Navigating Efficiency, Productivity, and Agility: Business Process Management for Large Teams
In a conversation with Charulatha,Correspondent at Silicon India Magazine. Jyothi shares her views about managing and driving large teams to be productive and output driven. How the business processes have to be designed and the role played by technology in imple- menting it.
Efficiently lead a large team to enhance business processes, performance, and navigate complex organi- sational structures and matrices
To effectively lead a large team, start with a well-designed organisational structure and appropriate manager-to-employee ratios at each level. Clear, measurable objectives aligned with the company's long-term strategy should be established. Cascade these objectives down through the hierarchy. Establish clear, measurable, and time-bound goals to enable effective tracking, feedback, course correction, and incenti- vization.
Effective communication is the key, as it should convey information accurately while also nurturing and enhancing human relationships
The above mentioned points seem basic or fundamental, the real difficulty lies in putting them into action. This is where technology and the culture within an organisation become incredibly important and they are heavily influenced by both leadership and the organisation, as a whole.
There are multiple tools that help Measure individual & team productivity across hybrid and remote workforce, Ensure employee wellbeing, Optimise and improve productivity, Ensure control & compliance. Once we have data at individual employee level it is very easy to identify well performing individuals/teams, areas of improvement at individual/team level and take immediate action instead of waiting for year end performance review. Visibility of their own or team's performance on a real time basis will help in achieving the targets faster and better.
Besides technology, the organizational culture is another pivotal factor. Maintaining a strong connection across all levels is crucial to ensure that employees are equipped with the information to perform their tasks efficiently. Moreover fostering such a connection not only promotes a work environment but also helps eliminate any inefficiency that may arise. Effective communication is the key, as it should convey information accurately while also nurturing and enhancing human relationships
In summary, create a solid organisational structure, establish clear goals and measurable Key Results Indicators (KRIs) at every level, leverage tools for real-time performance tracking at both input and output levels, and prioritise effective communication and employee engagement
"In the swiftly evolving business landscape of today, adaptability has become a vital skill for both individuals and organisations"
From my personal experience of managing 1000s of tutors working remotely conducting lakhs of sessions a month from different time zone we could achieve 99.5% of sessions starting on time and the remaining .5% are handled real time to start at the earliest as these are unavoidable circumstances of delay due to power cut, internet issues etc. Real time tracking of sessions and assistance was a game changer for online tutoring business to give the best of the customer experience.
Innovation and integrate technology seamlessly to boost productivity in a team working within a matrix structure
In the current scenario technology can effectively automate many manual and repetitive tasks at the workplace. This enables significant benefits, as it releases human resources from routine, time-consuming activities. Instead, the employees can redirect their efforts towards innovation and focus on tasks that demand creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making.
For instance, AI can serve in undertaking tasks such as scheduling meetings, handling routine emails, and maintaining your calendar.
Different tools can be adopted in supervisory tasks, particularly in reviewing and approving work. It can analyse data and reports, identifying areas of concern or success, and offering insights to guide your decision-making process.
After the implementation of these tools within an organisation, leaders can redirect their focus towards emphasizing innovation and creativity. They can also establish a recognition plan to underscore the significance of these attributes more than the regular must do mundane tasks.
Role does adaptability play in overseeing a team through evolving business processes and in promoting effective communication and collaboration across diverse functions
In the swiftly evolving business landscape of today, adaptability has become a vital skill for both individuals and organisations. The capacity to be flexible, agile, and prepared to pivot when needed has emerged as a differentiating factor between success and failure. Employees can be trained to be more adaptive by encouraging growth mindset, providing learning opportunities of new skills and knowledge, providing resources for managing work-related stress, both in terms of workload and emotional well-being and
Every few years the organisations change the process, technology and business matrices. For this it is essential to have buy-in from the concerned stakeholders for successful imple- mentation. Hence change management needs a strong communication plan that has to be collaborated across different team members and teams. This is where change in any process and its success.
