Prioritizing is easy right? Well, maybe it’s not. Moving from “fire fighting productivity” to effective efficiency and prioritization is the key.
Hey, boss. Has this happened to you? Your team–super pumped about the work they’re delivering–comes to you to showcase their latest and greatest achievements. You’re so excited to share in their excitement! Only…when the work is unveiled, it’s precisely not the work you needed them to accomplish. What went wrong?
Prioritizing is easy right? Especially when you told your team a bunch of times what to focus on. And yet – here we are. Sadly, this less-than-ideal-situation is far too common. Focusing on the wrong tasks means your business is operating less efficiently. If it continues long enough, it will hurt your bottom line. Your business won’t grow at the pace it needs to. Important tasks will go unfinished. Your customers won’t have a good experience with your brand. Worse yet, you’ll feel like a micromanager, and your team will probably share that opinion.
There’s a certain buzz we all get from putting out fires. It’s this buzz that will make your team feel like they’re being productive. The “tyranny of the urgent” makes us think like we’re handling the most important thing first, and that feels like prioritization. Only, it’s not. It’s the loudest thing clamoring for our attention. Organizations that put the practice of prioritization as a primary function of their culture will succeed more than those that don’t. Here’s how to start:
Establish clear roles and responsibilities Does your team know who is responsible for what? Or are those lines slightly blurred? Determining which position is responsible for what task is the best way to ensure everyone stays in their own swimlanes (not cannonballing off the deep end).
Scorecards and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) What gets measured is more likely to get done. Once each role has their own specific responsibilities laid out, putting these expectations on a scorecard with key indicators of success is critical. That way your team will know exactly where they stand with what you expect, and helps your company move forward in the best direction.
Implement and optimize your project management system If you don’t have a project management system, now is the time to get one. Aside from the obvious benefits of keeping your team’s workload segmented and on track, a good project management system will help you and your team determine what is a project and what is a task. Or, said another way, what is a “big rock” to focus foundational success on, and what are tiny pebbles being thrown at your team’s capacity, unnecessarily weighing them down. Project management systems keep the main thing as the main thing, and will cut down on distractions, shiny objects, nice-to-do’s and all out time-killers.
Last, be sure to communicate your mission, vision, values and strategy to your team, often. These high level organizational mantras will keep you and your team aligned, moving in the same direction. When everyone knows why they’re showing up each day, and what is aligned with your company’s highest calling and destination, they’re more likely to execute on the most important aspects of the job.
Need to prioritize your priorities and not sure where to start? Launch Point is your solution. We put productivity to work by ensuring the ins and outs of your business are aligned, optimized and the most ideal for you and your team. Achieving company-wide goals is easy when your entire workforce is moving in the same direction. Contact us today for a complimentary discovery call.
Does this sound familiar? There is no consistency in your client experience or client delivery because everyone on your team has their own way of doing things. The ball gets dropped on your clients more often than it should be because there are no clear hand-offs or workflows to follow. Let’s talk!
How many times have you longed for increased productivity, for yourself or for your team? The most common loss-of-productivity complaints come with subjects like ‘too many emails,’ ‘endless meetings,’ and the dreaded to-do list that never seems to reach its finish line. At the end of the day, we’re slammed, buried and overwhelmed, and optimizing productivity seems like a rather far-out “nice to do” instead of a reality.
Solving for lost productivity would be an easy thing to do if we were only focusing on our own plate of responsibilities, right? But, we live in a networked and highly complex world. Therefore, our productivity problems rarely ever exist just on our plate, they’re being dished out from a buffet of other sources, too. So, how can we apply simple fixes to a complex issue?
- Consider setting some structure around your meetings. Are they currently operating as an informational all-you-can-eat? If so, consider a tiered approach, consistent with how information flows within your organization: first meet with your front-line staff to hear of their most pressing needs and issues, then your management staff, etc. That way you have a clear picture of the week, according to your hierarchy. Issues get escalated and can be reviewed in subsequent meetings. (And, do be sure to create a brief agenda for all meetings…to keep the team and yourself on track of what you’re actually trying to achieve by meeting together.)
- Too many emails and tasks tend to bury your team in their own respective to-do lists. Consider a joint project management tool, like Asana or Monday.com. This solution creates an environment where all tasks are kept visible to your teammates, and to yourself. This will open up team accountability by leaps and bounds and should help to solve for some pesky missed deadlines.
- Define communication channels appropriate to various situations. How many times has your workday been interrupted by a message from a teammate that turned out to be not-so-critical? And, have you ever missed an important message because it got buried in your inbox?
Some teams opt to create a la carte communication channels appropriate to the situation, rather than having only one channel for all communication. For example, Slack can be used as an instant messaging solution for your teammates to communicate in the moment. This is especially helpful for frontline employees who may need quick answers while working with your clients. With this in place, less urgent or timely communication can be rerouted to your inbox so you can respond as it’s feasible.
If productivity woes are weighing you down, contact us for an assessment on what can be done. Issues common to most small businesses can be mitigated with a few streamlining tips and tools. Our team at Launch Point can help identify and implement solutions quickly and efficiently after just a few discovery sessions. Book your consultation today.