From people to properties, systems to strategies, management is key. Find the right management style today, that will reap the biggest rewards...

Management by Work Simplification

A lot of managers these days tend to be quite experimental. There are days when everything is critical and there are days when managers can afford to mull over how their subordinates can be more productive. In these thought processes, managers can come up with certain tasks that they think would make the general output of their group or department higher and faster. When reinforcing these practices, everyone will either be too enthusiastic to do the tasks or too annoyed about having to perform additional workload. However, the time will come when they’d already get used to it that they’ll no longer care because they have considered it as a part of their job. What some do not realize though is that the time will also come when the managers themselves would realize that these tasks are not necessary, after all.

Because this kind of scenario has occurred numerous times in every company, management by work simplification has evolved.  

Management by Work Simplification Overview

Management by work simplification is a process by which the manager eliminates the tasks that do not really contribute anything to the productivity of the company or more specifically, to a certain system that the company practices. By doing so, the system is simplified by reducing wastage from labor, costs, space, materials, and time. In certain office work procedures such as the approval of reports and designs or brainstorming and filing paper works, there are steps that need not be executed. At first, they are established to make the procedure more organized such as getting some documents approved and signed or submitting designs to the vice president for comments only to be returned by the client who had something else in mind.

Basically, work simplification is making a tailor-fit working system that responds to the needs of your business. Some companies initially or automatically adapt generic systems, which lead them to have specific processes that are unnecessary and not at all useful. Work simplification also allows you to reassess the different practices, problem areas, and points for improvement within the company.

The process of work simplification includes making flowcharts in order to determine the existing system and tasks. After which, the analysis of these tasks and systems will be done in order to allow the simplification process of the procedures and steps. And in order to assess the success of the endeavor, leaders, managers, and groups must be able to justify how the eliminated and simplified processes can help achieve their objectives. The employees are heavily expected to participate during structuring and implementation because they are the ones who can evaluate the relevance of the tasks and determine how they can be simplified. And because they are the executors, they can best tell how the tasks can be improved.

More importantly, the success of the work simplification process depends on the acceptance of the employees. The simplified processes are only going to be effective if they are practiced by the each worker who falls under the designated tasks.

Objectives of Work Simplification

The following are the objectives:

  • Efficiency improvement
  • Elimination of unnecessary tasks
  • Reduction of costs and expenses
  • Increased profits

Advantages of Work Simplification

This also happens often in manufacturing companies that spend on certain procedures that are not really needed to produce the required output. All in all, this helps save time and energy on the part of the employees. This, of course, can further translate to a lot of other advantages for the employees and for the company. When employees get to finish their tasks earlier, their sense of accomplishment can be converted into having more motivation to finish other tasks. Moreover, the employees will be given the chance to slow down and check on their own personal system for working and re-organizing things that have gotten messy or disorderly.

For the company, cost reduction is achieved and more time and manpower will be made available for other important tasks. If handled properly, this can be translated to more income or more capital. All in all, the department or group will have more resources that can be attributed to accomplishing useful tasks.

Disadvantages of Work Simplification

Some would say that this type of management works toward the productivity of a company. While it also benefits the productivity of the employee, this productivity is still that of the company in the long run. When it comes to the professional development of the employee, some would argue that management by work simplification does not help the employee grow because the main concern of this method is the completion of the tasks. Sometimes, the eliminated tasks may not really be necessary. However, these tasks can help the employee develop his skills especially if the removed tasks cover other areas of expertise. Leaving the employee with two to three tasks within his job scope may make him feel limited and unproductive.

Knowing What to Eliminate

In determining which tasks or processes to eliminate, there are certain factors that must be considered. This is a critical thought process because any manager would want to make sure that the eliminated tasks are really unnecessary. You must consider the return on investment that the elimination of the tasks can make as well as its contributions to the work set-up, may it be the employees’ time, effort, savings, or some other factors.

Management by work simplification has worked for a lot of companies. This kind of system works in companies that have managers who put a lot of weight on the contributions of their employees. Because the processes are trimmed and reduced, the employees have more room to coordinate and work with cooperation to achieve their overall goals.

For the most part, when work simplification is implemented, it is heavily felt by the employees, especially when more positive results are visible. As long as the eliminated tasks are proven irrelevant, the process should be able to help a company attain the objectives and expectations that have been set.