Efficiency. It seems to be the word of the year, with every digital team focused on doing more with less, while continuing to move fast and grow their business. For many, efficiency means to cut team budgets, but success depends on more than just minimizing resources.
According to our latest report, The Efficiency Index, the biggest impact is the time spent on digital priorities that may or may not impact the business. And the biggest culprits of all? Escalations and misalignment within teams. These digital distractions can take time away from what matters most to both the business and the customer.
Let’s explore the biggest findings from the report to understand why and what opportunities there are to solve these issues.
The cost of indecision.
The secret to a more efficient team isn’t necessarily found in “how” they choose to solve a problem, but “why” they choose to solve it in the first place.. Teams inability to identify and therefore need to debate what are the right things to focus on takes time and in many cases can deter them from focusing on that which actually impacts the business.
Nowhere does this happen more than with outside escalations. Our report findings show that unnecessary executive escalations, such as forwarding website complaints from friends or relatives, cost the digital team a day a week, but only seeing 25% or less of those digital issues have an actual impact on their business. We did the math and determined that this means the average digital team wastes two months each year just on escalations.
Escalations aren’t the only detractor that comes from indecision. Our report found a number of other activities, such as false positives, where teams wasted time on projects that had little impact on their business. In each of these cases teams don’t necessarily need to work faster. Instead it’s about working smarter, identifying what will in fact move the needle for the business.
Inefficiencies can cost organizations their resilience in an unstable market.
Losing two months a year on escalations is not just an inconvenience, it can have a significant impact on cost savings and business stability – especially in a market that continues to fluctuate by the second. Digital leaders reported improvements in mean time to resolution could save them up to $1M per month!
Outside of actual financial stability, investments in efficiency are also necessary to continue to meet customers rapidly changing expectations and to iterate ahead of competition to remain relevant in today’s crowded markets. Customers expect each experience to be on par with their last great experience and if it doesn’t hit the mark, they will find a competitor who will. Yet, escalations, misalignment and distractions are causing digital teams to spend less time on new innovations and the majority of digital leaders (77%) have had to push off the majority of planned innovations to next year.
True efficiency lies in expertise and alignment.
To move faster, with confidence that each action will impact the business, digital teams need to build alignment around a central goal. When asked, digital leaders noted that the biggest difference between an efficient and inefficient team came down to their ability to understand how their work impacts business KPIs and their ability to prioritize projects based on business KPIs.
That understanding isn’t just created overnight. It requires closing the gaps in expertise seen across digital teams today. In fact, our report finds 47% of digital leaders see less than half their members as digital experts. If teams experience turnover, this problem is exacerbated as new hires need time to build up enough job expertise to efficiently troubleshoot digital issues on their own. The good news? Our findings show that AI and other technologies could change the way teams adopt and harness expertise.
When consumer needs are evolving faster than ever, digital efficiency is not just about building leaner teams and processes. It’s about focusing on what matters most to the business, exceeding customer expectations, while minimizing costs. This is how today’s leading digital enterprises are empowering alignment across teams, enabling more opportunities to grow revenue, build loyalty and surprise and delight customers.
For a deeper look into other digital detractors, the costs of inefficiency and how new tech, like AI, can improve digital expertise, download the 2023 Efficiency Index: quantummetric.com/resources/report/the-efficiency-index/