Mortgage Grand Prix Continued: Manageability by Stewart Mednick

by 07 Jul 2009
Definition of manageability: that which can be managed; governable; tractable; contrivable Three time 500cc Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing World Champion Wayne Rainey improved his overall performance in part by creating an incremental method of improving performance. Part of that formula was to make his motorcycle handle better. In the business world, this equates to manageability. Before attempting to quantify manageability, it is worth deciding specifically what manageability is. The ISO-9000 standard for the evaluation of quality defines maintainability?a "close cousin" of manageability?as a set of attributes that bear on the effort needed to make specified modifications: stability, analyzability, changeability, and testability. These "abilities" aim to capture the ease with which a system or component can be modified to adapt to a changed environment, correct faults, or improve performance. Within the framework of this definition, I consider a system's manageability to be determined by the level of human effort required to keep that system operating at a satisfactory level. ?Something-Ability? seems to be a common thread for all these attributes of manageability. Let me also define ?Ability? - competence in an activity or occupation because of one's skill, training, or other qualification: the ability to race well. Ability is a general word for power. Manageability can then be defined by myself as the level of power created or importancy in an action to direct an activity. I will expand this notion of activity and the three elements of measure a bit further on. I have thrown a mind-boggling amount of information in a small area of this column. How this applies to your business may be more conceptual than the previous two other topics of efficiency and durability. Manageability is less substantive than efficiency and durability, which both can have a concrete metric. This is more subjective and therefore more debatable or open to interpretation on what level of quality or how labor-intensive each metric may become. Rainey?s definition applied to his motorcycle through its handling. His idea of ?handles well? can be much lower to mine. Experience and expectation play a huge part in this area. If I jump on a super-bike for the first time, my experience can be amazing, yet I would have ridden on a sub par bike according to Rainey?s standards. Then, how much effort will be needed to maintain or improve the handling of that motorcycle to be world champion material? How many people will be needed to perform the task and how long will it take? The time a task takes, the level of importance of that task and the amount of steps necessary to complete the task are three aspects to be considered when developing a metric for manageability. Again, this topic is expansive and I am touching on basic concepts in this column, but more research may be warranted if further information is desired. Stability, analyzability, changeability, and testability aim to capture the ease with which a system or component can be modified to adapt to a changed environment, correct faults, or improve performance as mentioned earlier. The time, amount of steps and importance of each are the metric used to measure. A very detailed analysis can be created for how well an action or project can be managed. Applying this concept to your business, I will use marketing as an example. I want to create and manage a mass mailing campaign. How stable or sustainable will mass mailing be to my target market? How much time and how much manpower will be need? How well can I analyze or measure its success? Will I be able to change or alter the mailing material or the area to where I choose to mail? How much manpower, effort or steps will it take to do so? How do I know the success of the mailing or test the process? Beta testing was developed for this very issue. You want to know that a profitable return of some kind is possible before a major investment in marketing is undertaken. In general, imagine that marketing campaign as if it were a motorcycle and think to yourself, ?how is the ride?? All of the aspects I discussed in the marketing example are dovetailed with durability and efficiency which both were covered in previous month?s columns. None of these three elements of success can be improved or developed without some how touching upon one another. I have stated many times how developing and running a business is a marathon and not a sprint. To make your race go faster (efficiency) last longer (durability) and handle better ( manageability) you need to develop a standard, improve it, do not break under the stress of a changing environment, rather change with it, and improve the skills necessary to implement and measure all that is done in your business. See you at the finish line! Stewart Mednick is a seasoned mortgage banker and published author. His writing focuses on relationship development, personal empowerment, customer satisfaction, marketing and sales techniques. Stewart is available for marketing consulting, personal coaching and training sessions. If you have a comment or a question for Stewart, contact him at 651-895-5122 or


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