The Cost of Doing Nothing

While it is a fact that the value of effective project management and impactful leadership training can be measured in dollars and days these quantitative metrics only tell a part of the story. In fact, the direct costs are only the tip of the iceberg when we consider the real costs of ineffective communications.

Studies show that organizations with mature communication processes are as much as 25% more effective in meeting original goals. On-time and within budget execution can be improved by more than 30% through effective communication. (PMI Pulse of the Profession™ In-Depth Report: The Essential Role of Communications (2013)

It’s easy for almost anyone in a leadership position to observe this phenomenon and understand the impact. When effective and timely communications are taking place the team knows what to do. They understand expectations and work together collaboratively to solve problems. The people encourage and help one another. Motivation, innovation, and creativity are evident and abundant as the team holds itself accountable and responsible to deadlines, values, and goals.

While this truth is obvious to all it is much easier to discuss than to implement. Organizations grow and evolve like trees with the trunk being the core values, missions and visions. Branches grow in multiple directions at varying rates depending on their circumstances and environment. Relationships with other branches and in some cases luck (not being on the side of the tree that gets struck by lightning) affect the rate and direction of growth. Smaller branches representing projects and teams each with a set of leaves to enable and facilitate the growth and productivity of those branches.

As organizations grow, mature, and evolve, communication between branches can become obscured. Without an effective communications process and protocol, communications can become strained and even scarce. In the absence of real information, people tend to fill in the gaps with obsolete data. Rumors and gossip become rampant and all of this results in declining team performance.

Effective communications are often cited as the root cause for a plethora of symptoms including low employee morale and high turnover. The ability to facilitate effective meetings, resolve interpersonal conflict, and understand how to get things done quickly and effectively in fast-paced environments is challenging, rewarding, and absolutely essential to marketplace leadership, reduced employee turn-over and excellence in execution.

And so, the cost of doing nothing? 25-50% reduction in efficiency. This means either increasing the size of the staff or risking team burnout through overwork. Using only a 10% improvement attribute, this means that for training investment of $10,000 you get back $100,000 of value for every $1 million dollars of budget. While more difficult to measure, the intangible aspects of the ROI including improved morale and reduced turnover must not be overlooked! These hidden costs can literally bring operations to a halt. There is no question about the value of implementing an effective communications process. The only question is how soon can we begin evaluating and evolving your processes to help your teams achieve new levels of excellence, engagement, and employee satisfaction?