“I don’t think those figures are right.”
Hands up if you’ve ever been involved in a meeting and you’ve heard this – I expect that there are a lot of hands up right now.
If you’re like me, you’ll have broken out in a cold sweat on hearing those words – because you now know that for the majority of the rest of this meeting you will be debating the reliability of the data that’s being presented rather than trying to develop a solid plan to help everyone move forward.
Even though you may trust the data you’re presenting, the rest of the room is now lost – reasonable doubt has been created. Enough reasonable doubt to mean that there’s going to be no real progress here today.
So why does this happen?
This is caused by the existence of information silos – departmental libraries of reports, spreadsheets and other information that is then painstakingly pulled together by the relevant people in advance of the next management meeting or board meeting.
And this is a positive thing. It’s a symptom of success – everyone gets busy and left to our own devices we develop our own reporting system to allow us to answer the questions that we know we’re going to get asked.
The problem occurs because while we’ve done this for our own team or department, our colleagues at the meeting have done the same. But they’ve chosen a different way of measuring success and identifying issues. So their numbers are different than ours.
So who is right?
How do we fix it and why should we bother?
If we can connect the various team and departmental silos and standardise how we report on progress against our growth strategy then we’ll be able to get consensus across the organisation around where we currently sit.
And we’ll also develop a situation where our management and board meetings can now be based on a real time view of where we currently are rather than the rearview mirror view which inhibits real progress.
Creating a central hub that is used for reporting across the organisation and connects all the team and departmental objectives can help to make all of our meetings more productive.
And when we all trust the data that’s being presented it allows us to make better decisions about the action we need to take to deliver the growth that we all want to see.
I think everyone agrees that having access to accurate, up to date information is the best way to ensure that the best decisions are made – whether they be related to sales, stock control, project delivery or customer relationships.
By releasing information from the individual team or departmental silos we’re creating a new level of visibility and consensus – and making sure that people’s valuable time is spent deciding how to ensure forward motion.
Shorter, more productive meetings – who wouldn’t vote for that?
Flowlens Integrated Cloud CRM & MRP in action
“Flowlens has replaced a very complicated CRM and lots of different spreadsheets. Now everyone knows where to look, it’s all clear and transparent and it works with our new Xero accounts package too.”
Wayne Cramer, Managing Director, GWE