I came across a good word the other day—spuddle. It’s archaic terminology, but basically, it means busy work: “to stay busy and fuss about without actually achieving anything of worth.” And it’s a challenge a lot of businesses have with their teams.
In the business world, team members spuddling (turned it into a verb) about aren’t meaningfully wasting time. Rather, the priorities most important to the goals of the organization haven’t been clearly defined. As a business consultant, the idea of being busy to get more effective and get better at a job is 100% baloney. As Scrooge McDuck says, “work smarter, not harder.” To do this, it’s important to take a step back and look at the big picture. And yes, having someone who knows how to audit businesses helps.
When it comes to process improvement, one of the biggest issues is objectively looking at corporate goals and identifying where the bottlenecks are occurring in your system. Are you on track to meet your goals? If not, it’s important to identify why. Staying as busy as possible isn’t as much of a priority as accomplishing the right tasks in a timely way.
In business, everything is a process. In sales, it’s about the funnel, manufacturing is related to production and development, coding, customer—you name it. Everything is a series of steps. Identifying the bottleneck means looking at which part takes the longest and identifying WHY. This is incredibly important as in business there is often a domino effect that can trickle down into other departments.
The trap so many organizations fall into is improvement initiatives where broad sweeping initiatives are introduced for the sake of improvement. This does not necessarily address problems or lead to any meaningful improvement. It’s the equivalent of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks.
Team members will probably embrace the changes initially. Most people embrace the idea of improvement. But what happens if there’s no meaningful change? Frustration. Loss of morale. And in extreme cases, conflict.
As a Process Improvement Consultant serving Chicago, New York, and Toronto. I have collaborated with organizations in multiple industries, including Engineering, Consumer Manufacturing, Healthcare, Software Development, & Agriculture. One of my specialties is process improvement where I map out organizational work and processes to identify bottlenecks and come up with specific strategies to address these with a focus on customer needs.
Improvement initiatives that serve little purpose work to pile on the stress. Moreover, they’re often overlooked by busy departments where just getting through the day is the main focus. Rebalancing work and coming up with solutions that address organization-wide bottlenecks is key to improving workflow—very important for businesses targeting growth.
Ready to stop the spuddle and make serious progress toward your 2022 goals? I can help. Set up a free consultation online or call 416.528.7990 to discuss your process improvement challenges and goals.