The whole is greater than the sum of the parts – Managerial Productivity Series (II)

1plus1In the office/services sector, if you measure the time to perform a linked set of tasks and compare the sum of the task times to total elapsed time to go from start to finish, total time will usually exceed the sum of the task times by a factor of two or greater.

In this scenario,  more is not better.

Two reasons:

  • When you suspend a task and go to another project it takes time to exit from the task and time to get back to your task. The more you multi-task, the more exit/re-entry times add up.
  • When you finish a task and the next-in-line task needs to be performed by another person, there usually is a time delay associated with the hand-off.

Corporations spend a lot of time writing a policy/procedure detailing how work should be done. Necessary? Yes. Sufficient? No.

What is missing is an infrastructure that minimizes task exit/reentry and minimizes hand-off delays.

You need two things to increase productivity in office/services.

  • RALB (resource allocation, leveling and balancing).
  • Guidelines/guardrails.

Guidelines come from BPM (Business Process Management), guardrails come from ACM (Adaptive Case Management).

RALB pulls everything together. Tasks post automatically as upstream tasks are committed.

BPM provides “best practices” advice and assistance for setting priorities and making decisions.

ACM sets up guardrails to prevent extreme, unwanted excursions away from best practices.

Unfortunately, getting organizations to subscribe to ACM/BPM is a bit like herding cats.

The range of excuses is too extensive to detail here. What I hear mostly is “ . . . too busy fighting fires” so they never get to see how ACM/BPM prevents many fires.

A couple of days with an experienced consultant is all it takes to break away from the herd and set the stage for significant productivity improvement.

If you want to get to where your organization is doing the right things, the right way, using the right resources, at the right times/places, pick up the phone.

Karl Walter Keirstead
1 800 529 5355 USA
1 450 458 5601 elsewhere


Stop Reading Exception Reports – Part I
(Put Guidance and Governance In-Line)

The Whole is Greater Than The Sum Of The Parts – Part II –
(Put RALB – Resource Allocation, Leveling and Balancing In-Line)
Reach for the Sky – Part III
(Empower Staff)
Pulling It All Together – Part IV



Management consultant and process control engineer (MSc EE) with a focus on bridging the gap between operations and strategy in the areas of critical infrastructure protection, connect-the-dots law enforcement investigations, healthcare services delivery, job shop manufacturing and b2b/b2c/b2d transactions. (C) 2010-2018 Karl Walter Keirstead, P. Eng. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and are not connected with Jay-Kell Technologies Inc, Civerex Systems Inc. (Canada), Civerex Systems Inc. (USA) or CvX Productions.
This entry was posted in Adaptive Case Management, Business Process Management, Case Management, FIXING HEALTHCARE, LEGAL, MANAGEMENT, Manufacturing Operations, Operational Planning, R.A.L.B., Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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