Other bottlenecks may be institutional, and harder to crack.
Dan Rockwell, who writes the blog Leadership Freak, recalls suggesting a web application to an operations director. The director was avidly interested at first, but later changed his mind, saying, “If it means our IT department has to create or do something new, we can’t do it.”
“I immediately knew the IT department was the place where that company’s ‘unfinished goods’ piled up and production stalled,” Rockwell writes.1
Could your IT department be causing bottlenecks? If you’re hearing complaints from employees about slow systems or processes, the answer may be yes. Of course, chances are, IT already has suspicions about what’s slowing things down. The key to preventing bottlenecks that affect your organization is to follow up to make sure they make progress towards fixing it.
Could you be the bottleneck?
“If you’ve been playing poker for half an hour and you still don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.” – Warren Buffett
Let’s face it: managers can be bottlenecks, too, and they’re often the last to know it.
Take a hard look in the mirror. Are you often slow to finish your part of a project? Are you so swamped with work that you sometimes lose track of priorities? Do you let approvals pile up?