Email Mistakes

In professional world, we receive many emails every day. I spend many hours in reading and replying them. It is part of job. Yesterday, one professional gave excuse of not reading mails as they get many. Email should be crisp and well directed.

I have observed people writing too many jargons. I find it difficult to make real sense of their mail. I appreciate their knowledge and professionalism. I believe, if a person can’t simplify the subject means he does not understand the subject or he intentionally wants extra points on his writing skill. Writing long mail is pain and some people write it to show their professional skill.

Calling and meeting face to face are dying in some sense. It happens only to show top management. People remain alert just to show leaders that they are contributing.

Marking mail to right person is very important. Many times we write and mark it to people who have no role or even have left the company.

E-mail should be short and should convey right message.

Performance Management – Flat vs Extreme

I am working in a team of equally capable Black belts. Job role is same and it is very difficult for my managers to defend our ratings. Working with multiple managers is another compulsion or business requirement.  In absence of clear cut goal setting and output, In year end, my manager feel lost to defend our ratings. Salary differential in group is another dimension.

In 2011, our manager got confused and rated us all as very good. Everyone was happy as it was a non-event for all. Attitude changed in system, if you work or not, hardly matters.

Last year, manager changed and perception changed. We all got extreme ratings this time. Some got on upper side and some got on lower side. Now I am facing extremely uncomfortable environment in department. Drive and motivation are on extreme. He got maximum rise, he has to work extra. Averages rated are more silent spectator. Lower graded are looking for other function or profile. Point here is extreme rating made psychological impact on us.

Same is happening with our Indian legal system, you do crime or good work. hardly matters. Rewards and recognition of good work is missing. Anna Hazare worked hard whole life and now Media is torturing him for good work. System must reward right performance. Then only, well balanced performances will come and company/society will sustain longer.

Transaction Intensity reduction vs Lean

I am working on transaction intensity reduction. It amused me as it is different from other quality methodologies. In six-sigma, we focus more on defect reduction. Lean focuses more on reduction of cycle time. In my current project, vendor keeps sending invoices against each transaction. Lean supports single peace flow. But, it is making transaction intensity very high and unmanageable at payable end.

Someone suggested single invoice single vendor per month. However, it will create batch processing. In all this, I feel it makes sense to have optimal batch sizes than single piece flow mindlessly.  Overall cost and lead time implications should be seen.

In BPO, many calls may be automated or self-answered in FAQ format which may reduce transaction intensity. Sending bus for each passenger may not serve purpose. Batching has its own advantage. It reduces change over time in continuous process.

Six sigma experts may question need for multiple purchase order, invoices, HR training sessions, or any other voluminous activity and may plan strategy to reduce the transactions itself to make them more manageable.

Banks reduced transaction through diverting them from branch to ATM, internet or mobile. Ticket window in Indian rail has been diverted to internet, cash coupon, or monthly ticket etc.