Management routines design
We eliminated routines that took up 1 hour every day at all levels of a consumer goods company, reducing over 30% of hours in meetings per year, by focusing routines on decision-making and accompanying them in the adoption of new habits. To understand the current situation and define where we wanted to go, we used our routine agility index that includes 4 components: Focus, Productivity, Simplicity and Brevity.
Organizations often suffer from “meeting-itis”, and a poor routine system can unnecessarily delay and complicate decision-making with its consequent impact on business results. Likewise, the number of hours devoted to meetings can undermine productivity, motivation and generate an overload of activities in collaborators.
The company we worked with had just evolved its organizational structure towards a network model and was having challenges in the interaction and connection between areas. This had a direct impact on the number of hours spent in meetings, on the lack of efficiency in decision-making and generation of action agreements, on overcrowded meetings with participants “just in case” and, consequently, on the overload of people.
We designed a flexible and simple system that focused on relevant business issues considering efficiency parameters that were necessary for the operating unit.
To achieve this, we analyzed the critical decisions of all the functions that, due to their impact, repetition or ambiguity were important to review and -in a mixed team along with the client- we defined who should participate.
Depending on their complexity, impact and frequency, we put together the map of management routines from start to finish (end-to-end) with a focus on decision-making. Likewise, we designed other types of routines with exploration, coordination, communication and information objectives that complemented the model.
We designed a way of operating in the routines that included uniform templates to support the decision process and thus optimize the time of each meeting. The behaviors that should be encouraged in each of the meetings were agreed upon so that the change would be adopted, and we trained all the key actors in the process.
As a result, the organization’s annual meetings were reduced from 100 to 70,000 hours and an associated cost of several million dollars was saved. In addition, people’s time was focused on tasks that generated the most value and all employees earned one hour a day. As a further consequence, the year-end engagement survey showed a direct impact on people’s engagement increasing by 5%.