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Productivity Hacks: Keep the Team Focused

By Nick Price

This article was originally published on The Enterprisers Project

Over the past two weeks, IT leaders have shared their best tricks, tips, and techniques for staying productive throughout the day – whether it be smarter multitasking, or clever to-do list hacks.
This week, we take a look at how teams can impact productivity, and what IT leaders can do keep everyone focused on their goals.

Agenda required

Greg Franczyk, CTO, Madison Logic
“Today I don’t want to have a meeting where there isn’t one, an agenda, and two, some kind of document that describes what we’re discussing. We’ve noticed two major positive outcomes, the first is simply fewer meetings. The temptation to throw 30 minutes on the calendar to chat about something can be hard to overcome, and if there’s no initial investment it doesn’t cost someone anything to pull your whole team into a meeting. If you need to prepare a document, you might think twice about scheduling a ‘chat;’ moreover, you might even realize that the write-up is more than enough, and you don’t even need the meeting.
Second, everyone comes into the meeting with context – it’s like reading before a class. Before you even walk into class that day you’re familiar with the material, and things move much quicker. It also forces the organizer to be more thoughtful about their discussion. I don’t know how many times I’ve completely changed my mind about something as I wrote it out.”

Empower teams to find creative solutions

Yoryos Yeracaris, CTO, Interactions
“I work with my team to have us all aligned on a common set of goals. We talk about goals quarterly, weekly, even daily as we look for the best way to accomplish them. But then, I let the team decide the best way to achieve these goals. The ‘hack’ if you will is to empower the teams to be creative, to find ways to solve problems that I may not have thought about. Daily goal conversations help to streamline all of our short-term tasks, and also sets high expectations, which inspires the team to achieve more. The team being part of the process is essential to elicit pride and work ethic to achieve the goals.”

Productivity at a glance

J. Colin Petersen, President & CEO, J – I.T. Outsource
“For me, it’s all about the HUDs (heads up displays). We can create HUDs to gauge our overall patching and security update status across all machines and locations, daily productivity, tasks overdue and coming due, technician utilization and productivity, open sales opportunities and approaches toward quota, project plans, and remaining tasks. All at a glance. Managers and leadership can know instantly how their teams are doing and what can be done to correct any lingering issues.”

Nick Price

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