Work Management – the Difference between Theory and Practice

I came across this blog post the other day “Actual Doing vs Meant to Be Doing” (Full article) see below for the rest of the article.

It made me think about where Fewzion came from and why we exist in the first place. Hint, it’s not about being just another planning tool… it is about helping people who lead workforces, (either at the front line or in management roles) to make the “Actual Doing” much closer to the “Meant to be Doing”.

The problem we see time and again is that thereoften isn’t a lot of clarity around the “Meant to be Doing” that is shared with the workforce. I once laid out a big gantt chart of a sequence plan for a superintendent and his coordinators and put it next to the end of shift report written by the supervisor. I asked them to compare the gantt with the report. They struggled a bit and found a few tasks that were similar. I then pulled out the shift plan that had a target (12m per machine) and two simple tasks to do. The point that was quickly understood was that the tool the guys were using to communicate the plan to the supervisor was basically empty when compared with the sequence and the shift report.

So how can they get upset when the guys don’t do what they want when they never told them what they want…

Fewzion changes this by making it easy to build a simple, resource balanced work plan for the crew to get done and makes everyone’s hard work visible so they can see how they are going against the plan… It just makes sense!

The article…

One of the most common leadership complaints is that the team is not doing what they are meant to be doing. This state of “stuckness” leads to frustration, irritation, poor communication and perhaps even micro-management.  Time is spent fighting fires and little time is allocated to leading. Certainly not a win-win situation for anybody involved.

Frontline scheduling
As a leader the question arises “Am I clear on what my team is meant to do?” What are three key focus areas for your team to spend their energy on? Do you know? Does your team know? If you are not certain, then a useful exercise might be to list everything you want the team to achieve within the next twelve months. Think big here!

Now, narrow it down to three critical items that will add the most value to the company and the team. What are the three critical items you will focus on this year? Through this exercise you have simplified and focused the team activities. Everybody can remember what the top three focus points are and all the energy will go into these.

Let us take the exercise a step further and determine where do you, the leader, spend the majority of your time? Is it on supporting the team to achieve the three core goals? Frequently a mismatch occurs at this level. Looking at a leader’s calendar over three to six months gives actual insight on where energy is spent. As a leader it is your responsibility to demonstrate what you say is what you mean and is what you do. Being mindful that you are the role model and your actions are mirrored by the team. Mixed signals impact on low accountability and performance of the team.

The change begins as always with you, the leader. Take stock of what the team’s three main goals are and where you spend your time. Once we know that a gap exists the question is how do we align your actions to match the teams goals? What do we need to commit to? What must we let go of? What do we need to start doing? Being clear on all these aspects will focus our attention, energy and actions. Share this process with your team and permit them to hold you accountable. This is inspiring for the team and empowers them to follow your example.

Soon you will all be focusing on the same three goals, and accountability should occur as a natural process. Try this over time and observe the change within yourself and your team. We need to caution that this is a process that requires time, commitment and discipline.

Share with us your experiences!