If we measure the average time taken by a person in responding to the emails i.e. difference in seconds between time of arrival of the email to respond to and the time of sending the reply email (Let us call this A). If we measure the length of the email being responded to in terms of number of characters in the email being responded to (Let us call this B). Further, if we measure the number of characters in the reply mail (Let us call this C).
Now, if we give weights to A, B and C, p%, q% and r%, then we could get a useful measure for the velocity of the brain of a person.
Purist would say that velocity needs being in terms of displacement divided by time. So, if we consider x characters as equal to y meters, then the number of characters in the mail being responded to and the number of characters in the reply mail, i.e. B and C, could be computed in terms of meters. The time to respond is anyway in seconds. So, the formula could be as follows.
( (q% * B + r% * C) * (y/x) ) / (p% * A)
Though, it may be criticised that this calculation can ignore facts like the email being responded to may contain junk and thus have more number of characters. However, the formula should be still considered as reliable as ability to identify junk is also an important aspect for measuring the velocity of the brain.
However, an important aspect could not be considered by such a formula and that is whether the reply mail contains needed substance to have a measure whether the brain actually accumulate all needful from the input and articulated all requisites for a quality output.
This could be a useful Management Measure if there could be a way to evaluate the goodness of the reply. This could be also formulated as number of mails exchanged before the issue in discussion was closed (Let us call this D). If we also attach a weight for D, say s% (now the weights for A, B, C and D being p%, q%, r% and s%), then the formula would be as follows.
X = ( ( (q% * B + r% * C) * (y/x) ) / (p% * A) ) * (s% * D), where X is in meters/second.
If some more trouble is taken and the mails are classified in terms of the importance of the subject being discussed. We could call this classes as M1, M2, M3, … For simplicity, let us consider 3 classes as M1 – Major Value, M2 – Minor Value and M3 – Cosmetic Value. From analysis across the organisation, we could assign a monetary value to each classification of the mails. Say, our mapping is as follows.
M1 -> $H1 / (meter/second)
M2 -> $H2 / (meter/second)
M3 -> $H3 / (meter/second)
Suppose the count of emails in different classes is N1, N2, N3, … For our example, we only consider N1, N2 and N3 as the number of emails in classes M1, M2 and M3. We could find the velocity of each class of emails as X1, X2 and X3 using the above formula. That is to say.
X1 = ( ( (q% * B1 + r% * C1) * (y/x) ) / (p% * A1) ) * s% * D1), where A1 is the sum of time taken to answer all emails in class M1, B1 is the sum of the number of characters in the emails responded to in class M1, C1 is the sum of the number of characters in the replies emails and D1 is the sum of number of emails in each mail chain for emails in class M1.
We could do the same to find X2, X3 and so on.
We could then find the total value of the emails as per the following formula.
T = X1 * H1 + X2 * H2 + X3 * H3 + …, where unit of T is $.
Next, if we consider that the Employee’s annual salary is $S. Consider that the Employee needs performing g% of his tasks through exchanging emails. So, we would have a value for how much value the Employee needs creating through writing emails. The formula for this would be as follows.
W = (g% * S), where unit of W is $.
Consider that the employee works at an average of F number of days per year. So, the employee needs producing at least the following value through interactions through emails.
V = (W / F), where unit of V is $.
Now, all the management needs analysing is whether T is greater than V.
I have spoiled the future of all Managers like me. More than 90% of my time is assigned to writing emails.
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