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組織浪費了太多時間,這十分鐘的投影片將帶你了解,貝恩顧問公司如何協助組織像管理金錢一樣管理時間。

大多數公司都很謹慎地管理資本預算,卻很少有公司以同樣嚴格的方式管理組織時間。貝恩顧問公司研究了17家大公司的時間預算,結果發現有大量的時間和金錢被浪費。以會議為例:貝恩所研究的高階主管中,平均每週要花整整兩天參加會議,其中近80%的時間是與自己部門的成員開會。這些時間,人們沒有用來進行跨職能和跨事業的協作,也沒有用來與顧客建立關係。

通訊超載也占用組織大量時間,而隨著新科技出現,這問題變得愈來愈嚴重。如這張圖所示,1970年代的高階主管每年要處理約一千次外部通訊,主要是公司外人員的電話和電報。隨著語音郵件增加,通訊量成為原本的四倍。而有了電子郵件和虛擬協作之後,每人每年的通訊量躍升至約三萬次。

無止盡的電子郵件串,不必要的電話會議,數不清的無生產力的會議,這些浪費令人咋舌,更造成嚴重的損失。組織變得緩慢而官僚,員工感到沮喪或倦怠,績效也受到影響。但是這有解決辦法。管理時間的時候,採用與管理預算和投資資金一樣的紀律,你就能節省很多時間和金錢。資料顯示,大多數大企業都有機會騰出至少20%的集體時間。

當然,管理組織最稀有的資源,說來容易做起來難。因此,以下提供八種實務做法,企業可用來解決這個問題。第一,設定明確、有選擇性的組織議程。優秀的領導人知道哪些活動是成功所需的,他們會確保組織裡所有人也都了解它們。對於時間也該如此。明確說明,員工如何能最有效地運用自己的時間,以及哪些實務、專案或溝通可以忽略或延後,而不致造成問題。

或許最擅長這件事的高階主管,就是史帝夫.賈伯斯。他每年都會召集蘋果公司一百名高階主管,參加一次外地會議,迫使他們找出下一年的優先要務。他們會激烈地競爭,以便讓自己的想法擠入清單。接著賈伯斯會拿出簽字筆,劃掉其中大多數想法,宣布「我們只能做一些」。這讓每個人清楚知道,公司會做什麼、不會做什麼,也讓蘋果的領導人和員工有策略地投入自己的時間。

管理時間的第二種方法,是使用零基預算,這種財務工具要求每年從頭開始制定營運資本預算,而不是以前一年的數字作為起點。大多數公司都了解這種方法在管理投資方面的價值。同樣這個實務,也有助於你分配組織的時間。目標是將時間視為固定的。新的會議應向「會議銀行」提取時間。

福特執行長艾倫.穆拉利2006年就採用這種方法,當時他發現,公司的資深高階主管花太多時間開會。例如,最高階的35名主管,每個月都聚在一起參加「會議週」,花五天討論各項計畫和績效。穆拉利要求自己的團隊,嚴格評估所有例行會議的效率和成效,並仔細選擇是否同意召開新會議。把時間視為固定資源,讓福特汽車省下數千小時,因而降低了管理費用,而同一時期,競爭對手則在尋求政府紓困。

下一個實務,是要求各專案說明規畫理由,以避免「計畫蔓延」。大多數大企業都有這種困擾:他們不斷增加專案,很少專案被正式終止。紐曼礦業公司就有這個問題。2013年新執行長上任後,發現有87個專案正在進行,每個專案都需要高階主管投注時間和精力。因此,他要求各經理為每個專案說明規畫理由,並指派一名高階主管負責支持。

這些要求達到預期的效果。很多專案被終止,只因沒人願意為它們提出規畫理由;另一些專案則是效益被否定。三個月後,紐曼把專案數量減少了三分之一,因而能夠把集體時間重新聚焦在礦場安全和效率。下一個實務是簡化組織。我們都知道,在執行長和第一線員工之間增加層級,會減緩溝通和決策的速度。

人們普遍沒注意到,每增加一名主管,所增加的成本遠超過那名主管的薪水。領導人應該了解雇用主管的真實成本,也要考量他們為部屬提供的支援工作。額外的層級合起來會產生什麼?數據顯示,雇用初階經理所增加的工作,要花費另一個人約三分之一的工時。大多數高階主管所增加的工作量超過四個人,包括他們自己在內。

刪除階級結構中不必要的層級,可以釋放大量的組織時間。第五種實務是直接處理會議的問題。大多數企業都沒有限制誰可以安排會議,這可能導致大量時間浪費。某家公司的領導人發現,一場定期舉行的中階經理會議,讓公司每年花費1,500萬美元。當被問到是誰核准會議時,那些經理回答:「沒有人。直接由湯姆的助理安排一切。」這實際上就是讓副總裁的助理每年投資1,500萬美元,而沒有受到監督或授權。

公司的財務資本絕對不會發生這種情況。要求核准,自然就會減少會議時間。另一種方式,就是預設會議時間為三十分鐘,而不是一小時,並限制參與人數。在貝恩公司研究的一家企業裡,任何超過三十分鐘或超過七人的會議,都必須得到發起會議那個人的上司的上司核准,也就是往上兩個層級。

