For those familier with Lean, or anyone that has Googled for pointers on reducing process waste, you would know about TIMWOOD or WORMPIT – the “7 Wastes”. For those that are familier, you will now be saying “well, there is actually eight”, and you would be correct with ‘under-utilised talent’ being a common problem in many organisations (DOWNTIME)
Defects, Overproduction, Waiting, Non-utilised talent, Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Extra-processing
But, I am not here to talk about the eight wastes in the Lean sense. For this article, I am going to concentrate on one…
Reporting! A process that is a complete waste of time.
I can hear your thoughts now; “No it isn’t! Understanding my business’ figures is crucial” – and you would be right, but think about it for a moment…where is the value in the reporting?
Some organisations have individuals, and some even a whole department, dedicated to reporting alone, and a large proportion of many IT departments worklists is creating reports. Not only a waste of valuable resource, but you will find that creating these actually, more often than not, reduces productivity and motivation because it is not the most exciting task.
So, coming back to the question ‘where is the value in the reporting?’. Without stretching this answer out; the value is in the output – in the figures themselves. The value is not in the act of creating the reports, and it certainly isn’t in formatting the data to make it look pretty.
The point I am getting to here is, stop wasting valuable time and resource and make sure you have a solution that provides the answer you need for your business without all the effort. It is too easy to concentrate on the need and overlook the how.
A systemic problem easily overcome by standardising reports and formats. Standardising does not necessarily require investments in new software, utilising features already in place in the basic of business systems should be sufficient. You can even continue to use the humble spreadsheet to pull the information out of computer systems and automate the ‘tidying up’ tasks you would normally perform in a spreadsheet with macros (for which we can provide coaching in – Training/Coaching).
The place you want to end up, is getting to the valuable part in the simplest way possible.
And now for the obligatory sales bit: If you do want a helping hand to streamline your reporting activities, even if it is to learn some new Excel skills, contact us.