Process Drives Results
Sometimes the day to day work can overwhelm us. We want to deliver the best possible product to our clients, but getting there can be half the battle. This is where organization, clear plans and the right tools can make all the difference. If you are finding that staff is all too often battling deadlines with last minute solutions, pulling their hair out trying to identify the roadblocks to delivering the product or simply not giving you their best work despite their valiant attempts to do so, it might be time to evaluate the process. Here are some ways to look at your procedure based on David Allen's landmark book Getting Things Done.
Acting On It Now
The basic principle is to act immediately. This means identifying what needs immediate attention and what doesn't. It can be as simple as making a note that everyone on the project can read or using all your resources before handing a problem off to someone else. Here are some basics to follow.
Document it – Everything the client says is part of the project, so make a note of it. Using the project management module so all the team sees it will cut down on time wasted updating everyone in a meeting. This also applies to ideas you have for solutions. Don't carry information around in your head, share it with team members so everyone has input.
Plan Next Steps – Any project, no matter how big, is easier to do when you break it down into manageable chunks. This is where using a project management tool like EzPSA can help. Break the project down into steps, and then assign team members to those steps with easily understood goals and deadlines. Suddenly it all becomes easier to accomplish. Give The Good News – Got a new project? The larger and more complex the project, the more important it is that you deliver some good news to the client quickly. It must have value to them, but it can be as simple as giving milestones on the project or background on team members. But let them know right away that you have begun on their valued project. This goes in spades for your team members, who will move with more confidence if you quickly give them feedback and news on it.
Use All Resources – Sometimes we hit roadblocks on a project. That may mean bouncing the problem up the ladder, but consider all your sources first. Google is a great tool for finding solutions you may not have considered. Remember, it is highly unlikely you are the first person to hit this problem, and everyone loves to document their triumphs these days online. Check online, talk to co-workers; explore all other options before kicking it upstairs.
Staying Organized One of the most common reasons for a project to get bogged down is team members not using the software tools they have at hand. You may be using your EzPSA software for invoicing and customer interaction, but not utilizing everything it has for project management. Even in a tech-centric business like IT support, using the tools at hand means breaking old habits. Here are some suggestions to help with this:
Make Lists – You can keep track of "next up" lists with milestones connected to deadlines. Successive projects can be charted as well, like a "projects list" to keep everyone in the loop. If you have elements you are waiting for in the project, make a "resources to come list" part of the project as well.
Inbox Management – Things get lost in your email inbox quickly if it isn't managed. Archive old emails, act on anything in your inbox or file it away with a reminder in your calendar. Add items from the emails to your "to do list" or calendar them.
Do Daily Reviews – One of the best habits to get into is to schedule a time every day to review calendars, emails and project tools. Note what is coming up, what is past due and what you need to prepare for next week or tomorrow.
Use Your PSA Software to Get Stuff Done
This may sound overwhelming, but it is all small steps. There is a saying that once you have done something every day for a month it becomes a habit. Creating a habit of being organized can in the end save you time and money, reduce stress and give you an office that runs smoothly. Not every problem can be corrected using PSA software and daily habits, but it can make a difference. Getting stuff done, especially the small stuff, can lead to projects that come off easily and on time. This kind of a habit is the best kind to have, because in the end your entire office will benefit from it.
If your office could use the organization that good PSA software can deliver, why not check out EzPSA the software designed with the IT industry in mind? Everything we talk about here can be done quickly and easily with EzPSA. Contact us today to see for yourself how easy it is to get organized when you have the right PSA software to do it.