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Productivity Needs Analysis

PNA

What is a PNA?

The 5 Step PNA Process

The PNA would begin by implementing the 5 step PNA process which consists of

  1. Measuring relevant areas;
  2. Prioritise measures;
  3. Set Objectives;
  4. Processes to reach objectives (across scales of organisation);
  5. Deliver required outputs to reach desired productivity.

Measuring relevant areas measures the extent of the lack of productivity and how measures can be implemented to enhance productivity in that department. Once the PNA has recognised the area with which the changes need to be implemented, the organisation would need to prioritise measures and put these in place at once. On completion of this step, the company would then need to set goals of what outcomes they expect, and the processes to reach goals (across scales of organisation) would be implemented. Once these processes had been completed, the organisation would be able to deliver required outputs to reach desired productivity.

The Areas A PNA Should Cover

Common Data

 A critical area to begin with is the Common Data of the business. This is where we can examine the company turnover whether it’s staff turnover or financial turnover. We can analyse what profits the business has made and what costs have been incurred etc.

Customers

Delivery

Overheads

When running a business, it is always a good idea to analyse overheads as prices can change over time or sometimes what seemed like a good expense at the time, may not seem as beneficial anymore. For example, a large and expensive office in the centre of the city where everyone could see you, seemed like a good rental a couple of years ago for yourself and your colleagues to work from, however since the Covid pandemic you are now having to reanalyse this idea due to everyone preferring to work from home. Having gained all the relevant information regarding peoples wishes and the costs involved of working from a more expensive place, working from home has become the preferred choice. Therefore, the overheads regarding this office unit will be eliminated.

People

Staff members play an extremely significant role, just like customers, if there were no staff members the business wouldn’t be able to run. If your people aren’t happy at work, there would be greater staff turnover or absenteeism. When analysing this area, if it is found that a lot of people are leaving/off sick, this may point to a problem in the workplace. Is there anything that can be helped? Are the staff members getting bored? Are they still satisfied in their role? If not, it would be beneficial to introduce training with recognised qualifications at the end and possibly a pay rise as an incentive. This would help increase proficiency in the workplace. If the staff member has a learning disability, consider what the business could do to put more support in place to empower them to fulfil their role in the business. More support could include extra training (if needed), a more structured approach with unlimited access to a job coach to help fulfil their job role (Mencap. 2017).

Safety

An extremely key area to analyse would be the matter of Safety in the workplace. Accidents can play a detrimental role in the workplace and can easily be avoided with planning and delegating. The company must recognise and adhere to all legislation when it comes to health and safety in the workplace. It must also ensure that the members of staff are fully aware of their own responsibilities when it comes to safety in the workplace. This could be achieved through regular health and safety training so that everyone understands the policies and procedures. To enable this further, a Health and Safety Executive should be appointed to help manage the Health and Safety in the workplace and supply the training etc.

Costs

Costs need to be analysed regularly. Normally if a company puts their prices up for certain products, they will let you know in advance. However, this doesn’t always mean you’re prepared for it. For example, I ran a drop shipping company that specialised in Wedding products. I used the same supplier for years and built a good working rapport with them. They sent weekly emails of what was happening and their adventures of sourcing their products in person abroad. Nothing changed in those years until one day I noticed that the costs of the products had risen. I enquired and they informed me that they had sent a couple of emails with the notice in. I went back through the blog emails and there they were in small writing right at the bottom of the emails! I hadn’t noticed them as I would sometimes scroll through the emails but sometimes, I would just ignore them (I know, my own fault). Unfortunately, the costs had become too much to meet and keep my customers happy at the same time, so I had to end our business relationship with them and find another supplier. It is always good practice to read all the emails (especially the small writing) and ensure that you’re up to date and reviewing the costs every so often to ensure they still fit your business.

Setting The Objectives

Goals Are Set, Now To Implement Them

As you can tell so far in my posts, I’m a big advocate for training. Training is necessary for implementing the changes needed to achieve the goals that are going to be set. Everyone must understand their job role in meeting these objectives for a successful outcome to be achieved. Reinforce the recent changes and instructions in team meetings and any other times anyone needs clarification. Sometimes, all someone needs are a visual reminder such as images of the process or process maps.

Process Maps

To help encourage staff members to follow the new procedures, it would be helpful (along with regular training) to implement the use of process maps. These are perfect as a quick reminder of procedures in the workplace. A process map is guidance in the form of a visual representation. Many process maps come in the form of a flow chart (but they are not restricted to this) which shows the steps needed to accomplish the result. The process map may have a few different options to achieve the same results, or it may signpost to the relevant department/agency, etc. Process maps are effective methods that can be used in organisations as a visual display of the different processes that team members may need to complete, therefor they must be accessible to everyone. Because everyone is different, it may mean using different coloured paper or even perhaps a large-size font or/and braille too.

Integrated Approach

Evaluation needs to examine whether the goals that were set have been met. An integrated approach would need to be taken when evaluating the situation. How did the company progress through the changes? Were there any hiccups in the beginning that needed smoothing out? Did the process need changing slightly to incorporate changes in staff or needs? Were the changes prioritised over other things or did things stand in the way and the changes were an afterthought? (Could this have been why it failed/achieved the goals etc?). Have all the steps been met? Was more time needed? Did it cost more than was budgeted for it? How could we make it progress better next time?

Results?

Were the goals met? If not, do we understand why not? If it’s clear why they weren’t met, then we may have decided on a better plan such as: more money, more time or more staff. If it wasn’t clear as to why the plan failed, a new assessment would need to be conducted along with a better plan. If the plan succeeded however, the business could continue the lean management pathway to achieving and maintaining a leaner business.

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