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Archive for December, 2019

“I SCREWED UP”

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 5, 2019

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– “The longer you delay admitting a mistake, the more expensive it will be to correct.” – Bryce’s Law

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Nobody likes to admit making a mistake. We tend to believe it makes us look bad in the eyes of our coworkers, friends and particularly the boss. It’s a real test of our integrity. Some people like to cover-up mistakes so they go undetected or, even worse, let someone else take the blame for them. I find mistakes tend to fester and grow if left unchecked, thereby causing bigger headaches and costing a lot more money if we don’t catch them in time.

Every once in awhile you have to look your boss straight in the eye and say, “I screwed up.” It’s kind of like having a priest listen to your confession. Although the boss may be disappointed, he will be appreciative of the fact you came clean with him early on and brought the problem to his attention where it can be caught and corrected with minimal damage.

In this day and age of micromanagement you don’t see too many people willing to admit a mistake. They take on an assignment, get in over their head, and fail to yell for help in time. This does a disservice to the assignment, the people depending on you, and yourself. In business, it is not uncommon to see people rising above their level of competency (aka, “The Peter Principle”). In other words, they have been placed in a position where they are incapable of performing their job effectively. Keeping them in this position is a disservice to the company as well as to the person. Frankly, I think we have too many people in over their heads who refuse to ask for help, which I consider a pretty scary operating scenario.

We have all made mistakes we wish we could take back and correct, some small, others real beauts, but there is nobody out there without a blemish on their record, which is why we are all willing to forgive, provided the person comes clean with it early on.

There’s an old axiom in business that says, “If you make 51% of your decisions correctly, you will be a success.” I’m not suggesting we don’t strive for perfection, but we should all realize it is an impossibility. After all, the last guy who was perfect, they hung on a cross.

Originally published: July 15, 2008

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form. Great holiday gifts!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Business, Life, Management | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

THE USE OF TIME

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 3, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– As opposed to what we produce.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I’m seeing a strange perspective emerging in business as it applies to productivity. Instead of considering the amount of output produced, people now seem only concerned with the amount of time served at work. I see this in I.T. organizations where programmers have said to me, “Wow, I spent twelve hours at work today.” I heard this same exact expression from a guy who was laying sod on my lawn. I answered them both the same way, “That’s nice, but what did you produce in that time?” Interestingly, they both were at a loss for words and vague in terms of what they produced. It appeared to me, they thought they were being productive simply by the number of hours attending work.

I contend it is not the hours in the day that is important, but rather what we produce. In a way, counting hours reminds me of how the military viewed performance during the Viet Nam War, whereby they counted bodies as opposed to geography won. Let us also not forget, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is measured by output, not hours worked.

Years ago in business, employees were taught to do what was necessary to get a job done. If it meant working evenings and weekends, so be it, and you didn’t complain as you knew the importance of the assignment and genuinely liked your work. Even if you didn’t, you possessed personal pride to see the job through to completion. Today though, there is more emphasis on personal time and vacations, so employees have become mindful of how much time they serve and how much they can relax, hence the emphasis on time.

When it comes to the nature of time, we have long promoted the concept of “Effectiveness Rate,” (ER) in Project Management. Unlike “Man Hours” which falsely assumes a person is 100% productive, ER considers time in terms of the amount spent on “Direct” assignments versus “Indirect” interferences. “Direct” means real work, it is what you were hired to do. “Indirect” represents those interruptions keeping us from doing our “Direct” assignments, such as breaks, bathroom visits, meetings, telephone calls, casual reading, social media, etc. The ratio between Directs and Indirects is what we refer to as “Effectiveness Rate.”

In the average office setting, the ER is typically 70%, e.g., in an eight hour business day, 5.6 hours are used for direct work, and 2.4 hours for indirect activities. Studies have shown construction workers are typically 25%. The point is, nobody can be 100% effective, there will be interferences which is a much more realistic perspective of time. Further, employees will have different rates based on their capabilities and experience. Also, please understand ER is NOT a measure of performance; it is simply an analysis of the use of time by workers. Just because one employee has a higher ER as opposed to another, simply means the person has fewer interferences. Whereas “Direct” time is the responsibility for the individual to manage, “Indirect” time is the responsibility for the manager to manage. If a manager observes an employee is experiencing too many interferences, he/she may take measures to minimize them.

To illustrate how ER is used in scheduling, let’s assume we have a person who has made an estimate of 100 “direct” hours (who also averages a 70% effectiveness rate), and there are eight (8) available hours in the business day. Under this scenario, 100 Direct Hours divided by .70 (ER) equals 142.85 elapsed hours. In turn, the 142.85 would be divided by 8 (available hours per day) to equal 17.85 elapsed days. The “man hour” approach mentioned earlier does not take the environmental influences into consideration and assumes an effectiveness rate of 100%. Under this approach, the sample schedule would be completed in 12.5 business day. In other words, ER is a more realistic and reliable approach for producing schedules.

So, going back to the programmers and sod layer mentioned in the beginning, when they claimed, “Wow, I spent twelve hours at work today.” I should have asked what their Effectiveness Rate was. I suspect 10%.

For more information on Effectiveness Rate, click HERE.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form. Great holiday gifts!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Life, Business | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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