This is a guest post by Sandra Faleris of SmBizWinningTips.
How does your business get from A to Z on projects, expansion efforts, and on-going tasks? After they are complete, what’s your method for tracking, reporting and reviewing? Managing tasks and work flow helps your employees, and the business, achieve goals and accomplish projects in a gratifying and efficient manner. There are positive side effects to becoming and staying organized.
Effective task management includes all aspects of a task that are important to track, such as its daily or weekly status, time spent, steps required to finish the task (internally or externally) and more.
5 primary groups of activities that can be tracked in nearly any business:
- Functional: These activities include everything that pertains to sales, employees, quality control, and customer delivery and satisfaction. Anything that moves the product or service from inception to completion would fall under the category of “functional”.
- Creative: Brainstorming, marketing, displays, business development, diversification.
- Service: Quality control, returns/refunds, special customers, unhappy customers, Mystery Shopping Programs, surveys, customer rewards programs.
- Project: Special projects outside of day-to-day operations would be in this category. Planning, cost-accounting, research, testing.
- Performance: Performance of your staff, products and services.
Using the help of online applications or software options can offer easy management solutions for moving tasks and projects through the pipeline quickly and effectively.
Do you need a project-tracking tool?
Go through this checklist to get a better idea if a project/task management online application would help you and your business. After all, in a small business, the more automated you are, the more time your employees have to effectively work on the projects and tasks. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you visually track projects and tasks? Or are you still using the verbal follow-up method?
- How often do projects get completed on time?
- Does everyone in the company understand their role in all projects and tasks?
- Are incremental steps given to help projects move forward more easily?
- Does overall blame happen when something isn’t accomplished because no one was originally assigned to the project?
- Do you feel on top of forward movement in every department, every day?
- Is your growth managed and broken down into projects and tasks that can be tracked?
- Are employees rewarded for accomplishing tasks on-time and on-budget?
- Do you consider everyone and everything an extension of you? For example, if you are the CPA, Attorney or other service professional and you have a support staff, do you give short and long term projects and goals? Or is everyone ready and waiting each day for instructions?
- Do you have a vision that is on paper, or just in your head?
If you answered “No” to more than two questions, an online project management tool is highly recommended.
Task management tools and software are available in many different formats and pricing options. Depending on your industry and business-use, it’s recommended to select the application best suited to your needs.
After implementing a new system, it will surprise everyone how quickly projects get successfully completed. It is gratifying to experience project completion, particularly when it helps propel the company forward.