006 - 7 Ways a CTO can Neutralise Waste


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By Torben Anderson, Torben Anderson: Tech strategy, and CTO. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Reducing waste in your technology function is crucial to scaling your business and streamlining your overall vision. It’s the engine of your business and it needs care and attention to run smoothly and efficiently.

Your CTO should be at the heart of this, ensuring that you’re focusing on what the business needs and not wasting money on inflated technology with no targeted focus.

If you’re at the stage of looking for a CTO, my previous blog post is really informative.

Here are 7 ways that a CTO can neutralise waste in your business

  1. Don’t overachieve

There’s endless technology solutions out there but there will only be a few that are right for your business. Ask yourself what your customer really needs. This is what you should be scheduling and building.

Don’t chase the maybes as it only reduces productivity and it takes precious time away from doing the quality tasks that actually do need doing.

If possible, try to neutralise the situation by taking some time out to see where to focus your efforts. It could be as simple as taking your team out to reboot. This takes courage, but it will reveal the problems that your overachieving is hiding.

By choosing the things that your customer really needs, rather than what you think they need, you save time and money, and improve your productivity.

  1. Clear bottlenecks

If you delay a key decision, you’re effectively bringing the business to a halt for that period of time. Take the time to visualise your processes and identify where these bottlenecks can be sorted.

A well-managed and maintained technology function that links processes and seamlessly feeds them into one another can dramatically reduce this lost time.

  1. Increase automation

Your business doesn’t have to be fully automated but increasing the reliance on technology can cut out excessive process steps and crucially, human error.

Consider the areas to automate based on processes that don’t add value to your customer. Map these out and visualise where the opportunities to automate are.

  1. Don’t assume one tech fits all

The simple solution is not to purchase an ‘all-in-one’ technology function at the start. Instead, spend time recognising what you do actually need and then migrate yourself to specific point solutions.

If you’re already tied into something bigger, think about how to lower the cost and tailor it for your specific needs. This could be using a range of smaller technologies to deliver specific automated functions, rather than paying more for something that does everything with a price tag to match.

  1. Reduce Work in Progress

How many tasks are still in progress? They may all seem important, but if they’re not being finished as a priority, you need to find the most important thing and complete it.

Teams will be more efficient if you’re able to prioritise workloads and they can feel the satisfaction of seeing tasks through.

Think of this as a clogged artery and it’s then difficult to move forward. If you clear the blockage by finishing important tasks, you will get back to a seamless work flow. This will improve both customer service and costs.

  1. Remove the jack of all trades

Many of us have a person in the business who can solve a lot of problems, but you need to ask yourself is whether that person is being utilised to the best of their skillset. Identify what they are best at and redistribute tasks to others to neutralise the load.

  1. Address defects

It’s often easy to hide away from problems, but if you continue moving forward and don’t address them, they will eventually catch up with you and cause bigger issues. Make difficult decisions to ensure that your business’s bottom line doesn’t suffer and cause potentially huge repercussions.

It may be the case that you need to stop altogether while you sort the problem or potentially find a way to continue the flow while you address it. This can be done through employee involvement or a Continuous Process Improvement strategy. Either way, it needs addressing.

If you’d like more information on this topic and other CTO related subjects click here.

I have a Facebook group where you can message me and I go live each week with new advice and tips.

I’d also love it if you can subscribe to my podcast. There’s a wealth of episodes on rewiring your business for success. Hit subscribe here and please leave a review.

23 episodes