Do It Yourself!

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A very important factor to study in an organization is the dependence of an individual to complete a given task on others.

A very important factor to study in an organization is the dependence of an individual to complete a given task on others.

The ability of an individual to do a task by himself or herself to the required quality level affects the performance of the organization very significantly.


I find that we differ very much from the western countries in this regard.


One of the reasons for this is the abundance of the people we have.  Typically, in any organization, if you analyze or observe, there will be more people involved in the execution of tasks than needed. 


Let us take an example.


You want a quotation to be prepared.  You tell the sales executive to do that. The following will happen most probably.


  1. He will not know the complete address of the client. He may have to ask someone. That someone may not be available immediately. So he keeps waiting.

  2. He may not have the right formula to be used for preparation of the quote. Eg. Discount.  He has to wait for the Sales Manager to take that decision.

  3. His English may not be good. So, whatever he writes, some one has to polish.

  4. He has to attach the corporate presentation or other marketing collaterals. He does not have the latest version. He does not know where it is stored. So, he waits for the technical writer to show up.

  5. He has to take the hard copy printout. He tries, but the printer cartridge is dead. He has to wait for the store keeper or someone else. He does not know how to fix the cartridge, so he waits for the Sys Admin or some hardware maintenance guy.


The above may be an exaggeration, but I hope the point is clear. We love to depend on others and are very happy to wait for something or other!


You will find that this is more prevalent at junior levels than at senior levels. But senior level people are busy with meetings only. Thus if the juniors who have to execute, cannot be efficient, then the task is done with great delay and inefficiency.


Every email, every communication, every approval causes delay and inefficiency. Please note that this does not mean there is no process to be followed or everyone is empowered for everything. What is needed has to be there. 

So what is to be done?


  1. First study the people and their dependencies on others while performing their roles and responsibilities

  2. Identify the peripheral and associated skills needed to minimize the dependency

  3. Plan and execute a training program for those skills

  4. Empower them to execute the new skills

  5. Give incentives if some one is ready to do what others are doing now

  6. Organize hardware and software ( in all forms)  in an elegant and effective manner so that people have access to them easily.

  7. Develop knowledge sharing mechanisms so that everyone knows how to perform simple tasks irrespective of their seniority or domain of working in the organization.

  8. Understand how to measure the success of this and review progress.

  9. Implement all the above without complacency on a continuous basis.

You will find that the organization moves ahead like well lubricated wheel!