Information and data flow

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week 2: #4 latest requests first, then backlog

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If you work the other way around, you’ll never get rid of your backlog.

A backlog exists due to a mismatch in the sequence of your tasks.

If you keep carrying out this mismatch, a backlog will exist forever or pops up over and over again.

Take care first that no new issues can add to the backlog.

week 2: up to date business. How does that feel?

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Knowing what’s possible and what’s not for each new request coming in.

Actually, the moment you have a client on the phone, you’ll already know what your organization is able to do when, where, what and by whom.

Knowing what your organization has available and if you need more supplies or capacity.

Be able to ‘see’ rising or diminishing demands for what you offer.

Being able to pinpoint the bottlenecks in your operations. And act upon that. Like adding an explanatory pop-up to your system or a new service to substitute a serie of repetitive manual tasks.

A controlled, up to date financial state. Pay fast because you can and it saves you time and energy, receive fast. No unpleasant surprises financially.

It feels relaxed, no need to hurry, no need to work all day. Just acting upon your rhythm and your sense.

Always a step ahead. Time to listen to clients and colleagues, employees. Knowing what’s a no go and being able to cut or park such immediately.

Open to receive insights, learn, out of your comfort zone, doing something completely else. Healthy space in the business.

week 3: #1 any doubt? Ask

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Ask the owner of the request if you correctly understood that X is what is meant.

Ask directly after your doubt arose. Even stronger than a first ‘thank you’ reaction after receiving the request.

In any case, don’t decide upon your next action until you’re crystal clear about what is needed to fulfil the request.

So, don’t assume, don’t ditch your doubt, don’t do something because you’ve always handled things like that this way. Don’t delay, just ask.

week 3: #2 any doubt? Check

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Any doubt that the information and data you’ve got is correct? Check. Ask the owner of the information or dat that X is correct? Because you say Y and Z which doesn’t correspond with X.

Add the facts as to why your doubt arose. Making it the owner as easy as possible to stay with – or correct – the initial piece of information given.

Don’t leave it, because it isn’t important for the overall conclusion, no one notices, it’s too late etc. No. It’s your duty as an information and data professional to act upon any inconsistencies encountered.

Too often, a tiny wrong decision has huge, negative, and sometimes even irreversible, impact over time.

week 3: #3 any doubt? Dive in

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When there seems to be a pattern, a trend in the information and data at hand you sense and do not see yet. In fact, you’re not yet able to say what it is why you keep coming back to this information and data.

Then it’s time to dive in. Digging in the information and data.

By checking the various parts for completeness.

By checking the various parts for a logical order.

Following a couple of subjects through the information and data for a logical story that makes sense.

By counting and summarising descriptive, raw data to see if these support the overall conclusion and interpretation.

By recalculating a couple of numbers. Do you get the same results?

Reading and descriptive statistics is powerful. Often much more powerful than applied statistics. If the pattern isn’t already present somewhere in the raw data, applied statistics results should be questioned thoroughly. And in my opinion: not used.

week 3: no response, no reaction? Fetch it

– Under construction –

People who follow up upon what others requested them, are highly appreciated.

Not because they deliver better content.

They are highly appreciated because their clients, consumers and colleagues experience they are noticed. Noticed as a human being.

Therefore they do deliver better quality service.

As a result, they often deliver better content too.

Following up is easier than most people feel it is. Most people hesitate and decide to wait another day or two. After another day or two, nothing changed, still no response.

What people tend to forget is that there’s a human being on the other side. A person who can experience a bad week, a person who accidentally shove your request in the bin, a person who didn’t read you message as something that required action form his or her side, etc. There are so many reasons that have nothing to do with you or the request you’re working on, that can influence receiving a reaction in return yes or no.

It can also be that you’ve delayed your action for such a long time that you unconsciously sent the message ‘Hey, I need your response and I don’t care’.

As well as it can be that you’ve packaged your request for action in too many layers. Too many words, sentences, additional lay-out, ways etc. Instead of directly, to-the-point.

Maybe you should have called.

week 3: information and data is about establishing and maintaining connections

– Under construction –

Receiving information and data from a person is a sign that person trusts you or your Organization enough to be vulnerable. Handing over information and data is reaching out for some kind of help and therefore vulnerable.

That’s why it is of utmost important the person as soon as possible experiences you’ve seen him or her. An automated e-mail can help and can’t do it for the full 100%. It is a personal touch somewhere in your reaction that’s need to know you’ve been noticed. And that’s the first receive you can give. The service: we’ve received your message well and saw it.

That’s why reaction immediately with the needed solution is so much fun. If that’s possible.

That’s why choosing and caring out the action as soon as possible is important. The least delay with corresponding space for mistakes or requests becoming irrelevant.

That’s why following up in its pure essence is important. Yes, following up with the message ‘I can’t help you now’, as soon as you have clear you currently can’t, is valued. It helps people to look further, get otherwise creative or look elsewhere. Which isn’t a pity. You’re intention is to serve best. And yes, sometimes serving is being honest you can’t help them with what they need now.

That’s why keeping information and data flow counts for better results. Better connections, more clients and assignments, better financial results.

Because it’s all about establishing and maintaining connections. Getting to know each other, by doing the information and data. Every now and then asking ‘How you’re doing?’ in the moment, when you care. Unconsciously building upon and strengthen the service delivered.

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