Learning to Work Smarter, Not Harder Series: Segment 5

Adriana Girdler

What is Value? Welcome back to the working smarter, not harder series. In our previous segments we talked about needing to benchmark current ways of …

What is Value?

Welcome back to the working smarter, not harder series. In our previous segments we talked about needing to benchmark current ways of working, making daily decisions based on a Vision/Mission statement, having a priority list with only five items on it and repurposing meetings. The last step to working smarter is to understand if what you are doing is value added or non-value added.

So what is a value added? It’s an activity that transforms and/or shapes, for the first time, material or info to meet customer requirements. This may sound easy but it’s not. Most activities conducted to meet a customer’s requirements are comprised of only 15 to 20% of value added activities. This leaves 75 to 80% of the activities being non value added.

So what is a non-value added? Those activities that take time or resource but don’t directly add to customer requirements.

Have you ever worked on an activity at work that wasn’t contributing to anything specific and felt more like a ‘make work’ project. That is non-value added! These non-value added activities don’t make things better, they make things worse. They make things more complex and cause you to become frustrated and wonder how anything gets done. If the customer knew about what went into making their product or creating their service, they would NOT pay for those non value added activities.

So the question becomes: why are we even doing them? Why are we adding more unnecessary layers to a process instead of being simple and streamlined and only working on items that are value added? Do we really want to work harder? The answer is no! This is why you are reading this series. Stop this madness of running on the hamster wheel. Focus on truly understanding your business, where you want it to go, eliminate activities that don’t add value and restructure your process. By implementing these changes you will see how quickly you start to work smarter and will wonder why you didn’t try this any sooner.

Watch all of Adriana’s BizTV Canada videos

  1. Map your way to working smarter
  2. Back to the future
  3. Manage Priorities
  4. Meet all day, working all night
  5. What is value?

How do you add value when focused on business processes and efficiency? Feel free to leave a comment below or shout out to us on Facebook or Twitter. Of course, you could always write your own blog post on the subject and share it with us… We’d love to read it!

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Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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