The automation era is at its peak, meaning companies in each industry are striving to have defined working processes. To work at the highest efficiency level and achieve individual and collective goals, you need a solid structure on which you can rely. If you or your team are struggling to find effectiveness, make sure to explore and understand what work management is all about.
For those with a vague understanding of the concept, here are a few key aspects you should know so you can implement a proper work management system.
First, the basics. Work Management uses a set of practices, tools, and systems that will allow you to distribute information and tasks among your team. This process will help every business successfully manage its workflows and workloads.
When a work management system is implemented correctly, teams gain a smoother flow of communication between project owners and stakeholders, which eventually leads to insightful feedback about teams’ performances.
Work management can align with each company’s goals since its primary purpose is to increase efficiency and profits by streamlining every operation. Basically, it’s about refining and optimizing every process.
If you’re still skeptical, here are some key benefits that may convince you to apply work management in your day-to-day activities:
Usually, work management is confused with project management because of their similarities. Though both aim to achieve effectiveness by centralizing tasks, communication, and resources, work management’s scope includes project and non-project activities. Project management, as the name indicates, focuses on one deliverable at a time.
In other words, project management narrows in on singular deliverables, like a hyper-focused portion of work management; it’s about planning and performing duties related to an individual project, which can even come from an external client. This means that team members involved set short-term goals and execute tasks with that project in mind. As you can imagine, the action plan is more rigid and mainly depends on a client’s expectations and budget.
On the other hand, work management processes are applied for both internal and external needs. The main difference between them is that work management focuses on the organization’s structure and tasks as a whole, including team interaction and their workflow.
Some studies revealed that only about 21% of companies have a project management system fully implemented. Though this is just a portion of work management, this stat shows how underestimated setting organized workflows is for company teams. If you’re willing to make a change and take your team to the next level, here is a quick guide you can use to implement a solid work management process.
The first step is to identify how effective your current workflow is and which areas require improvement. After that, try identifying the tasks you have and define what is needed to be done. You should write down the whole action plan to keep your team informed and use it as a guide if things get fuzzy.
Make sure to break down every task to determine, alongside your staff timeframes, resources, objectives, and the best strategy to complete them. After the how, when, and what are set, stick to the plan and ensure everyone is on the same page. This will guarantee your work management system’s success.
This part of the process is about setting deadlines. Keeping in mind the team’s insight and comments from the planning stage, the team leader should establish the workflow and map the workload across days, weeks, or months, depending on the objective. Following this work management schedule will let everyone know their responsibilities in detail, so they can organize their workdays and develop a plan to complete every task on time.
If you’re the one developing the schedule, make sure to remove any redundant tasks and consider extra time for any spontaneous or consuming activities such as meetings or reviews.
Now that everything is set on paper it is time to get down to work. In this step of the process you’ll be able to see how effective your planning and scheduling were. Though the idea is to work on tasks following the pre-defined plan, you can tweak your processes to prioritize any urgent work if things aren’t going as expected. Remember, the priority is to meet your deadlines and objectives on time.
An essential part of this work management stage is keeping track of when each task gets done. Nobody wants to miss a deadline, but sometimes plans don’t flow smoothly. That’s why following up with each team member’s work and schedule is crucial. Moving things around to improve efficiency and having backup plans to prevent eventualities will be easier if you are keeping tabs on how everything is progressing. This step is the prelude to the evaluation phase, so make sure to document all challenges, successes, communication, and any other valuable data for your analysis.
Once the week, month, or specified timeline has come to an end and a workflow has been tested long enough for review, it’s time to ask yourself: what went right and wrong, how many roadblocks you found during the process, and especially, what could have gone better. To answer these, you should analyze all the compiled information from each task; take notes of all the key takeaways that will help you refine your work management process for further projects.
In addition to analyzing the data, consult with your team about how they felt during the work process, and also show them any key findings from your evaluation; this way, you’ll be able to use this insight to improve your productivity.
Since work management is a process that involves several tasks from different areas, consider having a set of tools to ease up things. In addition to technological assets, testing out methodologies and techniques will help you find the right ways for efficiently managing your time and improving your concentration in the workplace.
Depending on your needs, there are different types of software you should keep in mind when you’re building out your work management toolset. These following tool types are the basics, so make sure to include them:
Work management is about simplifying your working process, so instead of using an app for each of these features, try using one software that includes them all. This way, you’ll have an easier time visualizing your team’s workload. Here are some work management platforms to check out:
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