Problems within the Team with Time Management
In assessing the operations of the team charged with the responsibility of compensating people who suffer injuries due to crime, I have realised that there is a problem with time management. Making compensation to people who have suffered injuries in result of crimes is a process that should be handled with urgency. Compensations are meant to reimburse the injured people for the losses that come with the injuries. Therefore, timely compensations can go a long way in providing relief to the people who suffer injuries as a result of crime. However, the organisation does not make compensations in good time because of the problem of time management. The comparison with the Germany counterpart shows the organisation takes a long time to process compensations. Since the team dealing with processing compensation takes a long time to complete the process, it shows that such team has problems with time management.
According to Throop & Castellucci (2009), the problem of time management is caused by various factors within the team. For instance, it can be noted that there is lack of specialisation and division of labour, especially within the sub-team that checks claim and makes compensation. In this sub-team, it is only the Head, Alan Briggs, and Joan Smith who have their responsibilities clearly outlined. Alan Briggs manages the team and counter-signs all payments. As for the other members of the team, they are assigned duties randomly. Moss (2014), noted that lack of specialisation and division of labour within the team leads to a lot of movement from one office to another and, therefore, time is wasted in the process. Papers also move from the team members to the team leader and back to the team members, a process that wastes even more time. Furthermore, the speed, at which the team members work, reduces because they handle many tasks.
I have noted with concern that there is a lack of urgency sense within the team that deals with checking claims and making payments. The laxity among the members of this team accounts for more time wastage. While the German equivalent takes 50 working days on average to make compensations, current team takes an average of 80 working days and may go up to 276 working days. It shows that the team is not running the process of making compensations with the urgency that is required.
Some team members are too slow, judging from the few cases that they work on, compared to the other team members. The team does not also single out serious cases to be given priority. Consequently, people who have serious cases have to wait for as long as it takes their claims to go through. Furthermore, Joan Smith and Alan Briggs, who are charged with the responsibility of putting final touches on the process, are not available all the time. It brings the whole process to a standstill until the two are available.
The manual process also contributes to the problem of time wastage. In this system, papers move from one person to another. Process completion also requires all involved members to be available at the office when the papers are being worked on. As it has already been mentioned, the process comes to a standstill when Alan Briggs and Joan Smith are not at their workplaces.
Solutions to the Problem of Time Management
The problem of time management can be solved by assigning all team members clear roles other than allowing them freedom to contribute wherever they feel they can. Having each member in charge of specific tasks will make them answerable for their duties. The team members will also have to work with speed to ensure that work does not come to a standstill. It will bring to an end the situation where some team members perform less than they are expected to at work. Furthermore, roles such as countersigning the forms should be delegated to as many team members as possible. This will eliminate cases of the process coming to standstill when the Head of the team or any other team member is absent.
The problem of time management can be completely solved through the introduction of a computerised system. The manual system wastes a lot of time, since papers have to be physically moved from one person to another. Having computerised the system will enable the team members to access the forms on their personal computers in their offices without making unnecessary movements. Sending and receiving letters as in the case with the manual system also wastes time. Therefore, the team charged with responsibility of developing a computerised system should move with speed to introduce it. The computerised system will be more efficient and effective and will, therefore, reduce operation costs in the long run.
The Problem of Teamwork
It also evident that the spirit of teamwork is lacking in the team, since most of the team members work strictly on the tasks that they have been assigned. Some team members do more work than their teammates. In fact, looking at the figures of the tasks that have been accomplished by each team member, one can tell that Sally Jones and John Booth are being overburdened. They have even complained about the situation, since they feel that some of their teammates do not work hard enough. Furthermore, the team does not work together very well because when one team member is absent, the other team members do not step in for him. This has particularly been witnessed when the Head of the team and Joan Smith are absent, since no one offers to cover their positions temporarily. Consequently, work is interrupted or is slowed down when some team members are absent.
As noted by Schermerhorn (2011), most problems within teams mainly stem from suspicion within the members. The older team members act with suspicion towards the younger team members. For, instance, members of the sub-team that deals with checking claims and making payments often perceive members who are charged with the responsibility of introducing a computerised system as people who are out drive them out of employment. This frustrates efforts of trying to build teamwork between the two teams. It should be noted that such lack of cooperation influences greatly the sub-team charged with the responsibility of introducing a computerised system. The older team members instead of looking at the bright side of the planned changes are only looking at the negative side. They also believe that the youthful team members have the motive to take over their positions. It is for this reason that the head of the team working on the introduction of a computerised system has been labelled a “rising star”.
Age differences amongst the team members also precipitate to the lack of teamwork. Older workers would prefer to work in positions that confer status. The older team members may be uncomfortable when working with their youthful counterparts. It should be noted that the youthful team members have a lot of energy and, therefore, work with higher speed. The speed at which these young team members work may put the older team members under pressure. Such pressure makes the older team members oppose the younger ones, making them reluctant to cooperate with them. Resistance to changes among the older team members also accounts for the lack of cooperation between the two teams. Since the older team members are afraid of the unknown once a computerised system is introduced, they resist any changes whatsoever.
To solve the problem of teamwork, Webne-Behrman (2008), suggests that a structure that confers status to the senior team members should be put in place. Although the senior team members may be slow in discharging their duties, their experience is important. The senior members are needed in guiding the young team members especially in situations where reference to past events has to be done. However, it does not mean that the responsibilities of the older team members should change. They can still work alongside their younger counterparts but play leadership roles. The older team members should be made to understand that their younger counterparts need guidance. They should also understand that the energy that their youthful counterparts possess is needed when there is a lot of work to do. On the other hand, the younger members should be made to understand that the older team members should be treated with respect.
Miller (2008), cautions that introduction of digital systems within the team should be done in a way that does not threaten the job security of team members. The older team members should be assured that they still have a role to play even with the introduction of a computerised system. It should be noted that some of the older people may resist such changes and, therefore, they should be assured of their place even in the face of such changes. They should also understand that a computerised system would be used to complement the manual process and accelerate operations.
Compensating people who have been injured because of crime is necessary in providing relief to such people. To provide the relief that is intended, compensation to the people who have been injured should be done as fast as possible. Therefore, introducing a computerised system in processing compensation for people who have been injured will go a long way in making the process more efficient and effective. However, the introduction of a computerised system should not render the older generation redundant. Their contribution is needed in providing guidance especially during the transition period.