Saturday, October 18, 2008

Harness the power of the light bulb effect!

Most of us have heard the story of the light bulb effect, but if you have not, put attention to the next few lines: "A company was trying to determine which light bulb wattage could produce the better productivity for their workers. The project team base lined productivity using a standard 60 watt bulb and replaced it with a 75 watts; when they measured productivity again they were gladly surprised that workers were performing better, only 15 watts had made a difference in the outcome of many of the factory tasks. As management saw things were improving, they decided to try a 100 watts bulb, results were even more impressive which seemed to indicate the higher the wattage, the higher the workers productivity. One of the line managers was not entirely convinced with the idea and asked the team conducting the experiment if they could return to a 60 watts bulb instead of increasing to 125 watts to see if productivity would indeed go back to the original levels. Surprise, surprise, after returning to the original bulb wattage, productivity did not decrease to the original levels but increased even more. The team leading the experiment was perplexed, until they met with the line manager who was able to shine some light in the matter: "Every time the workers find out that there is a special task force team that will be implementing strategic changes in the factory, they tend to perform better, as they know people will notice the difference. As such every changed provided the workers an incentive to focus and work harder on their jobs. The workers did not even notice that it was the light bulbs wattage that changed, as this made little difference during the day, but they noticed that a special task force was walking the halls and watching them closely."
So, many of you will say, How is this relevant for the Business Intelligence industry…
Implementing a Business Intelligence project is like having a special task force walking the halls of the factory. Your company might experience a significant boom in productivity, just because you are able to measure things and people can focus on specific business problems. If you can harness this power, you can improve almost any process in the organization to the degree of helping your company improve the bottom line with the power of information.

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