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Balance Efficiency Against Other Goals

If we define efficiency as the amount of work accomplished per given unit of labor input, we can implement effective ways to boost efficiency. But we can also come up with ineffective ways to boost efficiency.

The effective ways typically improve on the inputs to labor, so include such things as:

  • Company-provided assets. (e.g., company-provided cable preparation and termination tools as opposed to employee-provided knives and pliers.)
  • Test equipment. Innovation in this area is continual. Do you equip your workers with test equipment that saves time and improves safety, versus what they were using three years ago?
  • Ensure the right materials are in the right place at the right time.

Ineffective ways typically involve risky short-cuts that may end badly. Examples include:

  • Rushed risk assessment. Quickly going through the motions may save time. But it may also get somebody killed.
  • Quick job planning. Have a methodical process for thoroughly planning each job; this is how you avoid time-wasting surprises.
  • Workmanship that’s “good enough.” Really, it’s not good enough when this phrase is used. Poor workmanship is a bad advertisement for your company, and it can lead to catastrophic failure of the installation.

Sometimes, less efficiency is better even when you’ve got effective and ineffective down pat. For example, it is less efficient for your crew leader to engage with the customer for a major upsell. But sacrificing some job efficiency to have a more effective job presence is a good trade-off.

Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection