Working more efficiently

Efficiency and effectiveness are second nature to internal auditors. The words are frequently used when evaluating controls and forming opinions on the activities of others. Yet how often are they internalised? What of your own efficiency and effectiveness?

It is possible to be efficient without being effective and vice versa:

  • Reading a detailed manual to fix a leaking tap is effective although watching a two minute video is more efficient.
  • Responding to emails quickly is efficient but reduces efficiency at completing any task in hand.

It is important to balance the skills and good performance evaluation processes focus on rewarding what has been achieved (effectiveness) and also how it was achieved (efficiency).

We explore efficiency and provide ideas on how to work smarter rather than harder.

Are you efficient?

Being efficient is about getting to a quality end result quickly using the optimum effort.

Time is a precious commodity so it’s important that as individuals and as a team it is used wisely; to enable you to do more of the good stuff and less of the mundane!

Typical warning signs for inefficiency include;

How many did you check? Do you see any of these traits in your team?

Everyday ideas

This is not an exhaustive list or a tick list of things to work through. It is a collection of thoughts to offer practical advice on improving efficiency. Hopefully many will be familiar practices, if not they are ideas to try.

  • Natural highs. We instinctively know when we are at our best; some people are night-owls, able to draft insightful reports whilst the world sleeps, others are early-birds creating amazing designs as the dawn breaks. If you’re not sure, keep a log of how you feel at different times of the day for about a week, you’ll see a…