process participants?
I’m guessing most of you know SMART goals and how they are set. For those of you who don’t, here’s a short intro: SMART is an acronym for SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, RELEVANT AND TIME-BASED.
Using SMART goals is a clever way to set yourself up for success in everyday tasks and quite a good marker of quality in longterm projects. But setting them and especially measuring your progress usually takes time and persistence that can be hard to maintain.
It’s even harder, when goals, that you need to reach are set for periods of one day of few days and progress needs to come be measured on hourly basis. This could be the case in services (logistics, maintenance, public services) and manufacturing (most of it). Tasks are short or can be divided into short ones, downtime is preferably low and results can impact changes right away.
In this case setting up a measuring system that is as automated as it can be would be helpful.
BI tools (PowerBI, Qlik Sense, Tableu, etc.) today are easy to use even for a moderately skilled IT user and can be set up from almost any data base. If your process progress steps can be logged in a database, they most certainly can be put into a data model, merging them with other data sources and visualised as simple tracking dashboards. Nothing new here.
What was new for me and what made the real difference (on one of my projects - 25-30% increase in efficiency) was the real time self-service presentation of process participats’ data of efficiency on an hourly basis. The uplift in productivity is not an exact science and there are multiple variables, but my sense is that it has something to do with computer games and the logic of “beating your record score” for some of them. Knowing your pace at all times allows you to adjust and track your improvement.
So, in conclusion: having a measurement system, that provides you with KPI data each morning is good, but having an online tracking system changes not only your reaction time, but the mentality with which you address your SMART goal through gamifying the experience for all involved.
What do you guys and gals think of this kind of approach? Have you tried it with your service or manufacturing process and if so - what were the results?
What to do to do nothing?
In today’s hyper effective office workplaces you are tempted to think that doing nothing is some sort of a sin. Having nothing to do is a waste of your time and consequently - of someone else’s money (usually your bosses).
Manufacturers used to call it (and some still do) a downtime and a downtime usually means inefficiency a.k.a. - a loss.
But in the same way that the workplaces in offices have become hyper effective, the workplace of a service provider, blue collar worker has become more unpredictable: orders are erratic, plans usually are more of a fairy tail than a thing to follow and uncertainty is the most certain thing. Loosing time as a service provider is quit often a normal thing - some orders get canceled, plans are not fulfilled and forecast are a myth.
On these often occasions one is tempted to find something to do. If one is not a freelancer and has a boss, the boss usually encourages that seeking of “self worth”.
So, how can doing nothing in this case be good? You want to be useful, your boss wants you to be useful. Who is wrong here?
Doing nothing usually will not bring you more income on its own, but it can be a useful measurement tool of your success. Figures vary from industry to industry, but if you, as a service provider, can reach a “free” or “lost” time portion of 20%, you are on a right track (german industry standard).
In this case, doing nothing (but you need to be sure, that there is nothing planned to do) and measuring that free time will let you know how much free time in your process you have. Never mind, that that time can’t be immediately used - it is the measurement of the whole process, not that particular task.
I would like to link some references for these insights, but it’s just my experience and the way I was lucky to use it.
Using that free time and reaching a goal of 20% as a service provider could be another topic for the future.
One of the first things I understood or was forced to understand in my career was that Client always comes first.
I know it sounds like an outdated and worn out slogan, but I felt it the most, when tried working for a company, that was detached from its Clients by forming a wall of corporate nonsense or just imagining that the impeccable business model or solid market share is all that’s needed to generate profit.
Don’t take me too literally - I’m not saying that Client is always right. No. He just has to come first.
Even if decisions that you feel might not be instant margin gainers, but are what your Clients expect from your company, are often the way to go.
I’m not talking about lost negotiations or weakness of company representatives. I’m talking more of a decision - long or short term success.
Nothing new here. Only the surprise, that this is not as common sense as one might think.