Use Scrum to Effectively Use Employee Time

By Mark C. Layton

Implementing scrum can help your employees use their time more effectively. In an age where social networks are becoming more prevalent by the day and Generation Y is straying away from conventional forms of communication, such as emails, Halton Housing Trust is taking a leap to decrease email usage within the office by actually banning it. It’s the kind of benefit you get from scrum. And Halton is doing that for a very good reason.

According to an article from The Guardian, “Independent research by Atos Origin highlighted that the average employee spends 40% of their working week dealing with internal emails which add no value to the business. In short, your colleagues only start working on anything of value from Wednesday each week. Another analysis found worrying levels of email traffic: of 95,000 emails sent, 75,000 were internal, while 68% of the 127,000 received also came from internal sources.”

As businesses try to improve efficiency and productivity, it’s apparent that internal emails can truly be viewed as a roadblock. If nearly half of an employee’s time is spent reading and responding to internal emails, there’s a problem.

“Email works on the basic principle of an adult-to-child relationship. Basically you have little or no choice over what you are ‘fed.’ . . . It is then your responsibility to sift through the pile to separate the wheat from the chaff,” the article stated.

Halton Holding Trust is on a mission to create a more adult-to-adult relationship within its organization, where the company will provide a variety of information and it’s up to employees to stay informed. Collaborative software enables employees to decide what they want to see and when.

The questions are twofold. Will this strategy work for Halton Holding Trust, and will other companies throughout the world adopt a similar email-free approach to internal communications? Ultimately only time will tell, although more and more organizations are realizing the benefits of increasing communication fidelity by moving from email to face-to-face conversations.