Are you working with a team to run your small business in the UK? If you are, then it’s likely that you hold regular meetings to catch up on tasks and lay out new things to be done. Certainly, having regular meetings is a good way of doing project management, but meetings suck up a lot of time. But thankfully, it’s the 21st century, so there is a better way.
Having too many meetings is a waste of time and effort, and can even be counter-productive.
Picture the typical meeting in a company board room. You likely would see people half-asleep, on their phones, and spacing out. In short, almost nobody is paying close attention to the person speaking in front. Also, you see almost nobody taking notes. That means after the meeting, nearly everyone would likely forget what’s been discussed. The next day, the people keep asking questions that were already answered in the meeting.
This is especially true when holding online meetings via Skype, Google Hangouts, etc. Everyone is prone to distraction, since no one can see what they’re doing on their respective devices. There’s almost no way to ensure everyone pays attention and understands the agenda well enough.
What a total waste of time.
The better way to do it is through Project Management Software.
With this, you can assign tasks only to the people concerned.
Of course, they can also interact with you through the software. You can discuss anything you want, but again, only the people concerned with that task will have access to it. Each person can focus on what he needs to do. This way, you won’t be wasting other people’s time discussing things that are not their concerns. However, for the project managers, they can have access to everything.
Each new project you have and task you assign is automatically saved to the software, letting others access it later on to review instructions, set schedules, ask for clarifications, and give updates. Your team can tick off tasks that are done, and you can monitor the progress of each project accordingly.
Also, people assigned to tasks can be notified of their new assignments right away. So even if they’re away from you, they can still know what they need to do.
Since everything is recorded, your team can always review their tasks if they forget.
Having this semi-permanent record of what they need to do is another great time-saver. They don’t need to bug you with unnecessary questions about specific instructions, dates, schedules, etc. They would only ask questions about things that weren’t mentioned beforehand. If they forget something, they just need to go back to the software and review the task.
That last point is what makes written communication far more effective than meetings. And having good written communication is exactly what project management software can give you.
There are a number of good project management apps to choose from.
One example is Basecamp. It’s an all-in-one program that allows you not only to do the things above, but also share Google docs, upload files, and search messages and threads all throughout your various projects. Another is Trello, which employs a project management model used by Toyota.
These programs will cost you money, though. But in the long term, the cost will be worth it, because it makes management much easier and will save you a lot of time. Your team can then use their time more productively. And that means you’ll have more time to make your business grow!
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