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StrategyGuy
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Great & I have the following observations: 1. Boost Efficiency (Decrease Time Needed per Project); More than just efficiency, you're gaining effectiveness due to the increased quality of your outcome produced through the added focus / concentration exercised involved. By reducing "interference" you're also reducing "segmentation" of work, which is a killer of productivity / effectiveness. 2. Hiring and Delegation (Increase Available Time); I get your point as as there is no such thing as effective multi-tasking. You either do one thing at its highest degree of quality, or you perform multiple tasks conscious that you are compromising the qualitative outcome of all of them. In regards to increased communication, I have used www.yammer.com in many of my clients, and it's especially effective in bridging communication gaps between remote, international & time-zone impaired organizations. I like your focus on A-Players, and the most effective resource here is TopGrading by g.h.Smart www.topgrading.com. Additionally, if you truly want to stay on-track as your teams get bigger, Rhythmic process & daily / weekly / monthly pulse checks will do the trick. Finally, it's all about the focus on "predefined outcome", as the execution of an idea is still always more important than the brilliance of the thought. 3. Automation (Increase Impact per Project); With an engineering background myself (bachelors in Computer Science & Robotics), this is where I start to diverge from your message. I've just recently seen a promising start-up "waste" 1.2M in funding, including a 2 year launch delay of their primary product due to too many engineers. Engineers are great to solve problems once they've been determined, but unfortunately 90% of engineers are "features" focused instead of "functionality". Beauty is to the eye of the beholder as Value is to the customer. Engineers tend to not listen to the customer but rather assume what the customer wants. I therefore would have to respectfully disagree with you call for a highest possible ratio of engineers to other positions in company. A blanket statement like this is actually very dangerous and rather depends on what deliverable the company is trying to put out onto the market. I'm fully on-board with "lean-thinking" & automation, but I recommend more caution than what's being expressed here in your last point. On a final note, and only because it's a "pet-peeve" of mine, I would challenge the "net-happiness-effect" of people in relation to ATMs & self check-in. The fact is that the banks & airlines did not have their customers value in mind as much as they had their own profits. ATMs allowed banks to downsize and report significant savings / profits, yet they immediately came back w/ unjustified bank fees as the amortization of technology infrastructures i quick and paid for by the other respective human-labor savings previously mentioned. The airlines allow you self check-in, yet now charge you from everything from selecting your own seat to using a common bathroom (some low-cost airlines). You can self check-in, but unless you pay an additional "small" fee (which mounts up), you won't be able to sit next to the person you've just co-booked your flight with. Again, an industry, in this case banking & aviation, took advantage of a "good-thing" to save themselves on labor & other associated costs, yet hit the consumer w/ additional surcharges at their first chance. This last bit is a personal "rant" I know, but just couldn't let pass based on your blanket comment that "Banks introduced ATMs and airlines introduced self check-in … and people got happier.". We (THE PEOPLE) are paying an unfair price for a double benefit for industry and this has to do with the lack of focus on THE CUSTOMER. Thanks for your post, your tips.. and proving the space for me to voice my disgust at how the banking & aviation (just as an example) industry has taken advantage of technology to LESS THAN serve the customer best. Cheers, JC www.thestrategyguysite.com
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Nov 23, 2010