The Risk of Procrastination
“My mission today is: Avoid, defer, postpone …”
Procrastinating is the action of leaving for tomorrow what we should do today.
This is given because people will prefer to postpone important activities that demand their attention, representing a certain complexity.
Instead these people will carry out minor activities that are more enjoyable.
It is understood to replace activities that are not very pleasant with more pleasant ones.
But “the important” by the “less important” is not so simple to see in principle.
The truth is that it is related to the inherent responsibility of the tasks, more if it has to do with the professional field.
Let’s look at a situation as an example
There is an activity to be carried out in the organization, which if successful, will result in profits.
But otherwise, that is to say that those responsible for this activity fail, they could be exposed to losing their jobs or not obtaining the expected bonuses.
So they will always be encouraged to take tasks that can be accomplished without difficulty and that are probably not the most important for the organization.
Procrastinating is a risk to which every organization is exposed.
A company that does not assume that it suffers, risks being underperforming, with very little chance of achieving its objectives.
The symptoms that some signs of procrastination can give us are observed through productivity and investment relationships and project management.
As well as the growth of organizational structures and staff.
This must be demonstrated through the analysis of indicators that are built for this purpose.
How is procrastination mitigated?
1.- Sensitization at all levels
Awareness raising is the first step that must be taken within the organization.
From Senior Management to the operational staff, you should know that the success of the organization lies with each person assuming the role assigned to him.
Another aspect to raise awareness is that making a mistake does not mean death or professional conviction.
These situations, in which a person makes a mistake, most of the time is the result of lack of training or supervision of the processes are very weak.
This allows the quality of services and products to deteriorate in the long run.
In principle, the biggest enemy that had operational risk management was the one who did not understand how if someone made a mistake, in a process he should report it.
The idea is not to punish, the idea is to learn, correct and improve.
While making mistakes does not deserve awards, it should not be punished.
Well, this leads to creating dark cultures that look for accomplices to hide faults and evade responsibilities.
2.- Clearly Defined Roles
All the personnel of the organization must know what their role in the organization is and, therefore, must fulfill the responsibilities for which they were hired.
To do this, staff must know how they will be evaluated and their responses and results measured.
Hence, virtually every position or role within the organizational process must have an indicator of performance or execution.
This contributes to the fact that on very few occasions assignments are evaded or “hidden” behind the person who assumes the responsibility, motivated to not have someone else do it.
This type of behavior is usually very destructive. Exhausts the resource overloaded with tasks for any reason.
This means that in the long term the company hires more staff than is necessary to cover those employees who are constantly procrastinating.
3.- Management Indicators
Indicators that establish simple relationships, such as the actual and projected execution time of the projects, the number of goals assigned and met by human resources.
As well as the execution time of each assigned activity, also considering the average number of activities per human resources under similar conditions.
As you can see, these indicators may have been constructed for another purpose, but they can certainly support certain procrastination factors.
At this point the important thing is that who will monitor these indicators.
If they are left in the hands of the person responsible for executing the activities, such pure measurements may not be obtained and the “who executes” vice is “who evaluates”.
I know there that the responsibility for supervision takes on much relevance in the management of indicators.
These three activities can be the initial steps to formally mitigate procrastination effectively and increase productivity and profitability.
Procrastination destroys economic value, in most organizations
Procrastination helps to increase costs over contracting and project delays.
This implies adding higher budget quotas without being able to explain it, unless it is accused of inflation or the mismanagement of third parties.
This often happens thanks to think that if I stop doing things, delaying a day or two, it will not greatly affect a project that is scheduled to last for months.
But if this is done by many people in many projects, the result will be the custom:
A single project will never be satisfactorily completed in time and at the expected costs.
In many organizations, when a person depends on a salary, it may not affect him, in the short term, if an activity ends on time.
Because regardless of the result, you know that your compensation will be paid without any problems.
Without a doubt, in the long term the company will lose a lot, because it will be late when it wants to correct the deviation or gap.
The operational risk management structure contributes to mitigating procrastination.
Although little is found about this type of risk or the factors related to people are within the scope of this practice.
We know that a fundamental part for the management of the human factor is the constant effort in training, staffing, knowledge management, remuneration policies.