Mailing Systems Technology - August 2010 - (Page 8)
Real Life Management
We need relevant performance measures to inspire, provide a common focus and allow us to track progress. Here are some tools to help develop powerful performance measures:
With Wes Friesen
Want to Improve Performance? Measure It!
• • • • • • • •
Lay out a challenge (illustrated by the closing story) Enhanced training and development Provide recognition and use incentives Pursue wise use of technology Look for process improvements Be a better servant leader and show more care for your employees Solicit ideas from your team members Learn from other successful teams
Ask the Right Performance Questions
The Right Questions express the critical few things by which to judge our performance results. Put yourselves in the shoes of your key stakeholders (investors, customers, employees) and ask, “What is important to them?” When you answer the Right Performance Questions, realize that some measures you develop in response will be Quantitative (numeric) in nature (e.g. how many pieces of mail were produced last month), but some will be Qualitative (subjective) in nature (e.g. how satisfied are our customers). Don’t ignore qualitative measures — consider the usage of surveys and other rating instruments. Organizational Development expert Brad Fishel says, “Better to have subjective judgments about important questions than objective data about unimportant questions. ”
Let me close with the following story from the life of Charles Schwab, former head of U.S. Steel. Schwab said, “I had a mill manager who was finely educated, thoroughly capable and master of every detail of the business. But he seemed unable to inspire his men to do their best. One day I asked him, ‘How is it that a man as able as you cannot make this mill turn out what it should?’ ‘I don’t know,’ he replied. ‘I have coaxed the men; I have pushed them; I have sworn at them. I have done everything in my power. Yet they will not produce.’ “It was near the end of the day; in a few minutes the night force would come on duty. I turned to a workman who was standing beside one of the red-mouthed furnaces and asked him for a piece of chalk. ‘How many heats has your shift made today?’ I queried. ‘Six,’ he replied. I chalked a big ‘6’ on the floor, and then passed along without another word. “When the night shift came in, they saw the ‘6’ and asked about it. ‘The big boss was in here today,’ said the day men. ‘He asked us how many heats we had made, and we told him six. He chalked it down.’ “The next morning I passed through the same mill. I saw that the ‘6’ had been rubbed out and a big ‘7’ written instead. The night shift had announced itself. That night I went back. The ‘7’ had been erased, and a ‘10’ swaggered in its place. The day force recognized no superiors. Thus, a fine competition was started, and it went on until this mill, formerly the poorest producer, was turning out more than any other mill in the company. ” Good luck as you partner with your team and intentionally pursue a higher level of performance!a Wes Friesen, CMDSM, EMCM, MQC, ICP CCM,CMA, CM, CFM, APP , , PHR is the Manager of Revenue Collection & Community Offices for Portland General Electric, a utility in Portland, Oregon. Wes teaches university classes and is a featured speaker at national Conferences like National Postal Forum, MailCom, IPMA and XPLOR. Contact him at Wes.Friesen@pgn.com.
Develop “balanced” measures to judge success
Effective teams add value to all important stakeholders and avoid a singular focus (e.g. being low cost) to the detriment of other important outcomes (e.g. high quality). Following are potential types of measures to consider. For each measure that gets used, we should have a target/goal to compare actual results against.
Measures of Success
Productivity (productivity is simply a measure of Goods/
Services produced divided by Resources Used)
Quality (e.g. reliability, accuracy, mistake-free, meets
Volume (how much is being produced) Timeliness (are work products completed when needed?) Service (are customers satisfied with the service they receive?) Compliance (are postal regulations, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA
and other regulations being met?)
Cost (e.g. measure overall costs and/or cost per unit)
Intentionally focus on improving performance
How can we strive to improve productivity and overall performance? Following are some tools to choose from:
AUGUST 2010 a www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mailing Systems Technology - August 2010
Mailing Systems Technology - August 2010
What You Think
From the Source
Why Is Mail Being Fired?
Evaluating Your Mail Workflow
A Journey through the World of Envelopes
Pushing the Envelope
Clear Image Technologies
Mailing Systems Technology - August 2010