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Delving Into Work Management

There is a quote which provides an accurate summation of how successful managers perform within a company.

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“The highest challenge inside organizations is to enable each person to contribute his or her unique talents and passion to accomplish the organization’s purpose.”– Stephen R. Covey

Managers often have complex roles in a company. The manager must ensure the work is complete on time, on budget and of expected quality. A delicate path must be trod between employees and upper management, both whom often have diverse views on how to accomplish this mission within the company. The role of the manager requires a person who understands the daily needs and issues that occur for producers and how to address them while keeping focus on the overall direction established by company leaders.

Work management is the way the manager approaches the role of handling these multi-pronged issues. To accomplish effective work management, you have to recognize where tools and automation need to be integrated into the daily activity.

“Work management is the way the manager approaches the role of handling these multi-pronged issues.”

A great example of using a work management tool is the time clock. In the 19th Century, the Rochester Recorder was introduced as a, clock card time recording machine. This fairly simple device made time management streamlined and consistent. Fast forward to today’s business environment and we find work management tools are innumerable; however, a manager needs to identify tools that perform as expected and which are not complicated to use. Then, careful planning must ensure the tool is integrated into the business. No easy task, especially when daily workflows must continue uninterrupted as the manager inserts efficiencies into the system.

When you know a daily task must get from point A to point G, you see that a system such as a process flow tool will help make sure you don’t have any issues when you reach point D, or E. When the process is laid out with input from everyone, the flow tends to quickly smooth out and results are more predictable. These tools also help the manager accumulate data to provide to upper management so that trends begin to appear, allowing for decisions that will guide the business.

I had a position once where I needed to use a particular project management scheduling tool. As I was being trained, my mentor went through screen after screen saying, “Ah, you don’t need to fill that in,” or, “Just insert a date, you can update it later.” I dutifully paid attention to the project tool and all the little workarounds I needed to insert or update later. Many data points were not even needed, but I could not customize the tool for my needs.

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Unfortunately, I quickly learned that a large portion of my time was working for the tool. The tool was not working for me. Fortunately, I found an easier tool and could, on a daily or weekly basis, spend just a few minutes adding new data and the output was easy to interpret and disseminate by automation. This taught me a valuable lesson about finding the right solutions, not just any solution.

Remember when many computer systems had to rely on dialup connections? Well imagine having to send large files via dialup. It was like watching paint dry. If you expect an employee to produce a certain amount of work a day, you have to find better ways for them to do so. Once you do, you make the job function more efficient, likely make the employee more content and capable, and you get the added bonus of having improved results that can be recognized by upper management. If employees are bogged down into repetitive tasks that eat up hours, the employees are likely not utilizing their talents for creative projects that can help the overall company by developing new or improved ideas or products. It specifically can happen when repetitive tasks are scattered across different platforms of work management and communication on top with endless emails and various business forms. In order to avoid any risk of this situation in your company or department, you have to have everything organized in one single system, like Comindware Tracker does it. With an easy set up and pre-designed workflow templates and electronic business forms you won’t spend extra time on exploring the product. On the opposite, the product will save your team’s time and efforts.

“Work management is not a part of the job, it is the job.”

Work management is not a part of the job, it is the job. How you approach managing your work and that of your employees is vital to the overall business health and growth.

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Debbie McRill currently works as a Documentation Program Manager at Aesbus Knowledge Solutions. She has built her career in both small businesses and fortune 100 companies (such as Hewlett-Packard in the role of a technical writer and project manager for over 10 years). Her experience also covers Six Sigma training, and creative writing as a hobby. Lives in Willis, Texas.

Posted on:  in Leadership, Project World