Showing posts with label business management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label business management. Show all posts
Why, What, How and When

Why: The biggest question we should know in the history of humankind is Why? Sometimes when we are amazed by some greatness of some concept we ask pleasantly why? And when we see some stupidity the question is same WHY, but we feel a sense of disgust. In a business or doing a job Why is one of the most important questions. Look around if you see a lazy, never result-oriented Groote (From Guardians of Galaxy) he/she clearly defines a NO WHY person. A person who does not know why the hell he/she is working. If you see a goal-oriented, energetic lad accomplishing his tasks with the best results. He/she is the person who has a clear why he/she is doing what they are doing? Why should be Crystal clear? When some people decided that the computer should be at every table of every home in the world. Their why was truly clear? As a student, they were either just getting 20 minutes to work on an IBM computer machine, or they were frustrated with the monopoly of the companies owning the technology. Why combined with noble purpose kicks start the best in the world. 

As an organization some can explain what they do, some say how they do but very few can clearly articulate Why they do what they do. These organizations are different, Why never means profit that’s the result. Why is visceral, Why is your existence? Why works everywhere, Obama knew his Why when he decided to become the POTUS. The people who start with Why never manipulate they inspire.

What: Be incredibly careful in choosing What, be sure that you choose something doable. Someone might argue that he/she wants to solve world hunger, a noble cause but its something which is never been achieved in 40 million years of human evolution with several great kings, prophets, and even Gods trying their best. Let us look for a small (local) What, which can change a small community and then extrapolate it to bigger sample size. Mark Zuckerberg never knew Facebook will be a world phenomenon when he started working on the concept. Mark tried to connect Harvard alumni to a social network.

What is mainly a decision-making process, you can take a decision on 3 Steps:-
  1. Task (You wish to accomplish)
  2. Information (Deep knowledge)
  3. Options (What all options do you have) 

How: This is one of the most important questions in accomplishing the task at hand. Now that you know why you want to do it and what you want to do. How will you do changes the course of the cause? There are many ways to work on How many ways are already defined. I advise following Christensen 4DX (4 disciplines of executions)

Focus and Target your wild Goals: Think of a single wild goal that you think is non-doable in a given time frame. For example, as customer service, you are serving one client and you have the capacity to serve 1 more in a year. The wild goal will be to bring 3 more clients of equal size and serve them all without compromising quality in one year. Sounds tough, however, if we focus one client at a time and increase our capacity every 3 months, we will be able to achieve this task with ease. We (at SSR Tec vision) have been in this situation and we have done it by on boarding 2 new clients within 8 months. Important is the art of focus and working as deeply as possible with your team.

Lead instead of Lag Solutions: Lag solution, you sell a product and then ask the call center to survey if your customers are happy. The leading solution is you see what all could be the features and benefits required in advance before you make the first sale. I am not saying that you can see everything in advance however you can always be better than the average if you take a lead measure (Solution) attitude. Again, to reach the lead solution you must be focused and reach a deep state of mind to see the issues, features along with benefits in advance, and give the best possible solutions. Steve Jobs did visualize the future of computers, phones and came up with Apple products which even consumers were not aware if they will need them. It's not necessary for you to be Steve Jobs, just use basic common sense to think about how you will be benefitted from the features of X product. Think in advance, plan features, make yourself a happy customer first and you will have happy customers for your products too.

Keep a scoreboard: Most important is to keep a scoreboard of what you are doing and its impacts. Result oriented hard work is the key here. Keep track of hours spent on the task. Create spreadsheets with macros, involve your teams more. Decide your personal milestones. Remember Hard work hours with Tangible results. Calibrate your expectations on how many hours of your hard work needed per results. If you keep a track of hard work vs results you can repeat your performance at a different tangent. 

Accountability: A rhythmic team meetings with you and your team will ensure accountability. Since it's your idea, you are accountable for the results you want. The team gives you a division of efforts. Ideally, you must have a group of 2 compatible people at one task. A team of a maximum of 8 people, with 4 tasks in a group of 4. Make sure that you create leaders like you who can speak at the time of need. Multiplying is the origin of each species. As a leader, you need to create more leaders like you.

When: As soon as you have above 3 questions crystal clear, close your eyes begin with a start-up, a job, or a political movement.

Best of Luck, Go get it, be wise be stupid.

Managers Anchorage

How do we get the best results from a Manager? When you ask Managers to respond in a few words these are the most common words you hear:
  • Judgment
  • Opinion
  • Allocation of resources
  • Mistakes detected
  • Training Products
  • Meetings planned
  • Commitments and delivery
Let's see, the Job of a BPO manager is to deliver the clients SLA with 99.99% good quality. Another one What is a Surgeon’s output? A good surgery where the patient is feeling healthy, Student's Output is finishing school, college and then a specific field of study.

So here is how output can be defined, y=f(x)
Output = Function (Activity)
The output is a function that is the activities (inputs) performed in advance to make sure output is as good as we desire.

