I’ve been doing some work under what I call the “Continuous Improvements” banner recently. These tend to be small bits of automation that help our report writers. They aren’t massive projects, and are often just changes to the report templates to help with consistency.

We asked them a couple of questions about recent changes that were focussed on a specific report. The questions were “What did you feel about working on the report before the changes were made?”, and then “How do you feel now?”. Fortunately, for me, all the scores went up. The best uplift was from a 1.9/5 average score to a 4.1/5 average score. This made me feel like the changes were worthwhile. But that was only half of it. The team also got to add comments to their scores. And a couple of them said that I’d saved them 5 or more minutes per report.

With the help of this diagram, and the knowledge that the team write 50 or so of these per day, I worked out that I’d saved them 9 months over the course of 5 years. Or almost 2 months per year. All for at most a days effort - split across talking, doing, testing, communicating and releasing.

Is it worth the time?

So yes, that really was worth the time. Not only have I helped them feel better about writing them, I’ve saved them time as well. Win!