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Home arrow Management arrow Performance Management for Agile Organizations: Overthrowing The Eight Management Myths That Hold Businesses Back

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Processing Speed

Processing speed means dispensing everything through the organization as quickly as possible; faster than competitors. This covers activities such as shortening cycle times for designing training programs, company restructures, and processing products and services from order to delivery. For example, the speedy processing of applications, with appropriate and thorough checks, for approving finances for an investment property may give a banking or finance institution an edge over its competitors. Processing speed is not about cutting corners and forgoing proper QA; it is about getting things done faster, without sacrificing quality.

A company’s processing speed can give it considerable advantage over its rivals. Improving processing speed requires everyone to continually question all procedures, systems, and practices that take place in the enterprise. Process speed is accelerated by asking questions like: Why do we do things this way? Is there a better and faster way of administering this transaction? What is the purpose of this system? Does this process help or hinder outcomes? This reflective drill isn’t common practice in my experience; we tend to accept things the way they are.

A bureaucratically-run business faces inexorable challenges such as overwhelming amounts of paperwork and too many needless and cumbersome systems and processes. This slows down headway; processing speed is sluggish and unwieldly. On the contrary, an enterprise with no bureaucratic baggage inevitably processes information, makes decisions, and completes tasks quicker and is more competitive.

Where the rubber meets the road ...

Automated phone messages

Think for a moment about those infuriating automated phone messages we get when we call a company or government department, wanting to speak with a "real" person. The "voice" typically launches into a long- winded set of instructions, all the while encouraging you to go to the organization's website to complete your transaction. You stubbornly refrain from taking that option because you think it will be faster to persevere over the telephone. Big mistake! You subsequently get a 9-option menu to choose from.

By the time you get to option four, you've forgotten what options one, two, and three are. By the time you get to option nine, you get the option to hear all this again! And then, just as you think your query is about to be answered, the voice tells you that "all operators are busy right now; you have been placed in a queue." The automated voice either instructs you to go through this torture again, or tells you that someone (a person, hopefully) will call you back within the next two hours, just as you are about to go into a two-hour meeting.

This is a typical example of very poor customer processing speed, all in the interests of "saving" the costs of employing a customer service representative to take your call.

The above case exemplifies the popularly held belief that using technology is a most efficient and cost-effective means of communication. In the interests of cost-cutting, this misapprehension does the opposite—it costs money with customers fleeing to the competition. With an emphasis on communicating via technology, the human element is devalued. Ironically, using technological solutions can result in increasing—not decreasing—the speed of a process; not to mention generating feelings of frustration. Technology isn’t always the answer to speedy communication.

 
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