Every handoff in your business is a failure point. When one person is handling information and moving execution to the next step, often you can get things done without many mistakes or delays.
When you have to hand off a lead, support call, requirements, or project task, it’s risk. What if the information is not correct? Is there nuance and clarity that have to be transferred?
Many projects need teams to deliver. But often, when we are growing businesses, we simply get fat and waste can build up. There are often unnecessary handoffs where it can be faster with less errors by cutting out steps, people or information.
With this season of downtime, what if you took inventory and got rid of handoffs that no longer make sense?
Look at when a customer starts their engagement with your company. How much work do they have to do before they get contacted? Can you automate the first touches?
Here are some other ideas to drive throughput by eliminating or reducing handoffs:
- Where does a request get bottlenecked? Consolidate the work with one person or automate the task using software.
- Set the expected response time for team tasks. Track this for 30 days. If you get a 3 day average response for something that should take 1 day, get the responsible parties involved and set up a new incentive to meet the customer expectation.
- Map out your steps. See if you can cut out steps that do not add value.
- For work that needs to be highly responsive, hire a support vendor or get a virtual assistant. It will force you to define what has to be done and you can manage accountability.
- Cut out any middlemen and replace it with direct service or engagement.
Handoffs usually develop because we hope to get some kind of efficiency, but we don’t revisit whether we have failure in speed or unnecessary mistakes. Take it back to simplicity, and care about your customer by removing the waste that simply happens because of unexamined workflow.
As the New Year is commencing, you can tighten your workflow up by looking at all those handoffs which create problems and bottlenecks.
Where are you finding handoff issues?