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The time it takes your team to create and deliver a product compared to the amount of time the customer expects this process to take is what is known as your team’s cycle time.
Your cycle times may need to be reduced depending on how well you can meet your customers’ expectations. Fortunately, effective strategies can make reducing cycle times practical for teams looking to maximize work output without reducing product quality.
This article discusses how your team can reduce its cycle times by implementing four strategies.
4 Strategies to Reduce Cycle Time
1. Use Practical Software Solutions
Just as an auto repair company might implement collision estimating software to speed up how long it takes to calculate repair costs, teams can establish their products and deliveries faster using digital software solutions.
Finding the most suitable software to speed up internal processes takes trial and error, but any software with the option to use automatic task features will be an effective way to maximize work output.
By delegating complex or tedious tasks to the software, teams can focus on other critical parts of a customer’s project and reduce their cycle times in the process.
2. Consider Customer Input
In addition to relying on software to automate some of the tasks and responsibilities, teams can also consider customer stories and feedback that may motivate them to change protocols.
Suppose customers voice areas for improvement, state their desired delivery times, or provide other important feedback. In these cases, teams can consider these recommendations and introduce ways to produce better outcomes that meet customers’ expectations.
If you want to gather direct customer service feedback, encourage consumers to complete anonymous surveys online. You can even use these surveys as a promotional method by providing customers with a discount code as a reward for providing their feedback.
By reading customer feedback directly, your team has an accurate idea of what customers expect and where the team of employees needs to make changes to meet their customers’ expectations.
3. Set Goals Using Proven Methods
Many businesses implement OKR strategies to optimize their work output and to organize their teams into more efficient groups. This system allows teams to set effective, time-sensitive goals.
OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results, and it’s a method of goal creation and completion that allows businesses of all different industries to focus on what needs to be completed by when.
Companies use OKR frameworks to think broadly and specifically about what needs to be accomplished to meet a deadline or another goal that has a specific numerical achievement measure. OKRs can reduce cycle times due to another goal or reducing cycle times can be the OKR goal itself.
Teams will have to set up a metric that works for them. For example, your team might decide to reduce cycle times by the 3rd quarter of next year.
4. Set Weekly Virtual Meetings
To gauge your team’s progress, set weekly virtual meetings to go over how well things are going and if teams are reducing cycle times. These meetings can also be considered brainstorming sessions to create solutions for resolving customer concerns or lags in work output and delivery time.
By keeping tabs on how your team is doing each week, improvements can be made gradually, preventing worker burnout and progressively working towards the larger goal of reducing cycle times.
Reduce Cycle Times With Strategy
Ultimately, the strategies you put in place to reduce cycle times will be your ticket to success.
Your team may need to try different goal-setting techniques before stumbling upon a method that works the best, but with enough effort, reducing cycle times is possible, especially when you’re considering what your customers have to say!