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23 March 2016
Business Growth

20 WAYS TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE – Robust Management Control Systems

Productivity means higher output using your current resources, or achieving the same level of sales with less resource.

If a manager is not given the tools to do the job then they rely on gut feel and perception of performance levels.  If they don’t have access to frequent and comparative key performance indicators to see how they’re doing against where they want to be, then significant performance improvement is unlikely.

People will always improve slightly by just knowing the job and repeating it often enough, but what happens for example when someone leaves, is off sick, or on holiday.  All the knowledge in their head goes with them.

If temporary staff are contracted in, or new starters recruited, there is a long and shallow learning curve during which productivity is low. How long that curve is depends on how the workers are managed.  Left to their own devices, it’s unlikely they will reach desirable levels of output.

It is well evidenced and documented that when a structure or framework is put in place to focus workers into behaving in the required way, output improves significantly.  A system can be as simple as a daily diary, documenting tasks against progress and allowing an employee or team to see how they did. It can become as sophisticated as a meaningful Balanced Scorecard for the Senior Managers, rolling down into daily and weekly key performance indicators for middle and junior managers.  It MUST include a Forecast, Plan, a point of Monitor and Control, a Report and – most importantly of all, at the heart of every good management system – a Review meeting where opportunities for improvement are identified, documented and actioned.  This is how the continuous improvement culture is nurtured.

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My book “20 Ways to Be More Productive” offers easy tips, case studies and ways you can improve productivity and save money in every aspect of your business.