6 Reasons Your Company Needs a Chief Productivity Officer
Readily available technology can vastly increase productivity but to realize the potential you might have to make it somebody's job.
When it comes to technology in the workplace, businesses have turned to their CIO. It's actually been that way for the last 30 years or so. But that position is becoming less relevant thanks to the migration of business applications and storage to the cloud.
As such, it's being recommended that businesses create a new position; the Chief Productivity Officer -- or CPO for short. This position will oversee these services, as well as ensure that your organization is meeting its goals.
Since this is new title, you may feel a little unsure about creating such a position. But, here are six reason why your company needs a CPO.
1. CIO and IT positions have evolved.
In the ancient days of the 1980s, CIOs primarily focused on the technical projects of a company, like automating accounting and other financial processes. As the technology has advanced, CIOs were responsible for helping businesses transition from a traditional "analog" business to a digital one. As more and more companies moved to the cloud, CIOs and IT managers had to upgrade systems and applications that would make employees more productive and improve the customer experience.
Today, these roles go beyond traditional management. They're also expected to possess corporate financial skills, legal and compliance expertise, data management skills, project management and know how to work with vendors and partners.
Simply put, your current CIO or IT manager, unless they've been staying current with the latest trends, doesn't possess the knowledge or skills to properly utilize technology like the cloud within your company.
Related: When to Upgrade From IT Staff to CIO
2. Streamlines multiple departments.
Thanks to moving to the cloud, services no longer work in silos. Instead, most tasks involve multiple departments.
Take employee onboarding, for example. You need the involvement of HR, finance, legal, and IT to ensure that the employee can do their job properly, like logins to online portals. It also guarantees that the employee will receive a paycheck and benefits. With the right tech, these services can be defined, structured, and automated.
The same is true with your customers. Today your marketing and sales teams must work together when moving a customer through the sales funnel. This way when your marketing team hands-over a lead to your sales department, they'll have all the relevant information needed to close the sale.
3. Manages your virtual team.
It should come as no surprise that more and more people are working remotely. In fact, Gallup found in 2016 that 43 percent of Americans spent time working remotely. At my companies, Calendar and Due, the entire team works remotely but we have an office where people can come into when they want.
While virtual teams tend to be happier and more productive, there still needs to be some structure. And that's where a CPO comes into the picture. They not only find the best collaborative, cloud-based tools, they also manage projects and motivate virtual teams.
4. Evaluates existing productivity tools and apps.
There's no shortage of tools that can boost your company's productivity. But, how effective are these tools? There's a possibility that these tools may not be as effective as you believe -- which is both a waste of time and money.
I've tried out thousands of tools, here are a few good ones that I really like. I typically start with a trial on each tool, give them a good shot. I have at least one team member (The CPO in this case) assigned to each tool to give it a test. If it increases productivity or our bottom line, we typically keep it. If not, it's gone. This person knows how to evaluate efficiently each tool.
5. Analyzes small data.
If you're like most organizations, you've probably been collecting and analyzing big data for years. But, have you been paying attention to the small data that's right in front of you?
This type of data provides insights like what tasks are eating the most time for your employees and what you can do to improve their productivity. By measuring key analytics you can measure anything from how long it takes to respond to a customer inquiry to how employees spend their days.
Once you have this data you can create and launch an automated system that can handle tasks ranging from service desk requests to contract reviews to scheduling meetings.
6. Greater business competitiveness.
Research conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services reported that 74 percent of businesses believe cloud computing has given them a competitive advantage. That shouldn't be all that shocking. After all, the cloud allows them to "capitalize on opportunities more quickly" than their competitors.
That's because with the cloud you can adjust your strategy, respond to the changing tastes of your customers, and stay on-top of current industry trends.
Of course, without a CPO, it's difficult to take advantage of the cloud since they're aware of these emerging trends and what cloud-based software will work best for your business.
What to look for when hiring a CPO.
Obviously strong technical skills are a must, you should also look for:
- Strong communication skills including verbal, non-verbal cues, written skills, and the ability to listen.
- Strong judgement and decision-making skills to ensure that they'll be a good fit for your organization.
- The ability to handle and resolve problems.
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