These days, organizations faced with business growth weigh up their options very carefully before deciding to hire more people. Very often they try to boost the existing staff’s efficiency rather than create a position.
How can organizations help teams cope with the extra workload without seeing their overall efficiency and motivation drop? We’ve selected 4 solutions that will make your teams more efficient without damaging their morale:
What solutions boost performance?
When organizations need to manage more projects at once, several approaches have done the job. Streamlined processes and well-equipped staff are often mentioned, but don’t always deliver the goods. Whatever happens, you need a precise goal to make the investment pay off: relieve staff of time-intensive tasks that can be done automatically, help them get organized, and so on.
- Solution 1: share information in real time
It is vital for information to be shared instantly among members of the same team, and also between different departments, which all too often operate like so many silos. This also holds for outside contractors. In short, the whole enterprise ecosystem is concerned. We need to make sure that any decisions made or incoming data are factored in by everyone as soon as they are approved. This not only lets you move swiftly if a decision is holding up a project, it also reduces the risk of people heading in the wrong direction because they weren’t told about a decision made 3 weeks earlier. Over and above the 3 weeks wasted time, the impact on team morale is significant. In the case of a new product design project, for example, it might be the information that a certain component is not to be used. Or in a renovation project, the fact that the executive committee approved new furniture for the whole group 3 months earlier. What’s more, time is often wasted waiting for information from each stakeholder. Eliminating this wasted time could reduce total project duration and free up time for other projects.
- Solution 2: guarantee that procedures are applied by coupling them with tracking tools
When you invest time and maybe even outside consulting services on producing “fantastic” procedures that promise to save staff time and reduce risks, you expect to see an immediate impact on operational efficiency. But as time goes by and staff come and go, the procedures are gradually forgotten. One solution would be to write them into the management tool right from the outset, which is possible today with new-generation project management solutions. For some recurring activities, the tasks are pre-programmed into templates with explanations and document attachments to walk users through best practices each step of the way. There’s no way they can be overlooked or forgotten. No more procedures filed away in a dusty “newcomers” folder that no-one ever reads: newcomers are up to speed faster and there’s no risk of more senior staff forgetting them with time.
- Solution 3: make the best possible use of meeting time to boost efficiency
Even today, meetings are all too often called to “report on progress” with various ongoing projects. And when decisions have to be made to move forward, there’s not enough time left at the end of the meeting to do it efficiently, if at all. Before the meeting, everyone should be aware of the progress status and know what issues are holding things up and have to be addressed. This way, the various stakeholders have had time to digest the information and think carefully about it before meeting up. Meeting time is used to make decisions rather than share information.
- Solution 4: use outside contractors
Calling in outside contractors is another way of increasing the number of projects handled without increasing the organization’s headcount. However the time necessarily spent managing and coordinating them is often underestimated and can mount up quickly. It is very complicated to manage teams of contractors and include them in the processes for monitoring in-house teams. These contractors are usually trained like new recruits. It takes an extra effort on the part of the client organization to include them in their teams and “induct” them. The advantage of this option is that the contractors, as specialized professionals, are more rapidly operational. Even so, a performance survey on the top 100 European retailers shows that only 42% of them see this solution as means to achieve operational efficiency. On the other hand, 81% of them think that bringing in a real-time management tool is a more effective way to improve operations. (Read the full study here)
A project management solution does a better job of coordinating and synchronizing project stakeholders. When one team is waiting on a deliverable from another team, this type of solution streamlines the process. An automatic notification system informs everyone involved and stakeholders are better synchronized. Additionally, a good project management tool saves time on reporting, since the project manager and team managers are automatically kept informed of progress on each task. Information is automatically consolidated, without any time or effort on the part of project team members. Without a project management solution, the team has no road map or means of tracking the tasks carried out. As a result, any contingencies that arise between meetings are not handled effectively and disrupt smooth completion of the project. Learn here how a project management tool can add value for project contributors at every level.
One2Team, powering efficiency
One2Team is a tool that makes an organization’s whole ecosystem (senior managers, contractors, operatives, etc.) more efficient.
It is ideal for operatives: it makes it clear who is responsible for doing what, while keeping reporting to a minimum and facilitating workload management.
It is perfect for project leaders and team managers: it provides a comprehensive overview and gathers information for them, generating reports for a more efficient analysis of business operations. This significant time saving helps project leaders manage more projects with the same resources and people, or even manage more teams.
Ultimately, One2Team gives top management an accurate, all-inclusive view of progress on the organization’s projects, since the solution eliminates any time lapse between data entry and data consolidation. Information reflects the reality in the field in real time, with an appropriate, scalable level of detail, for faster, easier decision making.
Click here to request a demonstration of One2Team and learn how the solution can add value to your operations :