In this series, we take a look at ways in which organizations, managers, and individuals can improve productivity and get better results by managing time better.
Organizations of all sizes constantly strive to be more efficient and productive. Over the years, automation and computerization have brought in significant improvements in efficiency and productivity to workplaces, and more work now gets done in less time, by fewer people. There is a thriving industry that caters to providing information, tips, and software applications that help busy people get things done and generally improve productivity in both individuals and organizations.
While this series isn’t intended to be a comprehensive “how-to” manual, we’ll cover tips that are relatively easy to follow, starting with time and project tracking. How can organizations, managers, and individuals start becoming more productive and get the desired results?
Veteran chefs, seasoned military commanders, and experienced business managers alike subscribe to the “Well begun is half done” philosophy. By thinking ahead about what is needed to get something done, and assembling the necessary ingredients and utensils before starting, a chef can whip up a multi-course meal in short order. Similarly, before carrying out an attack, a military commander will try to get good intelligence on combat zone geographical features, weather reports, the state of preparation of his opponents, and the readiness of his troops and logistics.
For business managers confronting challenges at work, some of the most basic processes, such as tracking employees’ work time or the status of a project, can become a recurring hassle. Organizations that have planned out their efficiency strategies often start with low-hanging fruit such as automated time and attendance tracking, and have put in place systems that allow them to be more efficient and waste less time on routine administrative functions such as approving a timesheet or a time off application.
Using appropriate tools
While automation and huge advances in software and hardware have contributed tremendously to improving overall productivity and results, some business processes—such as time tracking, for instance—are often still being performed manually. By automating routine processes such as reporting time and attendance and applying for time off, however, organizations can benefit from the multiplier effect of greater time savings, reduced paperwork, and less time spent on correcting manually entered timesheets.
While automated processes can make a big difference in freeing up valuable time that would otherwise be spent pushing paperwork, smart managers know that having a lot of data at hand is not the only way to improve processes and overall efficiency. By using tools that help analyze raw data—such as seeing how many employees or consultants it took to perform a particular project, or resources spent to complete a project—organizations can get insights that often directly impact productivity and profitability. Rather than doing things the way they were done earlier, improvements resulting from data from a workforce management solution can be surprisingly easy to implement and benefit from.
Today’s leading workforce productivity solutions offer real-time project status updates, and allow management to proactively make course corrections and strategic changes. Even in organizations with many thousands of employees, it is possible to monitor and direct employees toward successful and timely outcomes, as long as the right tools are used to keep track of project status. Such tools will allow for easy input of information such as hours spent, project milestones, and financial expenditures have proved to be a boon for organizations that strive for improved productivity and efficiency.
In a technologically driven business world where delays and procedural inconveniences can cost a company dearly, there is little reason to delay the adoption of systems that empower managers and employees alike in getting work done at the right time and with the desired outcomes.
In the next article in this series, we will take a look at more ways in which organizations and their employees can use their time more productively. Stay tuned!