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Attention to Detail: How Do You Measure Productivity?

David Lykken
May 19, 2016

On the May 16 episode of my Lykken on Lending podcast, an interesting conversation arose on the issue of productivity in the mortgage industry. After Motivity's John Maynell shared his weekly key performance indicator on the "submitted to initial decision," measured in hours. Alice Alvey made the comment that many companies focus only on days rather than hours. Then, cohost Andy Schell mentioned that he had work with companies that even go down the minutes.

All of this got me thinking about the importance of paying attention to detail in the mortgage industry. All companies have benchmarks for various activities. There are annual reviews, quarterly reviews, and monthly reviews. But few companies boil down measuring their activities to days, let alone hours or minutes. The problem is that it's difficult to tell how productive you've actually been when you let an entire month go by before you actually take inventory. The more frequently you measure your activities, the more opportunities you have to fix problems and strengthen your processes.

In the mortgage industry, like many service industries, time is money. Most of us are great about squeezing everything we can out each month. But few of us distill that activity down to daily or hourly tasks. Of course, there always needs to be some wiggle room. Issues come up, and time needs to be set aside for handling them. Nevertheless, we have no excuse for not knowing how our people spend their time. We can't know we needs improvement unless we monitor how that time is spent—not just monthly, maybe not even just daily. Maybe we need to focus more on hours and minutes. We can use all the time we can get ...

David Lykken, a 43-year veteran of the mortgage industry, is president of Transformational Mortgage Solutions (TMS), a management consulting firm that provides transformative business strategies to owners and “C-Level” executives via consulting, executive coaching and various communications strategies. He is a frequent guest on FOX Business News and hosts his own weekly podcast called “Lykken On Lending” heard Monday’s at 1:00 p.m. ET at David’s phone number is (512) 759-0999 and his e-mail is [email protected].


May 19, 2016