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Top 12 Ways To Improve Your Team’s Task Management And EfficiencyGeorge
Have you ever seen a team so effective and productive that it almost looks like they have cast some productivity spell? At Swip, we help, create and study teams like that. During our time, we’ve found twelve ways to improve your team’s flow and task management. Read them carefully and implement them to make your task management better. Without further ado, here are the twelve ways to improve your team efficiency and task management:
1. To be champion you need to have champions
There is a reason this is first – it’s the biggest improvement. Have a feature/objective/niche champion. Have a person to own this part and to be both proud and responsible for it working. Everyone wants to be a hero. Give your team members the chance to be one.
2. A little competition
Nothing energizes the team better than some friendly productive competition. Be it between two niches or just a competition in completing a task faster, it will increase both the efficiency and the satisfaction at your team. Just make sure to keep it friendly and to frame it around the progress of the team/company.
3. When it comes to task management tool – Less is more
A task management tool that requires too much thinking (or even training) to start using, will kill your efficiency over time. Tools are made to help, not break. Strive for simpler and intuitive tools.
4. Prioritize correctly and highlight the next important things
Make sure your team is on the same page in terms of – the next few most important things. We all need to push in the same direction in order to be moving forward, right? Don’t forget to find and do the quick wins first – this will give your team feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction and drive them through the hard times.
5. Just the name of the task is not enough
Typing just the name of the task is not enough. Not only it can be read differently depending on the context, but it causes more troubles than help to the reader. Be sure to put a short yet complete description. Break the task into subtasks if your task management system allows it(if not, think long and hard about it). Don’t forget to assign the owner to the task. Allow team-mates to communicate, reassign and move the tasks through the flow freely. Be an enabler, not the bottleneck.
6. Keep your tasks consistently small
Awareness of the size of the task is a key factor when trying to achieve fast throughput(completing a task fast and starting a new one). Make sure your tasks are consistently small in size – more than 4 subtasks should be a warning sign that the things are getting fat. Fat things move slow – don’t get fat.
7. Not enough communication is bad
Your task management tool can only take so far on its own. You cannot skip talking to eachother and expect peak performance. This is especially true for distributed teams that don’t see each other faces regularly. In fact, if your team skips video calls they will end up viewing each other as just some text in the chat box – it’s easy to dislike and hate some letters. Don’t let dislike and hate in your team.
8. Too much communication is bad
On the other side is over-communicating – the “Death by status meeting” every hour. Keep the balance of your communication – after all your team’s task is to perform work. It should not be constantly broken by meetings and calls.
9. Use your meetings time efficiently
Boring meetings are the opposite of efficiency. Make sure you provide agenda and latest status report before the meeting starts. Have your task management system help you with that.
Giving your team members the visibility and transparency to see how their work affects the team performance will result in even better performance and motivation. Additionally, the visibility of your team-mates task will help promote compassion and culture of “One for all and all for one” when the bad days come.
11. Build your team around your “A-players”
A side-effect of the improved visibility is that the so-called “A-players” emerge quite quickly. The whole team can easily see who is driving actively the team forward and who is just slacking. You should make sure you build your team to the strengths of your A-players and have the slackers challenged/removed.
12. One for all and all for one
Create a culture of caring and support in your team. Make sure that all team members are on the same page and understand that the team is as strong as its weakest link. That’s why helping and improving each other is of topmost importance.
Ok, What now?
Implementing one, two or all twelve of them will boost your team performance greatly. The best part is that they are easy to implement – you just need energy, motivation and a good and simple task management tool. Now choose the one you like the most and implement it tomorrow. Come by later to thank us 🙂
Photo credit: zagraves via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA