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How to find where lost productivity hides

Sarah K. White | July 22, 2016
Fostering productivity isn’t as simple as creating inspiring work environments, and productivity loss is often hidden in areas where business leaders never think to look.

"The disconnected approach made it difficult for analysts, authors and designers to collaborate and deliver unified research to clients," he says. The goal became finding a way to consolidate content creation and management across the company so that employees could deliver faster and clients could access an easy-to-use platform to find research terms across every industry.

Start with an audit

You can't expect to fix your content management systems without first understanding how they're broken or ineffective. White suggests starting with an audit of your internal content management systems, which includes looking into who actually uses the systems, who should be using the systems and what those people want out of a more effective process.

Dostatni compares the process to a database performance audit, adding that businesses need to ask questions like, "what are the most important goals and results for our content, where are we missing opportunities, where are we stuck with old process and technologies which do not support modern digital and mobile content requirements, where do our process get slowed down and -- maybe most importantly -- how much work is spent on redundant, automatable tasks which distract our employees from higher-value work?"

White says modern businesses have lost the capability to "do more with the same," or in other words, they no longer look at how to take current in-house resources and refocus them to help create a better employee and customer experience. He says businesses need to focus on creating intuitive interactive environments or -- at the very least -- automating "repetitive, low value work" to free up employees to focus on higher-level projects using the resources they already have.

Through an audit, Dostatni's company found that it needed to provide more structure around storing documents, allowing users to preview multiple formats of the same piece of content, making it easier to search through metadata and taxonomies, better handling of content from external sources, integrating a more efficient workflow process and also ensuring the platform would scale for global use. "Our approach was more to provide better quality, well-structured content, better search and navigation and 'answers' vs long multi page PDF to customers. So in some cases we actually increased workload but in the benefit of better product," he says.

Analyze productivity

In today's modern workplace, you can't simply measure productivity by how many employees are sitting at their desks. You might have some workers on flexible schedules, others who work remote or even an employee who comes in every day and sits at their desk, but isn't being as effective as they can be.

Instead, White says to set metrics to measure productivity against -- first set a baseline, and then continuously measure results against it. But for any business leader that has tried to do this, you know it isn't exactly easy, since job requirements can vary widely, and what one person considers a worthwhile metric, another may not.


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