Making New Year’s resolutions is a long running tradition for many people. Typically, a resolution involves a promise or commitment to improve (be more fit, save money, etc.). Polls indicate that between 40-50% of Americans make resolutions but only 12% actually keep them.
Most people are sincere in their commitment to keep a promise but find the mechanics difficult. For some, creating “To-do” lists works really well. How many of you still use a daily list of various office projects despite the fact that efficiency experts no longer recommend it? And how many of us love to put an item on the list, quickly do it and get great satisfaction in immediately crossing it off? Many times we enjoy completing tasks just to get the satisfaction of crossing them off the list!
At NPI Technology Management we make promises all day, every day:
- Promises to research solutions to technical issues and then make repairs
- Promises to adjust security features to reduce the chance of malware
- Promises to find and fix the root cause of an ongoing problem
- Promises to quickly resolve even the smallest of glitches
- Promises to actively manage the company technology so everything works as flawlessly as possible
In the early years at NPI we were a bit like the people making New Year’s Resolutions. Sometimes the promises got done and unfortunately sometimes they got derailed or forgotten. We implemented our Service Order System over a decade ago to help us track each promise (we call them Service Orders) that our team makes and know they are all getting done.
For us every day is January 1st !
Once an NPI Service Order is created, a team member is assigned to move forward with a resolution. Many times the promise is passed to others in the office or even involves outside vendors like Internet or wiring vendors. Our Client Service Coordinator continually monitors a Service Order’s progress to determine if the right resources are working the issue. But, ultimately, there is always one team member responsible for delivering on the promise.
In weekly meetings the technicians review the promises and offer ideas on how to move forward to the optimum resolution. Sharing promises with the team speeds up the process and improves the outcome.
Why do businesses need to keep an electronic list of promises?
- In a successful company the promises can come fast and heavy. Having a tracking system in place allows everyone to follow the progress.
- Making an electronic record formalizes the commitment.
- Having the promise acknowledged by the team motivates everyone to work together to determine the best course of action.
- Electronic records create data that can be mined for recurring or related issues. This “Big Data” approach works for businesses of all sizes.
- Electronic records or promises are available to the whole company so they can stay abreast of important activities.
- Electronic promises track the time spent, individuals assigned and actions taken to allow analysis of the results.
- Probably the biggest benefit of all is the great feeling that comes with closing out a promise and knowing that it was a job well done.
At NPI we survey our clients for the satisfaction level of each promise kept. Our version of “checking it off the list” is to bang a gong when we get good feedback on a completed Service Order. It’s amazing how excited everyone becomes at the confirmation of a successful outcome!
Thirty-three percent of people that make New Year’s resolution say that the key reason they failed was because they didn’t keep track of their progress. A further 23% just plain forgot about their resolution. When making promises in business, the success rate must reach higher than the typical New Year’s resolution. Add structure to promises by installing and using a system to track and deliver on tasks. One way to not just survive, but thrive in 2017 is to track and keep every little promise.