Training your boss or the director of a company can be tricky. You want to exceed their expectations but not build this dependency that their regular process is to wait for the last minute.
In a previous post we described the situation of dealing with emergencies… all the time.
If you have a request form that has them fill in all the requirements necessary and routes the request to the right person, that’s a great start. But what should you do when the requests are “emergencies” every time?
Ideally, you would charge for the time you spend on their requests and increase the rate depending on how quickly the request needs to be turned around. Most office settings don’t allow you to bill a department for the time, but this process does happen in Information Systems (IS) or Information Technology (IT) departments. This is the best practice in these departments, though rarely seen outside of them.
Openness and transparency about your workload is a must. Telling your boss, or a Director, what their request would be getting in front of is a classic management technique. It helps them self prioritize. The Director may think, “Hmm, my quarterly sales report update, or the fate of the company report?“ This solution assumes that they will put the needs of the company in front of their own personal needs.
You may also train your boss or Director to use some “self service” solutions. Here are some general examples to explain this solution:
- Create reports that have common key performance indicators, and send them out on a reoccurring basis.
- Build reports that incorporate charts or PowerPoint slides. Make sure that that they can be quickly customized for a customer or product.
Real World Solution
This may sound strange, but one way to limit their requests is to get something in return. The intent is not to get a bribe or to blackmail, but to help them recognize how much they really need it. It doesn’t matter what you ask for, it can be as simple as an “I owe you.” The point is they see that this request comes at a price.
The ideal solution is not implemented very often because it acknowledges the “service” nature of business intelligence that is not located in IS or IT departments. Most companies automatically go for the backup solutions right away. Try to use those solutions, and when you still find bosses or Directors trying to circumvent the processes you’ve set up, I suggest the real world solution.
Photo Credit: Jacky Yuen