Techniques can be employed to streamline decision-making within a matrix organisation through technology, and the obstacles are typically encountered when introducing digital solutions in a team-based setting.
Resistance to new digital solutions is commonly linked to fear of change in routine, fear of unknown, loss of control and to certain extent it is also fear of loss of job
Effective communication is critical to get an alignment for any change and collective decision making. It should be carefully planned and executed across all levels of the organisation. The communication strategy should include:
● Reasons for making a change; Clearly explaining why the change is necessary whether it's due to challenges or opportunities helps stakeholders understand and support it.
● Alignment with goals; Showing how the change aligns with term and short term objectives of the organization highlights its strategic value.
● Benefits for individuals; Highlighting how the change can improve team members' performance and productivity increases their willingness to embrace it for personal gain and improved work outcomes.
● Encouraging end user adoption; Actively involving end users, in the planning and design process creates a sense of ownership which improves the chances of implementation.
The above process ensures the decision making process involves everyone across the organisation for feedback and input from all stakeholders. Technology plays a crucial role in executing it i.e. collaboration tools that help employees share information, reports and results at the right time so that the process of decision making becomes effective and efficient for better results. Different communication tools and project management tools enable large organisations to maintain transparency, be agile and accountable across all teams and employees.
“Within the customer service team, there was a situation where we had to replace the CRM tool used by the entire team consisting of 1000s of users to support the scale we were growing at and aspiring to be in the coming years. While the end users were satisfied with the current tool, we wanted to grow while managing constraints of the current platform to help us maintain the same service. To do this once the tool was finalised by the top management, we had to conduct a knowledge session with all the users to explain the need for change, long term plans and how the new tool is going to make them more productive and enhance the overall customer experience. Only after this alignment was made with all teams did we proceed with implementation and this gave us an added advantage of being able to execute this only with slight extensions. The reason for the little delay in the project timeline also could be attributed to the above factors which we mitigated by correcting our course of action at the earliest possible”
The need for process standardization with the flexibility required for different team functions in a tech-enabled organisation
Over the years, I have come to understand and consistently practise the importance of process standardisation to ensure its independence from individual employees. Given the constant factor of employee attrition, it's imperative that it does not disrupt business operations. This can only be effectively managed through clear process standardisation. With standardised processes, new employees can efficiently familiarise themselves with the documentation and undergo a swift knowledge transfer specific to their roles, all without affecting overall productivity. Standardisation also has other clear benefits including consistency in service, scale business faster, minimises the error rate, reduces the need of repetitive decision making, optimised to save time and resources.
However, it is essential to regularly revise standard processes to support a dynamic business environment and changing circumstances. This includes updating processes to take advantage of new technological advances, leading to improved results, and ensuring they are flexible enough to adapt to innovative solutions. My personal approach to this involves following the 80-20 rule. That is, 80% of the process is automated and standardised, while 20% retains a level of human intervention and decision-making to customise the process for specific situations. The exact ratio may vary for different businesses, but the key point is never to automate or standardise a process completely to 100%, leaving room for flexibility at various checkpoints.
In the teaching world every teacher is different with their own strengths and weaknesses, while this has its own advantages there is a clear need of standardising the e-learning platforms to maximise the student outcomes. Hence a lot of Ed-tech platforms have implemented standardisation by providing a standard curriculum flow, access to tests and quizzes to benchmark the students and teachers, common audio and video clips that can be used by teachers to teach a concept. Specific storyboard that will have uniformity in terms of branding, headings and sub heads, call-out boxes, glossaries, and so on. The curriculum flow will define the learning path of the entire course, within a topic and within a session to ensure all the teachers are able to teach within the stipulated time and session count. 100% standardisation is not in favour of students hence the solution is to leave some time and sessions to be free flowing to cater to individual student needs and address their issues. This hybrid way of teaching has seen the best outcomes in the E-learning world.