I love a new financial year. I see it as a great opportunity for implementing change in our business.
Twelve months ago, we launched Big Blue Digital, an evolution of our 16 year old business.
This year, our transformation is more internal, as we improve how we track, measure and manage productivity.In November, I shared a Case Study on how we used the power of Business Intelligence to transform our business.
The tale was one of trial and error. We were losing money on untracked billable hours, and I had no way of seeing where the time was being spent. Our invoices would be sent too late and paid too late - everything we were doing was too late. We needed to change.
As I said then, “In 2012, we migrated our data into our third business management system in 12 years, being the Professional Service Automation solution, Accelo.”
With a central location to gather, store and expose data about how people were working, we took our first steps to transforming our business.
As of November 2015, our team had begun to track time effectively, get our invoices out (and returned) quicker and automated many cumbersome administrative tasks with the help of our business managment tool, Accelo. We were so impressed with it's success for our business that we became a Certified Partner with Accelo.
But we didn’t stop there.
As I said in the Case Study on the Accelo website, “Our goal is to get to 75% productivity, and we now have the tool to help us get there.”
This is still our goal. But we’ve taken more steps to getting there.
We resolve to better understand our resource allocation
I want to create an environment where people are able to do more profitable, valuable and enjoyable work, and not get caught up with ‘unproductive’ or cumbersome tasks.
Accelo tracks everything going on in your business from tracking emails, (and the time spent typing them), to post-project support and billing. We can easily see who is spending time doing what tasks.
We have taken the time to understand exactly what our capacity is, based on our team’s current size and mix of skills, and what that means in terms of the number and size of clients we can serve. With growth in-mind, I can make resourcing and staffing decisions based on the data I now have available.
With one central and transparent system, we all know that we’re doing the right work, at the right time, to service our clients and drive our business forward.
Six months ago we were able to confidently say that - just be reducing waste - we had increased our revenue by 50 per cent. I would hazard a guess that this has increased.
We resolve to improve our scheduling
To achieve high productivity and work satisfaction, it’s important that everyone knows what they have to do every day, and that expectations and timelines are clear. We don’t want some team members overwhelmed with work and others seeking opportunities to be helpful, or find ourselves in a situation where there is a disconnect between client expectations and what is actually possible within any given timeframe.
We have really started to understand the power of scheduling to address this.
I have weekly meetings to discuss schedules, project management and resource allocation across our teams, to make sure we are looking after our people and our clients. A clear and planned schedule makes communication easy, building a more open and cohesive team.
We resolve to embrace data sharing and accountability as part of our team culture
I have the insight I need to expose areas of inefficiencies amongst my staff or areas where they were not tracking their time...and so do they. It has been a cultural change, but we have all learnt to embrace the transparency and accountability enabled by Accelo.
Because we know exactly what hours we need to dedicate to client work, proactively serving them as the digital arm of their organisation, we have been able to set benchmarks for how each team member should spend their time each day.
We’ve expanded on Accelo’s offering and, as of July 1, have introduced our own custom built ‘productivity dashboard’.
This dashboard is displayed throughout the office to clearly demonstrate how each individual team member is tracking toward their productivity goals.
I have seen the massive changes that Business Intelligence tools have had on my business. In the coming months, you will see another evolution in Big Blue Digital, as we expand on our services to offer more Business Intelligence solutions, helping you make informed decisions to meet your goals.