Optimizing Work and Staff Resources

Is it fact or fiction?

Do efforts aimed at optimizing staff resources jeopardize ongoing work?

CIO colleagues recently mentioned that while they believed there was ample room to improve staff performance, they were hesitant to pursue efforts in this direction for the following reasons:

  • Adversely impacting on-going work efforts by attempts to surface performance improvement opportunities.
  • Concerns that staff would interpret an assessment of IT people activities and time expenditures as disapproval of their work efforts.
  • Looked upon as a precursor to possible staff reductions.

In short, possible performance improvement efforts were being avoided because of concerns for their perceived negative impacts on on-going effectiveness.

The above posture suggests that there is a subconscious concern or belief that working on improving performance might make things worse.

In summary, the degradation of organization performance CIOs want to avoid can be the very thing that comes about as a result of their hesitation or inaction to address staff optimization efforts.

Assessments of staff activities and time expenditures to achieve performance improvements should not be looked upon as a vehicle for finding fault, blame or condemnation. Instead, like the benefits realized by sports teams and symphony orchestras from practice sessions, assessments should be recognized as providing insights that help all managers and staff optimize individual and group effectiveness.

If improvement of staff activities and use of time and skills were solely a management undertaking, staff concerns for motive could be heighten. However, if staff resource utilization and improvement activities were undertaken as a joint or collaborative effort, the concerns of all participants could be minimized, and success of an undertaking considerably improved.

On-going work efforts and activities to improve performance are not mutually exclusive objectives. They are instead, compatible objectives that are beneficial to staff, managers and the overall IT organization.

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