This is the third piece in the customer value add series. The next in the CVA or NVA analysis is Waiting (Idle Time). What does waiting time mean?
It’s the time between tasks where there is no work being done. Its delays, its time that work sits in someone’s inbox or out box and also time traps.
What are some examples of waiting time and how to reduce or eliminate them?
People working in different time zones have to wait for the other team to start working if they depend on them. For example if there is an offshore office in India and one in Minnesota and the person in India has to get some clarification to proceed then they have to wait couple of hours. Can this be eliminated completely? No but they can be more efficient by having process in place like daily meetings to get the answers or review the work regularly so offshore can ask questions.
In software development we see this is a lot of places where people do their work on throw it over the wall to the next person. The work is handed over to the next person and there is delay, wait time, etc. What can we do? We can work more collaboratively. Agile and scrum focuses on helping teams to work together, or co-locate to be more efficient and avoid time traps. Teams have daily calls, they meet often and work together to get the product out the door to the customer.
Another example of this is the number of emails we send and receive and the time it takes to resolve some issues via hundreds of chain emails. What can we do? Get everyone into a meeting and talk. This will resolve the issue in less time and we can also get buy in or agreement from the relevant team members in one go.
We can look at our daily activities and process to see if there are time traps or waste and we should try to eliminate them to be more efficient and to add customer value add in the end. In short lets save customers time.