Scoreboarding: Planning to Win! Part 2 (Includes Video)
For this Part 2 blog, I will repeat just a few things from Part 1, but will be sharing something VERY FEW companies have—large or small—regarding PRODUCTIVITY Scoreboards.
PLEASE STAY WITH ME NOW, during this fairly long blog, as I believe this information—and Part 2 video below—will prove most valuable to you!
Let me begin by asking you the same question I asked in the Part 1 blog:
Would you attend a sports event that didn’t have a scoreboard to let you know at-a-glance, who was winning and who was losing?
I dare say you would NOT!
In most sports you play to WIN, and a scoreboard quickly lets you know whether you’re doing that! It keeps the game interesting and everyone rooting for their team.
People want to know the score—and, simply, that’s what SCOREBOARDING is all about!
It’s the same way in business. With just a GLANCE, everyone should be able to know if they’re winning or losing!
Scoreboards—strategically placed in various departments—are ever-present; thus removing the dilemma of out-of-site, out-of-MIND!
I’ve found, over years of systemization, that there are two huge areas where companies bleed money:
- Poor productivity
This blog and video is meant to concentrate on productivity.
As an owner or manager, an area that’s hard to control is the productivity of employees or team members. The more employees, the more difficult the task, especially without a good system to help you—like floor data collection software.
Owners and managers must consider the following when measuring productivity of employees:
- The ESTIMATED time an employee should take to complete a process, and the ACTUAL time taken to complete a process.
- What activities an employee is working on—and whether the activity is CHARGEABLE or UN-CHARGEABLE.
Having Floor Data Collection Software is a great start; however, reports must be pulled to get productivity information. But, it costs time and money to have someone do that.
AND, by the time someone pulls the reports needed, in most cases you’re looking in the rear-view mirror at OLD information.
That makes it difficult for management to be proactive!
When reviewing old data, it’s more of a challenge to inform an employee—especially on processes that were completed as long as a month ago—that they’re too slow and are not meeting standards in completing work.
I would hope that an owner or manager, before meeting with an employee regarding productivity (or the lack thereof), would consider:
- Does the person know how long the work SHOULD have taken? OR what’s the standard for their industry?
- Do they have the tools and materials necessary to complete a process in the estimated time?
- Are the tools they're using up-to-specs, in order to complete a process in the given estimated time?
From my experience, working with various types of companies, most owners and managers DON'T have a clue what their Estimated versus Actual times are!
Therefore, the employees DON'T have a clue, so they can’t possibly know what is expected of them!
Employees are participating in a game with NO scoreboard; therefore, they can’t see at-a-glance if they are winning or losing, as they work to complete a process or job.
You may be thinking, “Hey Philip, work is NOT A GAME!”
I would argue, that if you MAKE it a game, and let everyone know the score—most people WANT TO WIN, whether working or playing!
Yeah, but what about those who don’t seem to care?
Again, I would argue, that when they see other team members showing good scores, they will at least try to keep up.
However, if they don’t want to WIN, and they continue having a losing score—they KNOW it...you KNOW it! In fact, everyone will KNOW it. That is, IF you have a productivity score-board!
Uh-oh! Doesn’t that sound like maybe “Big Brother” is watching!?
HANG WITH ME!
Here's what we’ve observed from LOW performers in our work place, after installing Scoreboards:
Their peers encourage them to at least maintain acceptable numbers, in order to maintain the overall Department's numbers. And they are paying attention to their scores, whether they openly admit it or not.
A great system tends to expose the good and the bad! So HIGH performers love the scoreboard, especially seeing their winning scores.
Now...at some point, an owner or manager SHOULD make the decision whether or not to allow a low-performing individual to remain on the team with losing numbers.
What would a coach of a sports team do?
I hope...BEFORE making a decision to throw someone off the team or changing their position...management has considered, and tested the following:
- Are the Estimated Times to perform processes, accurate?
- Have the processes been measured and timed?
- Does the company’s industry have standards for certain processes that they have to maintain and compete against?
Most owners know, if they’re allowing too much time to complete processes, the company will NOT be competitive.
So, the estimated numbers need to make sense and be fair. This would be comparable to the rules and boundaries in a sports event.
Imagine NO RULES and NO BOUNDARIES in a game, it would be utter chaos.
We've seen, by having Productivity Scoreboards, that individuals will speak up immediately and loudly, and even call FOUL, when they believe the estimated times for completing a process are NOT accurate.
It’s a benefit to the company, when someone speaks up and cries foul. Because, at that point, management should re-evaluate the estimated time it takes to do a process...
- Which IMPROVES the accuracy of your estimates,
- Which IMPROVES the bottom-line,
- Which IMPROVES the accuracy of the Work-Load Schedule...
- WIN, WIN, WIN—everybody wins!
Yes, I would argue...WORK is a game that is played everyday, using the best possible equipment and strategies, for the sake of all involved!
However, in some cases, the “game” being played is at the owner's expense. This is due to the fact that, most companies have NO system for measuring and observing true productivity scores, or know WHAT their employees are actually working on at any given time. Like a sports event with no rules or boundaries!
Again, there are two parts that make up Total Productivity.
- Estimated versus Actual time
- Un-chargeable Hours versus Payable Hours
Estimated time versus the Actual time is simply the time you’ve estimated for a process to be completed; versus the actual time it took someone to complete the process.
Un-chargeables versus Payable Hours
- Un-chargeables are simply, those things we do in a business, not directly charged to the customer, i.e. our own equipment maintenance, repairs, cleaning up around the shop, training of our employees etc. They greatly affect overall productivity, and with too many you won’t make a profit.
- Payable Hours are simply the hours you pay someone for a given period.
So, how do you measure Total Productivity?
OTHER THINGS OBSERVED, since installing our Productivity Scoreboards?
- Estimated versus Actual times for everyone has improved
- Our Estimates are more precise...thereby, improving profits
- Our Workload Schedules are much more accurate
- Un-Chargeable hours have decreased
Productivity Scoreboards are much better than having a manager walk up and down, hovering over people in the production area, just to keep the team moving.
As I wrote in my book, "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business."
People DON’T want to be MANAGED!
With a great system, people CAN and will manage themselves—while owners and managers just MANAGE the System.
If, at some point, you decided to give awards or bonuses for great productivity, SCOREBOARDS are great tools for measuring fairly.
Can you imagine having a scoreboard like this in your business?
If you can imagine it, then it can become reality!
We can help with that.
Did I mention? Great systems work!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.