這些規定大幅削減公司的時間預算,相當於在六個月內兩百名全職員工的時間。下一個實務處理的是決策權不明確的問題。在大多數大型公司裡,太多時間被浪費在跨職能協調,或克服障礙。領導人應清楚說明,誰對哪種類型的問題有決策權。簡化決策方式,就可以大幅提高效率,並省下時間用於其他目的。

公司也必須確保充分運用所投入的時間,尤其是花在會議的時間。大多數公司裡,原訂一小時的會議經常會延遲五分鐘開始。在企業的其他任何領域,執行長都無法容忍8%的浪費。解決辦法?準時開始。確保所有人都事先做好準備,並調整文化規範,以強烈遏制有人遲到。

其他簡單的規則,也可以讓會議變得更有成效。例如,福特公司要求事先提供會議資料。在英特爾,所有會議必須有明確設定的目的,以便讓與會者聚焦。同樣重要的是,應盡早結束無用的會議。賈伯斯過去常在人們沒有作好準備,或決策難以抉擇時,宣布暫停會議。最後一個原則,依據的是一個眾所周知的管理原則:「你無法管理自己沒有去衡量的東西。」但監測員工的時間可能很棘手,因為保護人們的隱私很重要。

但你可以積累集體資料,以了解每週、每月或每年全公司召開了多少會議,並按層級和職能來劃分有多少人參加。你也可以提供回饋意見給高階主管,說明他們給其他人造成的負擔,造成負擔的方式包括電子郵件、即時訊息、會議等。希捷和波音公司都在嘗試這種做法。他們提供的報告,將個人的數字與平均數字進行比較,這鼓勵了許多主管改變自己的行為。

我們剛剛討論了一系列管理時間的策略,就像管理資本預算那樣地嚴格管理。那麼,高階主管為什麼不使用它們?諷刺的是,他們通常覺得自己「太忙」,因此無法再多承擔一項計畫。時間管理問題通常深植於文化規範之中,如果沒有高層投入,就很難解決。因此,為了爭取支持,一個有助益的做法是量化組織的浪費情況。

讓我們再檢視貝恩研究中的一家公司。如果這些數字還不能讓人醒悟,就沒有其他東西可以了。該公司的領導團隊每週開會審查績效,每年直接消耗七千小時的人力。在這些會議之前,高階主管委員會的每個成員,都要與自己主管的單位開會,這又耗掉兩萬小時。團隊另外花費6.3萬小時,來製作和檢查關鍵資訊。額外的準備會議進一步消耗21萬小時。這導致每週一次的高階主管會議,一年總共耗費30萬個小時。

我們之前說過,企業平均可以收回20%的組織時間,只要他們明智管理時間就可做到。前述的高階主管每週會議例子中,這表示每年可以釋出6萬個小時!錢無法買到一天25小時。但你如果能像管理金錢一樣認真管理時間,就可以從你最稀有的資源中,獲得更多的價值。

(劉純佑譯)


Most companies manage capital budgets very carefully, but few apply the same rigor to organizational time. In a study of time budgeting at 17 large corporations, Bain & Company discovered that huge amounts of time – and money - were being squandered. Take meetings: Executives in the Bain study spent, on average, two full days every week attending meetings, and almost 80% of them were with members of their own department. That's time people weren't using to collaborate across functions and businesses or to build relationships with customers.

Communications overload also sucks up enormous amounts of organizational time, and the problem is only getting worse as new technologies emerge. As this chart shows, executives in the 1970s had about 1,000 external communications a year to deal with - mostly phone calls and telexs from people outside the company. With the rise of voicemail, communications quadrupled. With e-mail and virtual collaboration, the number jumped to about 30,000 communications a year - per person.

Endless e-mail chains, needless conference calls, countless unproductive meetings- the waste is staggering, and it takes a heavy toll. Organizations become slow and bureaucratic, employees feel frustrated or burned out, and performance suffers. But there's a solution. By managing time with the same discipline that you apply to budgeting and investing money, you'll save lots of both. Data suggests that most large companies have an opportunity to free up at least 20% of their collective hours.

Of course, managing your organization's scarcest resource is easier said than done. So let's look at eight practical ways that companies can attack the problem. First, set a clear and selective organizational agenda. Great leaders know which activities are essential for success, and they make sure everyone in the organization understands them as well. The same should go for time. Be crystal clear about how employees can use their time most productively- and about what practices, projects, or communications can be safely ignored or postponed.

Perhaps no other executive did this as effectively as Steve Jobs. Every year, he gathered Apple's 100 senior executives at an off-site retreat and pushed them to identify top priorities for the coming year. They competed intensely to get their ideas on the list. Then Jobs would take a marker and cross out most of them, announcing “We can only do a few.” That made clear to everyone what the company would- and would not- take on, and enabled Apple's leaders and employees to invest their time strategically.

