Business Owners Guide to Getting Stuff Done – Managing the Work

Business owners struggle with managing projects inside their business.

Depending on the business most don’t need a project management tool. Business are often weighed down with tools that no body uses. They get recommendations from peers, friends and the latest internet based ideas. These come in via social media, networking meetings or the local club get together.

Staff inside smaller operations are often juggling stuff in their heads. Priorities, deadlines and personal goals all get mixed up. This causes missed opportunities, disappointment with technology failures and poor health related to stress.

Managers and owners often don’t know when staff are overloaded. Often accepting unplanned tasks then delegating to staff under pressure. The phrase attributed to Rev Kennedy from 1856;

if you want any business done for you, you should ask a busy man to do it

Before those who might raise the “equality” issues here the phrase was re-work in 1895 to be politically correct.

I have struggled with this over time, with just having too much stuff to do. And too much stuck in my head. Causing juggled appointments, missed opportunities, deadline stress and poor family social events.

Lots of business think they get on quite ok with just calendars. If you sure that you get appointments, tasks and actions assigned, fine. Most don’t! Also missing the support of others when a reminder or just the question, R_U_OK, can be very helpful.

Being in technology, I see lots of tools. Over the years many come and go. I’ve also managed projects with sophisticated, charting services, work-package timelines and task critical paths.

When you don’t need a project management tool for your project. What do you do?

Simply being able to organise tasks into lists of actions. These have completed flags, and staff assignment capabilities. You can get to see all the projects underway, where they are up to and who’s responsible. Recently I’ve used both Trello and Asana for this.

Because I work with other business I get to see the benefits of these types of products. I also understand how they work and possible benefits. Also some of the pitfalls. One of those is having to switch between the tools when I change business tasks.

Recommendation; pick a tool that you like, fits your needs and can show a benefit to your staff. Something that can set reminders in calendars and trigger email prompts.

Managing staff workloads is increasingly important. Also, getting staff more involved in the outcomes in you business. A few years ago I went to a seminar which Jim Benson presented his personal Kan-ban model. This is a great methodology to unpack you head and get stuff organised.

Kan-ban tools I use, a white board for personal organisations. This also helps in the office, where others can see my work load. If used in a business to distribute work, it can be very effective. Some examples are in restaurants, where tasks can be shared with those with less work loads. This prompts business involvement and shared results success.

Again both Trello and Asana are good featured tools. They can be used to integrate into other tasks.

The Kan-ban process shared via Trello boards or Asana project boards with workload. Business owners, managers and other staff are able to see a colleague’s tasks and deadlines. Making the result of asking can you do this. Not resulting in the response, you want this by when?

It would seem that Asana has most of the benefits of Trello for visualising workloads. In addition Asana’s ability to run projects with a reasonable level of control. This suits both my project management and visualising my work load needs.

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