5 key points on how to improve organisational efficiency

Want to achieve a more efficient organisation? Get started with these 5 key points on organistional efficiency
Anders DyrholmAnders Dyrholm

Anders Dyrholm

Client Development Manager at Orbit Online A/S

Do you find it complex to ensure organisational efficiency? Making your organisation more effective is an ongoing process with gradual optimisations. With these five key points on how to improve organisational efficiency, we want to help you get started on defining effectivity, finding a way to measure it, and prioritising where to begin.

1. Pin down your definition of effectiveness

What does effectiveness mean to your organisation?

The first step towards improving organisational efficiency is knowing what you’re aiming at. Better yet, find specific markers and pointers that show what effectivity means in your organisation: Maybe it’s the number of invoices that you issue? Or perhaps the number of emails between production and invoicing?

For example, as industrial waste shredder manufacturers MJ Recycling grew in size, it became more difficult to collaborate across projects. Their definition of effectiveness was to be able to streamline and automate communication to departments.

Once you have pinned down your definition of effectiveness, you need to spread the word. Your entire organisation should have the same understanding of how to create the most efficient organisation.

2. Find a way to measure effectivity

It seems simple enough – to measure whether your organisational efficiency has improved, you need to measure whether your initiatives are working or not. But in a complex organisation, you will often have several possible solutions to your obstacles. Find a way to measure which of your initiatives is helping you the most.

3. Ask the experts - your employees

Once you have defined what efficiency and effectiveness means for your organisation and defined a way to measure it, it is time to ask the experts – your employees. They witness bottlenecks in your organisation’s workflow every day and can offhand provide you with information about 80% of them.

Hence, ask your experts. By now, they should know your definition of effectiveness and be equipped to answer the following two questions:

What are your biggest efficiency obstacles? What are your biggest time wasters?

Using your employees’ expert knowledge has the added benefit of motivation: Improvements inspire people to get rid of other efficiency obstacles and it serves as recognition of the people in your organisation whose opinion you asked.

4. Prioritise your effectivity obstacles

With help from your employee experts, you now have a list of things standing between you and a more efficient organisation. You can’t optimize everything at once though, so to figure out where best to begin, you need to prioritise the obstacles, you are facing.

You can do this by rating them based on two variables:

  • If we remove this obstacle, how much of an effectivity boost would it bring to our organisation?
  • How easy will it be for us to remove this obstacle?

We recommend that you rate each variable on a scale from 1-10, which means that you end up with obstacles that have a score from 2-20. A hard to remove obstacle with a low effectivity boost will have a score of two or four, while an easy to remove obstacle with a big effectivity boost will have a score of 18 or 20. This helps you identify which obstacle will give you the highest gain, while spending the least amount of resources.

5. Get to work – remove the obstacles!

Now that you’ve identified and prioritised your efficiency obstacles, you are ready to start overcoming them. And remember: Effectivity gains create effectivity gains. When something is managed smarter, faster, easier, or cheaper, people are inspired to look at other processes and consider how to remove even more obstacles and enhance efficiency.

When people feel that what they contribute adds value and is taken seriously, they are more likely to come back with more information in the future. This, in turn, helps give you new perspective on how to improve organisational effectiveness and how to identify efficiency obstacles.

And remember that improving your organisation’s effectiveness is an on-going process. You have to continuously evaluate processes, identify obstacles and consult your employees – it may seem like a daunting task, but in the end, you will add value and achieve a high level of organisational efficiency.

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