Face it, sometimes teamwork can be frustrating. Impatience can set in as your team works on a task. Answers to problems may not come quickly, and or work may uncover more problems.
Sometimes this leads teams to grasp for a quick, easy solution. Unfortunately, these answers rarely are effective, lasting solutions. It takes patience to dig deeply into a problem to better understand its causes and find the best ways to move forward.
If a team is going to succeed, it needs to know where it is going and how it is doing along the way. It needs to track its accomplishments and determine its success by gathering and analyzing data. It can also help team members to remain motivated toward finding the best solutions.
Teams need to know what they are trying to achieve and how they will measure their accomplishments. The metrics they select should be based on the problem they are trying to resolve, accurately measure a characteristic of the problem, and be able to be reliably gathered. While these measures can be quantitative or qualitative, numeric data is usually easier to collect and analyze.
For example, suppose a team is formed to work on reducing customer complaints. There are a number of ways in which this can be measured, such as frequency of complaints, the type of complaint, length of time necessary to resolve the concern, cost of correcting the problems, location of complaints, or other measures.
There are a number of tools that can be used to help analyze data to better determine what is happening and the impact of possible solutions. Pareto charting can be used to focus on the most significant causes of the problems and determine the best places to start. Run charting can help determine how the solutions being implemented have impacted the problem. With this tool, we can determine whether the frequency of complaints or their costs are changing over time and continue to track the long-term effectiveness of the solution.
Customer surveys can also provide insight in the nature of the service problem and how the solutions are being received. Focus groups can also provide this information although these results will be more difficult to quantify.
As CALMC works with our customers, we help them improve the effectiveness of employee engagement teams. This includes support in gathering data and the use of effective, relevant tools for analysis. If you are interested in improving the effectiveness of your teams, contact CALMC.