Technology addiction

Today productivity is getting diluted by new tool like internet, mobile and Microsoft products like word, excel. Etc. I have no doubt that these things have made life easy for many of us. However, side effects are visible too.
Internet makes life easy for all of us and gives real time information. But we managers keep getting mails and productive time goes in replying them. It is difficult to stop temptation to get back to seat and do some surfing on business, political world and friends. It makes many of us addicted to laptop and gadget without keeping tab on productive outcome.

Mobile is new way of talk. I find it personally irritating when middle of a meeting a phone rings. It is difficult to concentrate on real issue. It diverts attention.

Microsoft word, excel, or PowerPoint has made managers of B school a painter. I use to colour presentation to make them visually appealing. I have to insert kids like animation in presentation. Insertion of dozens of jargon is additional burden.

Addiction of news, paint, and talk has made me less productive. Face to face meetings and field efforts have reduced drastically. I am learning processes, changing, and modifying them from my desk.

Attending meetings with bosses

In every meeting, you will find some bosses sitting with their subordinates. Many times, bosses have no clue about ground reality. They have to rely on subordinate for detailing. If meeting held between “n” number of departments/functions , expect “2n+” participant in meetings. Each boss will have atleast one subordinate to support him.

Some of them come with 3-4 subordinates just to remain secure. If they don’t have answer of technical query, immediate subordinate has to be ready with data and process input.

Many smart bosses use management jargons to hide the fact that they don’t know much. Instead on talking to point, technical jargon or exceptions is best tool to defend.

I had two bosses who use to start a remembered transcript on transformation, process improvements, and need of robust system. We need to listen along with operation managers. These jargons create curiosity without delivering concrete result.
Many times, I attended the meeting to download management’s mandate. These meetings had something else other than what had been said to deliver.

Managing productive meeting is big task. One man writes down minutes which hardly gets distributed or reviewed.
Meetings are best time pass for many. Operation manager has tough task to explain the same process to multiple Transformation executives.

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.