In all businesses there is some sort of standard of productivity. I have worked in various industries where standards for productivity varied greatly. In distribution and warehousing, we laid out specific standards, i.e. marking/tagging goods at 180 units/hour or moving 60 pallets an hour; to an industry where the per-hour isn’t a unit. In health IT, it’s a project to be completed within a 6-month period. Regardless of the industry, there is some type of expectation for completion. Often, the expectation is laid out as a goal, an annual average then sometimes broken down into pieces.
The thing about productivity is that it gives people something to shoot for, a timeline to work within. That timeline can be very strict or fairly loose, again it really depends on the industry. So how do you improve productivity? First of all, it really does depend on your industry.
Again, in distribution and warehousing, the numbers were more calculable. i.e., to ship $27 million in goods with an average price point of $12.99, you have to move over 2 million pieces. With an average of 2 dozen per box, we’re talking over 86,000 boxes. So, you can break that down into the number of pieces to be marked, packed, and stacked into a trailer for delivery. In health IT project management, it’s a bit of a different story. The goal is more abstract, more data into the data repository or a specific type of data rather than specific numbers. Either industry, the goal is more, and more efficiently.
Laying out the goal to do better isn’t specific enough to improve productivity. You need specifics for people to clearly understand the expectation. As leaders and managers, we also need to provide the tools to improve. People can provide a host of ideas and are the ones that you rely on to make the improvements but proper tools, even conditions, will also spark ability and motivation.
There are some basic rules of productivity:
- Deliver value to the customer
- Get processes under control
- Sync the processes as a system
- Increase throughput times
- Continuously improve
Now how you apply each of those is a much longer story, but it can apply to any business.
Secondly, you need to review each of these rules and determine what you are doing today – assess the situation. Sometimes, you really are doing it right, just not efficiently. Or perhaps there is training that would improve the productivity, or even just retention of your staff to reduce turnover.
It is possible to improve productivity and the range of improvements have varying results. I think taking the time to review these rules with your business is where you have to start. Better yet, having an objective view, one that isn’t already ingrained in ‘how you do it today’, will get you more pure results. A consultant is how businesses usually get that purer view.
CoreTech Revolution specializes in assessing and aiding you in improving productivity. We will give you an honest appraisal through observation and understanding today’s state, especially for your health IT concern.
Sheer experience that will be able to see any obvious obstacles and the time spent with you to take a deep-dive and help you decide where your time – and money, are going. Check out our website and our offerings and get more efficient!