Home arrow Newsletter arrow VOLUME 2, ISSUE 8- NOVEMBER 2013

5 Easy Steps to Implement Key Results Areas

The degree of difficulty in implementing KRAs will depend on the culture of your organization. If you have a culture that is team oriented, results driven, and passionate about improvement then implementation will be relatively easy. If you have a culture that is individually oriented, agenda driven, and have employees that resist change then implementation will be more difficult.

Either way, the steps will remain the same…you will just have to work harder. In the wrong culture, KRAs will be viewed upon as a control tool used by management. This is not the case, and this should be communicated as so. KRAs will help improve communication between leaders and their team members, establish clear boundaries for each team member, and break down silos.  

5 steps to implement KRAs:   

 List day-to-day activities :
Have each team member list out their job duties. Don’t just have them include major job functions, Imagebut list out anything of substance that utilizes their time. They should keep a running list for a minimum of a 2 week period. If possible, 30 days would provide a better view of their work loads. The goal here is to capture everything the team member does within their job function. It helps to identify the constraints of the position, as well as, identifying tasks that would be suited to be completed in another department. This will also help identify tasks that could be completely done away with.  

 Why they do the activity : One of the important aspects of KRA’s is the focus given to the result of the task, rather than the task itself. Having team members provide an explanation of why they do the task will help them focus on the results generated by doing the task. This has a secondary function of also helping identify tasks that belong elsewhere, or tasks that can be done away with.  

 Share the Lists : After compiling the lists of tasks and functions, along with the respective explanations for each, the next step is to share the lists. This is especially important within each team. Liken this to a basketball team. The team has 5 positions playing towards the same vision, with the guidance of the coach. Each position has its own duties on the court. Each team member knows their responsibility, and is aware of the responsibilities of their teammates. Equally important, the lists for each of the teams should be viewed amongst the leadership team on an aggregate level. This helps to ensure there are no overlapping job functions amongst the teams. It also helps to ensure that each team is working towards the same vision.  

 Work with the team : After sharing the lists it is important to begin developing the written KRAs with the help of the team.Image KRAs should be developed with open collaboration between the team and the leader. Ultimately, every task within the KRA should reflect what winning at that job looks like. Working with the team to develop the KRA helps to achieve complete buy-in from the team and the individual.  

 Develop the goals : The driving force behind each task within the KRA should be a single result. The first and foremost goal is what winning at the job looks like. What is the expectation of the job, and what it will take to do the job. There should also be specific and measurable goals within the KRA. Achieve a certain level of sales, or grow the current sales territory be X percent, are some examples. Whatever the goals are, develop them here and embed them within the KRA.

Follow the above steps and you will be well on your way to developing a winning game plan for your team members.

Shared Service Center Implementation : 8 Keys for Success

“The conventional wisdom of today is that the potential for Shared Services is increasing due to the increasing costs of changing systems and business requirements and also in implementing and running information systems.”

A shared services center – a center for shared services in an organization – is the entity responsible for the execution and the handling of specific operational tasks, such as accounting, human resources, payroll, IT, legal, compliance, purchasing, and security. Thus the funding and resourcing of the service is shared and the providing department effectively becomes an internal service provider. The key is the idea of 'sharing' within an organization or group.

Shared services center adoption continues to grow across enterprise and medium businesses. Organizations are embracing shared services in an effort to cut costs and improve operational efficiency. The benefits of a shared service model may go beyond just cost savings. If done right, outcomes may also include improved controls, better data visibility, or creating a platform for growth.

So what are the most important best practices to follow when setting up a shared services center?  

1. Key Performance Metrics : Measuring performance is a critical factor in achieving the objectives of a shared services organization. The most common practice for doing so is selecting and monitoring relevant key performance metrics as early as you can in your implementation. ImageThis ensures the processes most important to the success of shared services are measured and optimized.  

2. Service Level Agreement : Service level agreements facilitate a joint understanding between the shared services center and its customers in terms of requirements and expectations. SLA’s should identify what services will be delivered, responsibilities, service delivery times, specific requirements, and escalation procedures.  

3. Change Management : Not properly addressing change management is a major pitfall responsible for shared services center failure. It is very important to identify and address the impacts the services center will have and create a transition plan. Be proactive in identifying, communicating, and transitioning the cultural, personal, technology, and process changes introduced by a services center.  

4. Sponsorship : Without buy-in and support from executives, a shared services center cannot be effectively deployed. An executive sponsor should be identified and involved in the process as early as possible and throughout center’s life-cycle. Ideally, this will be a level executive who can clearly communicate and demonstrate a business case for shared services to the management team.  

5. Clearly Defined Roles and Responsibilities : Roles and responsibilities should be defined for both services center business units and all stakeholders involved in the deployment early on in the process. ImageThis makes sure there is no duplication of efforts that could affect the productivity of the center, and helps resolve any disputes that may come up in the future over who should be doing what.  

6. Staffing : Shared services should be staffed with people who bring experience, skills, and effective decision making for their assigned roles. Along with processes and technology, the people you select have the biggest impact on whether your initiative will be successful. Ensure that they are assigned to their role on a full-time basis, otherwise productivity could be impacted.  

7. In-House VS Outsourced : A major decision to undertake early on in the shared services process is whether it can be done in-house, or needs to be outsourced to another organization. This has major implications on the project and is a challenging step. Consider using a blend of in-house expertise for processes you have a handle on, and outsourcing any areas of weakness.  

8. Workflow Optimization :A new shared services center is a great opportunity to streamline and consolidate business processes and workflows. How effectively you are able to model and simplify your processes will have a major impact on the cost savings and efficiencies you realize.

This model is thought to be an increasingly useful tool for leaders due to the current business climate.

Stop Managing Time, Manage Yourself !

Managing activities are one of those skills no one teaches you but you have to learn. It doesn’t matter how smart you are if you can’t organize information well enough to take it in. And it doesn’t matter how skilled you are if procrastination keeps you from getting your work done.

Managing activity is the most important issue, why?

Because time is a strictly limited-resource i.e. you can replace other resources, but you can’t recover any lost time. There are only 24 hours in each day and when today is over, it is never coming back!

So here are 7 tips to make you better at managing yourself so that the time gets managed:Image  

1. Personal initiative
Your Personal initiative rating is a measure of your degree and willingness to:
• Do the right thing,
• At the right time
• Without waiting for anyone else to ask you to do it.
Use your personal initiative and become a “person with a purpose”.  

2. Purpose
Purpose is the act of setting the goal; Setting the objective.
Every living thing has evolved to achieve a specific purpose.
Therefore, every person in your organisation should have a specific purpose.
Every action they take should be in the pursuit of achieving a specific purpose.  

3. Prioritisation
Prioritisation is the act of putting events or tasks or objectives into a “hierarchy of value” and / or “time ordered sequence”. The need to prioritise stems from the fact that you are a limited resource facing an unlimited demand.
I.e. You cannot be in two places at one time. That money is a finite resource; and things must happen in the right order.  

4. PlanningImage
Planning is the measure of how you organise your:
• information,
• knowledge,
• activities,
• people
• money and
• machines,
in such a way that your “purpose” will likely be achieved.
As the experienced oil rig engineer said “We plan the work and we work the plan!”.
Before you can “work the plan” you must do sufficient preparation.  

5. Preparation
Preparation is the measure of your willingness to organise your resources in advance of the event. If you have a good plan but you remain unprepared, then the good plan will be of no practical use to you. Preparation and organisation means that you have
• all the right things,
• in the right place,
• at the right time,
• in the right amounts.
The consequence of a lack of preparation is that the plan cannot be put into practice with a high probability of success.  

6. Perfect practice Here is a phrase that you already know: Practice makes perfect. But Practice does not necessarily make perfect! Perfect practice makes perfect.
The concept of “perfect practice” is that One unit of quality practice is far better than 10 units of poor practice. So: Do it right first time!
Perfect practice leads to the prevention of error and costly mistakes.  

7. Prevention The biggest time waster is avoidable mistakes. The biggest time saver is the avoidance of avoidable mistakes. It is impossible to avoid all mistakes; “To err is human”. But it is possible to reduce your error rate.

Do all that you can to prevent avoidable errors. Errors are worse than a waste of time; they are counterproductive. Because we tend to be creatures of habit: Once you have done something (wrong) once, you may actually be more likely to do it wrong again!

Do all you can to prevent errors. Do all that you can to do it right first time.


Stay updated with our monthly newsletter - Corporate Wisdom. Subscribe to our newsletter now!