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Are your reporting lines helping your business to become more productive?

Do your reporting lines help you to become more productive?

It is question that appears to be rarely asked. Reporting lines exist for most businesses, but to directly increase productivity?

Organisation hierarchies are often thought through with a great deal of care. What isn't considered as thoroughly is how the objectives of the management team are cascaded and how the reporting of critical information is handled.

 A Simple Feedback Loop

The sketch below depicts this consideration:
In this model the manager clearly articulates the objective, goal or target that they need their team member(s) to achieve. The objective should help the business to increase its performance - including its effectiveness and productivity.

The team member communicates the relevant information to the manager at agreed intervals to the level of detail that has been agreed.

Formal reporting can take a number of forms, including:
  • Written reports
  • Meetings
  • One to one catch ups
  • Visual management boards

A Cause and Effect Twist

The twist that makes this consideration particularly interesting is when you include the small, routine, tasks that often get overlooked (that is until something more fundamental breaks in the business!). 

Building in these small tasks is all about understanding cause and effect thinking and ensuring that all of the causes of success and performance for your business are locked into a formal reporting line of some kind. Getting the small things right can lead to higher levels of productivity as they are often the building blocks for the more visible and tangible activities of a business.

Don't leave your business' performance to chance, think through what the key tasks that your team need to complete in order to achieve their objectives and help them to report their feedback to you in a way that takes very little time and effort.

Spending lots of time producing reports that you don't have the time to read in the first place is a really bad way to apply this idea. Think light, easy and effective and you will be on the right tracks.

Can you apply this idea to your business and increase your productivity through better reporting?


Giles



About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes. Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous improvement toolkit.


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