C-level executives have the unenviable task of identifying areas where costs can be cut while ensuring that operational effectiveness or customer satisfaction won’t suffer as a result. Almost often, a pretty tough challenge.
Tobias Andersson, the Projectplace COO, talks in the premier post of this new interview series about how the right online collaboration platform can become a strategic tool for a business, bringing the C-level better visibility across the organization and increasing efficiencies of key projects and initiatives – having a positive impact on the bottom line.
Staff productivity is a major concern for many organizations. What can CEOs do to streamline processes and communications without sacrificing visibility?
Management in large organizations often look for new ways to streamline processes and open the channels of communication. It is easy for companies with thousands of employees to, over time, adopt inefficient ways of doing things, and implementing changes in processes and ways of working can seem like an insurmountable task. It’s important to take a step back and wipe the slate clean if needed. By harnessing the latest technologies, CEOs can often boost the productivity of the organization and eliminate old bad habits that are likely to be holding the business back. Discuss with your trusted experts, what tools would they start to use? The returns can be immediate. As an example, Carlsberg saved a full man-year by implementing the right technology when they decided to work together from ten businesses across Europe on a project for a new solution for one of their largest factories.
What do CEOs look for when considering the company-wide roll-out of a technology such as an online collaboration tool?
Any new solution has to be cost-effective to implement and use. Most CEOs opt for cloud-based technologies because of the low total cost of ownership and because they want to be able to reap the mobility and agility benefits of cloud. You need to be able to show ROI quickly – which is simply impossible with large scale software implementations. Whatever the solution, it needs to be possible to be implemented without disruption to the business, customers or partners. It’s important that minimal training is needed for staff to use the new tool. It needs to be easy to use because there are going to be different skill levels across the company, and a solution is only as effective as the level of buy-in from those using it. From a functionality point of view, CEOs want a tool that makes it obvious which tasks are sapping resources so that strategy can be adjusted accordingly. Get a proper overview with methods ranging from easy-to-use Kanban boards to powerful portfolio and resource management tools.
You mentioned mobility, how important is this for CEOs nowadays?
For today’s executives mobility is non-negotiable. CEOs are likely to opt for technologies that they can use anywhere, anytime, on any device. In the geographically dispersed digital economy, it’s crucial that any new tool can be used by employees globally and by partners, to streamline processes and maximise cost savings in day-to-day operations. Everyone expects to be able to check up on projects, share information and communicate seamlessly, regardless of location.
Beyond ROI and improved efficiencies, what type of benefits can CEOs expect to see from the right collaboration tool?
The right tool encourages and empowers staff to engage more with the business. It stimulates creativity and boosts velocity, without adding undue pressure on employees. Also as a result, the transparency that a collaboration platform brings to the table makes it easy to reward good work or spot potential failings before they become crises.
Want to explore what online tools can do for your business? Try Projectplace.