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Organised chaos: A pipe dream?

Organised chaos: A pipe dream?

Learning & Development

Hardik Gandhi

Hardik Gandhi

29 May 2019, 09:56 — 7 min read

Background: The term organised chaos is actually pretty interesting. It refers to a situation where there is a lot of confusion and literally no organisation but the work somehow gets done. In this era of ‘smart work’ where almost everything is digitised, the irony is that technology, in spite of making our lives easier is making the environment all the more frenzied. The challenge of dealing with workplace chaos is universal. In order to solve it, the first and the most important thing to understand is the type of chaos you are dealing with. Is it your employees or is it related to some higher management? Is it lack of time management that is creating the frenzy or some communication problem? Whatever the cause be, observing the restlessness around you and then taking measures to solve it will help you eventually get out of the mess and make your work life simpler. Hardik Gandhi in his previous article explains the science behind business site selection. In this article he decodes the term organised chaos and how you can deal with it.

 

Chaos is a fundamental law of nature. Chaos often fosters the creativity that leads to innovation. Chaos makes life so much more interesting!

Chaotic collaboration abounds in many workplaces. It’s exciting when organisations are young, but as they grow, processes need to evolve from chaotic to organised – fast. This is essential to scale, be more efficient with your resources, improve individual and team productivity and morale and most importantly, have predictable outcomes. Workplace collaboration takes many shapes – with many different tools involved. Excel trackers, shared folders, long email trails, ad-hoc forums, messaging tools, meetings, conference calls – the list is quite disparate.

The choice of tools varies in most organisations – across individuals, teams, departments. If these processes are not streamlined, everyone’s time, efforts and productivity get wasted. Hours in which your brainpower could have been working on a new research and innovation are actually spent on just communicating, often times unnecessarily, and many times failing to communicate when essential. Work gets stalled when dependencies are not clear, hand overs don’t happen in a timely manner. Rework happens when expectations are not clear, documents and data are not well maintained. Decision making is hampered because there is no single source of truth. Data is not actionable because it is either stale or distributed across multiple systems.

Key stakeholders in an organisation need to accept that the chaos exists and some order is essential. A good place to start is by mapping out processes, roles, dependencies, and task break-downs.


With today’s distributed workplaces and functional roles, it is imperative to give people access to information and interactivity on the go – which most existing processes fail to do. No wonder on average 30% of all projects are significantly behind schedule and over budget. The amount of productivity lost due to chaotic collaboration could dwarf the GDPs of some developing countries!

And this is not limited to any specific industries or geographies. Some verticals are better at it than others, but every organisation has its own unique challenges. Be it a service provider or a product development center or even a retail company wishing to set up a chain of stores, the hiccups are the same.

So how do you deal with this?

Firstly key stakeholders in an organisation need to accept that the chaos exists and some order is essential.

A good place to start is by mapping out processes, roles, dependencies, and task break-downs. Augment it with expectations for each task – data to be collected, documents to be managed, checklists to be executed, success criteria and expected timelines. Map out escalation processes, communications at each stage, and scope for automation to relieve your people from the mundane, repetitive or error-prone tasks. There is a lot more that follows, but this would be a great start towards organized chaos.

If you are a small team, and just starting out, a combination of simple task, project and document management tools and someone assigned to be the project manager/coordinator may do the job. But larger teams or project portfolios are far better served by intelligent automation. The two questions that need to be answered correctly every day are:

  • Which of my tasks requires my attention the most?
  • What actions do I need to take?

Can you answer this question by looking at a single screen? Or even a single tool? How much time do you waste collecting the information? How much time do you or your colleagues waste entering data, making presentations, compiling reports and drafting emails just to make sure everyone is in the loop?

Structured workflows translate operating strategies into execution. Data, documents, and communications flowing through a workflow enable quick execution. Automation and AI enable you and your colleagues to focus on creative, high-value work. As long as your tool can evolve fast enough to keep pace with changes to your processes you’re all set.

We at Zestl can help you in your journey towards organised chaos. The Zvolv no-code workflow and bot based automation platform can map out and automate your collaboration processes in a matter of days. Zvolv enterprise applications can become your smart, AI-driven process orchestrators – driving timely execution, ensuring first time right products, and giving your meaningful insights and predictions to drive your strategies and decision making.

Interested in reading more articles on leadership and management? Check out our other articles here:

Workforce management for SMEs: Challenges & solutions

What does it take to be a great employer?

Why only training is not enough

 
Image courtesy: Zestl.com

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker. 

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Hardik Gandhi

Zvolv - a cognitive workflow automation platform to streamline people/data centric collaboration processes, in a matter of days, with no developer dependence.

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