The second way to manage time is to use zero-based budgeting- the financial tool that calls for developing operating capital budgets from scratch each year rather than taking the previous year's numbers as a starting point. Most companies understand the value of this approach in managing investments. The same practice can help you allocate organizational time. The goal is to treat time as fixed. New meetings should be funded by withdrawals from a “Meeting Bank.”

CEO Alan Mulally used this approach at Ford in 2006 when he realized that the company's senior executives were spending a lot of time in meetings. The top 35 executives, for example, assembled every month for “meetings week” -five days of discussions about programs and performance. Mulally asked his team to ruthlessly assess the efficiency and effectiveness of all regular meetings and became selective about requests for new ones. Treating time as a fixed resource freed up thousands of hours at Ford, lowering overhead costs at a time when rivals were seeking government bailouts.

The next practice- requiring business cases for projects -prevents “initiative creep.” Most large companies suffer from this: They keep adding projects, and few are formally terminated. Newmont Mining had this problem. When a new CEO took the helm in 2013, he found that 87 projects were under way, each demanding the time and attention of senior executives. So he required managers to develop a business case -and name an executive sponsor -for each one.

Those requirements had the desired effect. Many projects were discontinued simply because no one bothered to make a business case for them; others were rejected on their merits. After three months, Newmont had slashed the number of projects by one-third, allowing the organization to refocus its collective time on mine safety and efficiency. The next practice is to simplify the organization. We all know that adding layers between the CEO and frontline workers slows communication and decision making.

What's not generally recognized is that every additional supervisor adds costs well beyond that person's salary. Leaders should understand the true cost of hiring a manager, factoring in the support work they generate for subordinates. What exactly do extra layers add up to? Data show that hiring a junior manager means adding work equivalent to about a third of someone else's time. Most senior executives create work for more than four people including themselves.

Removing unnecessary layers in the hierarchy can free up an enormous amount of organizational time. The fifth practice tackles the problem of meetings head-on. Most companies have no restrictions on who can organize a meeting- and that can lead to a lot of waste. Leaders at one company discovered that a regularly scheduled meeting of midlevel managers was costing the organization $15 million a year. When asked who approved the meeting, the managers replied, “No one. Tom's assistant just sets it up.” In effect, a VP'S assistant was investing $15 million a year without supervision or authority.

That would never happen with the company's financial capital. Requiring approval naturally reduces meeting time. So does setting the default duration at 30 minutes instead of an hour and limiting the number of attendees. At one firm Bain studied, any meeting that went longer than 30 minutes or included more than seven people had to be approved by the boss of the organizer's boss -two levels up.

Those rules cut the company's time budget dramatically- by the equivalent of 200 full-time employees over a six-month period. The next practice addresses the problem of murky decision rights. Countless hours are wasted at most large companies coordinating across functions or navigating roadblocks. Leaders should clarify exactly who has the D for what types of issues. By streamlining the way decisions are made, they can greatly improve efficiency and rescue time for other purposes.

Companies also need to make sure they're getting the most out of the time they invest, especially in meetings. At most companies, hour-long meetings routinely start five minutes late. No CEO would tolerate 8% waste in any other area of the business. The solution? Start on time. Make sure that everyone comes prepared, and adjust cultural norms to strongly discourage late arrivals.

Other simple rules can make meetings more productive, too. Ford, for example, requires that materials be distributed in advance. At Intel, all meetings must have a clearly stated purpose to keep people focused. It's just as important to end unproductive sessions early. Steve Jobs used to call a halt to meetings when people were unprepared or decisions were elusive. The last principal builds on the well-known management axiom “You can't manage what you don't measure." It can be tricky to monitor employees' time, though -it's important to protect people's privacy.

But you can accumulate collective data about how many meetings are occurring across the company each week, month, or year, and about how many people are attending, by level and function. You can also give executives feedback on the load they put on other people in terms of e-mails, instant messages, meetings, and so forth. Both Seagate and Boeing are trying this. They provide reports that compare individuals' numbers against the average, which has encouraged many managers to modify their behavior.

We've just discussed an array of strategies for managing time with the rigor routinely applied to capital budgets. So why don't executives use them? The irony is that they usually feel they are “too busy” to take on one more initiative. Time management problems are often deeply entrenched in cultural norms and hard to tackle without commitment from the top. So to galvanize support, it's helpful to quantify the drain on the organization.

Let's look at one company in the Bain study. If these numbers don't wake people up, nothing will. The firm's leadership team met each week to review performance, directly consuming 7,000 person-hours per year. Before those meetings, each executive committee member met with his or her unit, which ate up another 20,000 hours. The team spent 63,000 more hours generating and checking critical information. Additional prep meetings consumed 210,000 hours. This brought the total time spent on weekly excom meetings to 300,000 hours a year.

We said earlier that companies stand to recoup, on average, 20% of their organizational time if they manage it wisely. In the case of the weekly excom meeting, that means freeing up a whopping 60,000 hours a year! No amount of money can buy a 25-hour day. But if you manage time as carefully as you manage money, you can get a lot more value from your scarcest resource.



本篇文章主題時間管理