10% productivity improvement in 1 month by highly qualified resources! Is it sustainable ?
It is notoriously difficult to achieve performance improvement in teams of highly qualified people who make judgement calls all day and who have tasks that can last days if not weeks. Finance and Legal teams are good examples, but how do you measure the productivity of such advisory functions, which are completely different to a factory production line ?
The key is working with teams to “self-define” output. Maybe an output is not the number of reports completed, but the number of drafts, reviews and completions of reports. Additionally for these teams it’s crucial to focus on the trend line, not the previous day’s results. Today’s tasks will be a totally different complexity to yesterday’s tasks, but with high performing teams, there will be greater delivery with the same effort over the long term.
So what’s the secret to achieving such results ?
There is no golden bullet. It is a combination of top down management support, engagement by the teams on the floor and quality coaching and training. We, in Projective, achieve our best results with pilot client teams defining the best solution for their organisation, and then a full roll-out across all teams knowing what works for them. Peers coaching peers, and internal staff delivering training are more powerful than the work of external advisors. Choose a few simple changes, and implement quickly to build momentum. It’s the journey, not the destination.
Above all, just start !
As we all know with our January diets, we get what we measure. Once you set sensible KPIs agreed by teams on the ground, encouraged by management, then it’s not a surprise for productivity and quality to improve.
A 10% productivity improvement in 1 month is amazing, does this mean a 120% in 12 months?
No ! A safe environment needs to be created. Management need to set realistic goals. A 15-20% target is realistic in year 1, with 5-10 % continuous improvement year on year.