BPO Manager's Output = Output of his department + Output of the department under his influence

A manager's delivery must be measured by the output created by his subordinates and associates. So, we can broaden the definition of a Manager: A leader who makes sure that the people reporting to him, the teams influenced by him, and their results are the measure for his success. A manager must do everything mentioned above, he must provide direction, make an opinion, allocate resources, detect mistakes, and performs any task necessary to inflate his team's output.

There has to be a distinction between activities that we actually do (y is a function of x where x=activities) to the output we get. Most of us focus on the Output, not the activities performed to get that results good or bad. Activities usually saw as insignificant and messy.

Days division, A typical day out of a Managers’ life, it should be divided as follows:-
Out of 8 hours of work a manager should spend 5 hours which is 65-70% of his time in data/information gathering and 3 hours for Decision making which is 30-35%. 
So a Managers most important task is data/information gathering. When we leave for the day our tasks are never accomplished as there is always the next one. That's how a manager's day should end, with a plan for tomorrow.

I accept that the information that is most useful to manage peers, comes from casual verbal chats. Written emails and reports are only mediums of self-discipline. Some times reports and emails are stemming out of the information gathered in a casual chat. If you remember in my previous blog I spoke about how imperative the 100% call monitoring is? 
One of the tasks of a manager is Inspection which is again information gathering. What we do at SSR Techvision is we ask our managers to be inspectors of several other departments that we have for example sometimes an operations manager will just inspect the work of an Admin team's day of work, just to understand the pain areas for the said department. Or we ask an IT manager to see how the operations team works?

Imparting Values, Let me share an example of how we can impart values in our associates. We had a small office in Noida, the admin team brought a new coffee machine for the winters but the office didn't have a vent for the coffee waste disposal. The waste of coffee machines used to accumulate in a bucket, we ramp up hiring hence more people and sometimes the bucket used to be full, admin team used to follow the same old pattern to solve the problem of looking at the bucket every 2 hours. What I did was I started cleaning waste myself a couple of times. When the admin team saw me doing they fixed the problem. Values and Behavior standards are not conveyed by talking but doing it and doing it visibly.

Time, The most important luxury a manager has is time, more finances, manpower, and capital can be made available but we all have a fixed time of 24 hours. managers must be very careful in allocating the time, to tasks. If you decide to focus on one task you are automatically taking yourself away from another. So choose carefully what will impact Output the most.
More output in minimum time that's the mantra. Advance decisions, planning, and making sure that we are well informed will be the key to be a great manager.

Meetings planning, Manager's most important job is to keep as few meetings as possible. Don't be a slow animal, be ready with everything required if you call the meeting, make sure that you check if all the systems are working with the IT department yourself, and then mark an email to confirm the same. In a meeting of 5 associates and one Manager if the manager who called the meeting is not ready he will lose money because we bill to all the clients hourly. here is an example to understand this better, let's say you as manager decide to invest $1200 from your organization on buying a new machine. You will need many approvals including some tough questions. Now here is how a meeting hurts, you call a meeting you as a manager are billed for $200 per hour to the client, your associates are billed for $100 per hour. You are not ready with the contents of the meeting or the hardware of the meeting and you waste 2 hours in the meeting that's $1200 is wasted and you just didn't realize it.

Delegation of work to others, the time of a manager has a hierarchy of values, delegation is an imperative part of management. Make sure that you follow up on a timely basis of what you delegate to your associates. Oh!! you must be damn careful in Delegation as if you don't follow through after delegation it becomes abdication. So no abdication means, create rough drafts of the reports delegated, don't wait for the associate to come to you, you go to them to follow up, You monitor as often as you can. Make sure that this monitoring is not an example of your associate thinking why did you delegate if you wanted to do it? Monitor with caution but keep a sharp eye at-least when you delegate in the beginning and after some time you can monitor from time to time. Go into details randomly, try to make sure that the associate is moving smoothly.

Forecasting, always make sure that we either have a forecast or we will have surprises at the end (mostly negative). Forecasting and planning our time around key events are the best ways to manage departments which will always be in profit. 
Forecasting tool = Calendar +Calendar+ Calendar.......
Plan your Calendar to the hours and minutes and use it actively. Say NO to the tasks not part of your calendar politely. Time is finite resources utilize it and be frugal.

How many people we should have in our team, again there is no ideal answer to this question. I think it should be your number of hours spent at work so if we need we can spend an hour with each of the associates. The ideal team size should be 8 people or a maximum of 10 people in a calling business.

Unavoidable/Uncontrolled hurdles of a manager, if we get into a scenario of an uncontrolled halt of our work what should we do? a piece of advice is to create blocks of time for such things in your calendar. If we are working on some task and an associate comes to us for any assistance please ask him to the priority level if its 6+ out of 10 handle it then and there. If he says below 6 ask him to wait and cater to it later. One of the best ways will be to put a signed board out saying it will be very busy till 2 pm please meet after that.

Do not go gentle into that good night Dylan Thomas.

Be a Stupid Manager but be a wise Manager.