and communications, almost any product or service can be outsourced. From the list generated in step two, the work in step three is to transfer the work that can be done better or more cheaply than be done in house.


There are a number of problems that can arise in this stage. The first is finding capable and cost effective outsource resources. A number of books, including The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris tells how to navigate through this project. The second problem comes with employees taking issue with losing work. This can be a big hurdle when working with unions. The only way Abonar has seen this succeed in these circumstances is when no layoffs are attached to the outsourcing of the work. The third issue comes with the moral argument of “exploiting” low wage countries for gain in North America. We in Abonar see this as being no different than searching a number of stores to find the right product at the right price. We feel that exporting work to developing countries helps them to develop economic activity and a thriving middle class. This does more to help such countries than any aid package can. Another argument is some people think that exporting work outside of Canada is unpatriotic. For these people, there are ample opportunities within Canada to outsource activities. Others see supporting Canadian businesses that can’t compete as artificially propping them up. In addition, such activity reduces Canadian business’ ability to compete in the world economy.
At the end of step three, the organization has gotten rid of unimportant work and farmed out the work that can be done better elsewhere. The real fun starts in step four.


Step 4: Automation


If you have skipped to this section to learn to automate your existing processes, forget it. If you automate an inefficient process, you end up multiplying the inefficiency. This process only works when the prior three steps are in place. For any manager of an organization, the goal of automation is to eliminate the need of the manager. There are several ways that technology can help you automate procedures and your employees can be of great assistance in doing this.


The non-technological aspect to automation concerns decision points and delegation. The manager can start this process by noting every decision point in a regular business day. The manager can ask employees for help by getting them to email questions to her/him. After a couple of weeks, organize the questions in the categories that come out. You will find that the majority of questions come in three to five main questions. A training manual/FAQ section is written to give employees direction. This is a very powerful tool in freeing up time. The manager does not need to spend time on decisions that can be made by employees. Equally as important, employees don’t need to wait to get approval for decisions they are in a better position to make.


There are a number of unique situations that come up. The way to deal with these situations is delegation. This could come under a blanket statement of “make the customer happy and spend under $100 to do so.” This should change the frequency of decisions from a constant barrage to a small list of infrequent, unusual questions.


At this point you may think that it is foolhardy to try to get rid of your job. This flies in the face of conventional wisdom where you demonstrate your value by working hard and doing lots of tasks. This thinking is backwards. Businesses thrive or fail based on results; there is no “E” for effort section reflected in stock prices. A manager that has the desire to eliminate his/her job shows the organization an orientation to improve the business through increasing the efficiency and productivity of people and assets is vital.


Once the organization has gone through this automation, the work now fits the people. This is enough for many organizations. The last step is the “graduate studies” step. This is high risk/high reward territory, so step out if you dare!


Step 5: Fire


The total quality revolution of the 1980’s and 1990’s were a great time for customers. Organizations transformed themselves to be able to satisfy customer needs.-->



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