Improve Profitability

Why learning faster can improve profitability

Why learning faster can improve profitability We share 10 tips to shorten the learning curve so your resources are productive in the shortest time possible.

In this modern era where companies seek to improve, the only constant is change, and there is always something to learn. When consultants offer a solution, they focus on current business problems and spend time finding solutions. It is important to note that the more refined the solution, the higher the probability of a return on investment.

One of the deficiencies is that when we analyze the same problem, we can offer different solutions, resulting in a non-standardized delivery. What if you could learn from other people’s experiences and use the knowledge you learned to solve the problem in the same way or improve it? In this scenario Phil Kirkham, Hydra Soft Sales Director invites us to:

Explore the “Zero to Hero” phenomenon; Y
Explain how consultants and project managers can learn six times faster by gaining “Artificial Experience.”
To start, Phil gives us an interesting article on how to reduce the learning curve of a consultant to be productive quickly in a company.

“In 1879, the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus created 2,300 nonsense three-letter words for an experiment. Each word he listed had the pattern: consonant-vowel-consonant (for example, sif, ral, kat), avoiding common words that could be easily remembered. Ebbinghaus recorded how often, and to what degree, he could recall them after specific time intervals. One of his conclusions was: as the amount of material that needs to be learned increases, the amount of time it takes in learning it is proportional “. This makes sense right? But what made his findings remarkable was that he was the first to use the term “learning curve.” Today, this is a familiar phrase and especially relevant to people who pursue in life the “never stop learning.”

The length of your learning curve plays a key role in determining how quickly you can be available to deliver a project when you join a project in a new role. Project managers improve over time, they know more and can offer greater value to solve different problems, along with the implementation of strategies to minimize the risks of a project or scenario. What we often lose is the experience of how to develop the project and locate the appropriate resources.

To increase the steepness of the learning curve, we have put together 10 tips that will help organizations effectively deliver knowledge transfer, and contextualize the concept of “Artificial Experience”.

10 tips to shortening the learning curve; why learning faster can improve profitability
1. Set a Goal
What you want to achieve should be tangible, measurable, and as specific as possible. For example, you are about to deliver a Microsoft Office 365 migration to ACME company. Your goal could be to offer the solution as you see fit. However, a better way would be to record improvements and strategies used, to minimize risks the next time you go to do the same job.

2. Review past experiences
Review the experiences someone has had before and make sure that the lessons learned and the experience gained are included in your plan. One of the biggest time savers is when you start the next plan with some of the risks documented, including a successful risk mitigation strategy. The knowledge gained reduces risks, saving time and effort.

3. Create deadlines
10 tips to shortening the learning curve; why learning faster can improve profitability
Deadlines help understand the critical path of the project, adding a sense of urgency and incentivizing the team to complete a series of tasks. Your deadline must be aggressive and realistic. If not, you could be a victim of what is known as Parkinson’s Law. In 1958, this law was defined by C. Northcote Parkinson. The law says: “Work expands to fill the time available for completion.” Which means that you will work hard enough to reach your deadline. If the deadline is too long in the future, you will tend to complete the task with the effort necessary to reach your commitment. If you are in the professional services business, this may affect the number of hours you have to bill on the weekly report. Thus, define more aggressive deadlines, by which you could be comfortable with these, and make sure your team stick to them.

4. Define tasks
Break down what you want to accomplish into tasks. Once you’ve set a deadline, define what your plan will achieve for the day, week, and month. Estimate how much time you will spend on each task per day and plan at that level. For example, next Monday your task may be to: define an appropriate reporting structure. For this, it is better to define the steps that you need to develop to achieve this task. If one of these steps takes longer than you defined, you can adjust your schedule accordingly.

5. Measure progress

Keep an accurate time record of the progress you make. This will help you keep track of the schedule that has been defined. Review which people delivered faster than planned, rather than examining tasks that took longer than expected. If the completed work was faster than expected, was it rushed, or did the consultant use an innovative method? Could you then share this innovative method with the entire work team to reduce time? Reviewing the amount of time it takes to complete a task, it provides details on what to automate and what can be scheduled to reduce the risk of cost overruns.

6. Reward your team
To motivate teams, include rewards for reaching key milestones. For example, break the program down into phases linked to billing, and reward the team after completing each phase. For example, a reward for turning in time could be a day off of entertainment for the team.

7. Assign responsibilities
Hold the team accountable for the results by letting the key people in your life know what they are trying to do. A shared goal adds motivation to meet deadlines and increases profitable growth.

8. Record the evidence
In delivering a program, the company needs to create feedback loops to capture detailed notes and procedures. This detail provides information that will help you and the assurance team to publicize what is happening at delivery. Supporting the evidence of all events around the collaboration will help professional services companies understand where risk can occur and what the mitigation strategies are prior to project definition. Detailed records will also help organizations recognize where knowledge can be turned into “Artificial Experience” to deliver faster and better quality projects.

By recognizing and retaining the “Artificial Experience” it will allow organizations to:
Create knowledge assets that provide the ability to reduce the skills required to deliver a result;
10 tips to shorten the learning curve; why learning faster can improve profitability Improve project reliability and quality.
Protect the business against the loss of knowledge assets, that is, people leave.
9. Track the IRR
Make sure the IRR is visible. Keep in mind that a project often has many stakeholders representing more than a single economy. Projects have many collaborators who are regularly employed and rewarded in different ways, which in turn may have different priorities. Having a single plan and agenda helps teams stay motivated and ready for delivery.

10. Feedback
Using an independent peer review process is one of the fastest ways to identify valuable learnings. At Hydra, the expert project assurance team reviews work plans, related collaboration, and feedback loops, including suggestions on how to improve them. This feedback can speed up the capture of the “Artificial Experience”; and visibility into the logic behind the process, helps you understand how and where to make changes to deliver evidence-based improvements to deliver projects faster.

There’s another reason for wanting to speed up your learning curve … by wanting to learn something and get it right, you will feel better about the initiatives your company offers. So the next time you set out to win a new client, you can show how successful projects are delivered at less risk. Which means, it will generate income according to its newly developed capacity. In other words, identify and share the “Artificial Experience”, to shorten the learning curve and generate more revenue, faster.