Collaborations can drive 10% productivity improvements. (Forrester, 2020)
If you use this 10% increase consistently, the compound gain will look like this spiral.
The opportunity cost of not having great #DigitalTeamwork, but an inefficient and inconsistent operation is hidden, but can be calculated. Let’s say you have a 100 people organisation and your annual sales revenue is $10M. With the same people, you could earn 11M using modern #DigitalTeamwork techniques and tools. This 100k per year could finance your new product development or your promotions to get more leads.
Here is how you can improve collaboration:
- Clear goals enable agreements
- Agreements define a common language
- Common language improves alignment
- Alignment improves consistency and quality
- Consistency improves value
- Value improves scale and profitability
- Profit enables you to celebrate your people and be fulfilled without the #RatRace
Imagine a world where your organization has clearly defined goals. All the employees, stakeholders, partners and customers speak the same language. You are fully aligned in direction and speed. You generate quality consistently and exchange value with your leads to become customers. Imagine a world where your business is profitable and fulfils your dreams.
I believe that this future is available to all of us. Here is my take on how to get there in 7 steps.
1. Clear goals enable agreements
I believe that as a business owner or operator you can define your strategic and quarterly goals clearly. These can be broken down and distributed to your teams and roles in weekly/sprint goals. The weekly/sprint goals can be created as tickets in a task management system and they can be sized. Weekly/by sprint your team can complete tickets and you can see the progress. Teams are much more productive if they have plans. “Plan your work. Work your plan.”
Example: You can create a few slides with diagrams to explain your goals visually, but explain them repeatedly to your team members.
2. Agreements enable a common language
I believe that you can create agreements in any team about the behaviour you accept or don’t tolerate. These can be defined organization-wide first and extended depending on the team composition. Every organisation can start from the values and purpose and define the culture they want to live in daily.
Example: “We speak up if something is unclear.” I implemented social agreements in my scrum teams at the beginning of the engagement. This gave protection and safety to my team members, as long as they stayed inside the agreements.
3. Common language improves alignment
A common language is essential for productive collaboration as it simplifies communication. The misunderstandings come from different interpretations. If there is a dictionary of definitions your team can apply these words consistently.
Example: We defined the word visitor, lead, prospect, customer, repeat and advocate on lacix.co because they are the essential stages of an end-to-end customer lifecycle that impacts our revenue.
4. Alignment improves consistency and quality
I believe that in the future every organization can be aligned on strategic, tactical and operational levels. Not just internally but externally with your market, regulators, partners and even with your competitors. Alignment in speed means you don’t waste time by waiting for inputs or rush ahead and wait for a dependency.
Example: We align all our teams (workstreams) to start a work cycle (sprint) on the same day and finish together. Planning and review workshops are aligned as well, as it reduces noise substantially.
5. Consistency improves the value
I believe that all the roles can understand how to do activity and what is the expected output. Processes defined as standard operating procedures give consistency. They don’t have to be super boring, dry and detailed - just enough to guide the users on how and when to do their activities. Consistency will increase speed and the value we deliver.
Example: In Miro or LucidChart we create flowcharts that show the roles and activities with clear dependencies. This creates consistency between the roles as they execute the process as defined.
6. Value improves scale and profitability
I believe that once you are able to execute your processes at high speed and on quality consistently, you “scale” and your outputs result in greater value. Profitability usually comes from scale as your base costs won’t change but your per product cost will be reduced proportionately. So profit will come from increased scale and sales revenue, but less increased costs.
Example: We measure sales revenue weekly and the customer lifetime value (LTV). We also measure the cost of goods sold weekly, the cost of customer acquisition and the cost of fulfilment. If we focus on these 3 costs and drive the LTV with repeated purchases, our profit will increase.
7. Celebrate your people and be fulfilled
I believe that profit is not the end result of a business operation. This is just a byproduct of your team being productive and happy. If you start from goals and drive consistency through alignment, there will be less frustration and misunderstanding in your business. People will be less stressed and more innovative. You and they feel fulfilled and reaching your dreams.
Example: We count the number of people we helped and their satisfaction rating in our business, not just profit. This gives us great pleasure to see how many lives we impacted positively.
About the Author
Laszlo Csite is a business/agile coach who helps gifted and keen leaders and teams to be extraordinary and fulfil their potential. He is also a digital/CRM product owner, who helps great ideas to grow into admired digital/physical products and brands.
If you enter a new field, want to grow, acquire, split, transform or want to exit - using proven methods can save you time and frustration.
When you are interested, I can show you how to SCALE CONSISTENTLY your product, brand and team. I will share my 20+ years of consulting experience and my carefully selected network of professionals with you.
If you find these articles interesting, invite me for a coffee or ask any questions: lacix.co