James, Strategist at GBC, 4 min read
I recently met with an old colleague. He is now the CEO of an ASX200 company in Sydney, Australia. He started out as a software engineer when just after 2 years he decided that he couldn’t continue working for someone else. He needed to start his own company and that’s exactly what he did. Some years later, he has a little over 500 staff and turning-over more than $250 million per annum. We got to talking about how simple processes were when it was just him and two others. He went on to talk about how disjointed teams have become over the years and that every time he brings in someone new into his organisation, its adds another layer of bureaucracy. He was frustrated and referred to the workflow as “chaotic”. He knew how inefficient the organisation has become but through the chaos the work got out.
It’s easy to get caught-up in business growth and unconsciously compromise on efficiency. Duplication of effort, repetition, re-work etc. are all inefficiencies that result from incorrect focus and lack of ‘business-direction’ awareness. These inefficiencies are not the cost of doing business, it is simply profits going to waste. I’m sure you have at some point noticed an employee or team has no idea what his or her contribution to the overall process is or that a manager must constantly repeat himself because the direction was unclear. In a recent research, GBC conducted across 350 small and medium sized businesses, we found that these inefficiencies are costing businesses an average of $190,000 per year. Just imagine what these inefficiencies cost larger organisations…it is undeniably staggering.
There are many simple and highly effective ways to eradicate some, if not all, of these inefficiencies. At GBC, we’ve developed a simple framework called a DRM (Daily Review Meeting). It works like this.
- On daily basis, for just 15 minutes, the team huddles around a desk…NOT in a meeting room.
- The DRM is great for teams between 2 and 20 members.
- The agenda is simple. It starts with a safety or values moment, any team actions and then individual team member tasks and finally, out-and-about.
- Each team member gets a short opportunity to tell the team what keys tasks he or she will be working on for the day. ‘Headlines Only’…
- He or she also notifies the team about their whereabouts for that day.
- Each team member gets a chance to lead the DRM and capture the headlines only.
- On a rolling email, the information is updated and then forwarded to the team.
- The next day, after the DRM, the rolling email is updated by clicking ‘reply all’. Strike through yesterdays completed tasks and insert any new daily tasks.
- At the end of each month, archive the rolling email and start off fresh for the new month with only outstanding tasks being carried through.
The DRM framework is simple, cheap and highly effective. It avoids duplication, allows the team leader, supervisor or manager to prioritise or re-prioritise effort, instigates harmless competitiveness between peers, enables peers to appreciate one-another and fundamentally, keep everyone on the same page and pulling in the same direction.
If you have been considering inefficiency in your business, give the DRM a try. At GBC it is a ritual!
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