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Want to maximize the time you spend within your organization? Here’s a checklist designed by our experts.

Good leadership can make or break an organization, and every good leader knows when to seek guidance. That’s doubly true now, with a global economy that’s changing faster than anyone can predict. Whether you’re trying to adopt agile methodologies, outsource tech creation instead of building from scratch, or simply adjust to workplace dynamics in the COVID-19 era, it never hurts to ask an expert.

Master the Cloud

The cloud is a great collaboration tool that allows colleagues to view project progress and make changes quickly, but cloud solutions can also create new problems and waste time when they don’t work together. With too many point solutions, organizations end up with application sprawl, which often results in cloud solutions that fail to share valuable information. Also, be careful about shadow IT; make sure your services are secure and deliver the needed functionality.

Change the Way You Do Email

Some technologies waste more time than they save. Email can be stress-inducing, and ineffective email practices lead to wasted time. Keeping multiple colleagues cc’d on every email causes those colleagues to spend time opening emails, consuming information, and deciding whether to take action or not. Instead, send each email with a purpose and then summarize the info or action points necessary so each person can avoid scrolling through a never-ending email chain to figure out what to do.

Avoid Waterfall Practices

In many companies, one team hands off tasks to another in a linear fashion. This approach, called the waterfall model, has significant disadvantages compared to more agile, modern approaches. Tech teams need to remain adaptive and focus on making sure processes have the shortest development cycle possible because technology changes at such a rapid pace. Guiding organizational change toward agile methodologies requires sustained effort, time, and leadership support. If you want to go agile, you need to move beyond the waterfall approach. You have to change the way you work first.  

Network the Right Way

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing a rise in C-level virtual meetups, discussion tables, podcasts, and other opportunities to grow your professional network. At these events, ask questions, suggest advice, and bounce ideas around. Many leaders think their pain points are unique, but speaking with others can provide a quick reminder that everyone is working through similar issues.

Outsource Instead of Building New Technology

Avoid building new technology and launching unnecessary pilot projects that don’t directly solve a business problem. Companies must understand how proof-of-concept (POC) technologies can apply to their business needs. Technologies are maturing at a rapid pace, and POCs can result in a costly expense if it doesn’t provide value that can be tied back to the business. Many effective leaders outsource the tasks that require specific tech skills such as DevOps, quality assurance and testing, migration, etc. 

Fail Fast, Learn Faster

It’s critical to learn which tools, platforms, and processes give you and your leadership team the information needed to drive change, adjust course, and avoid stalls. Honest and direct communication between workgroups helps develop effective project queues and maintain dashboards to keep projects moving smoothly. Exposing problems and bottlenecks is necessary to ensure team buy-in. Most often, the technical teams will pick their own tools and technologies for solving a problem.

Adopt the Right Productivity Software 

Are emails counterproductive and distracting? Some prefer tools designed specifically for collaboration, such as monday.com, Slack, Trello, etc. 

These tools support a more agile approach to work that accelerates project progress. They help leaders quickly switch projects with full visibility into discussions and associated documents while enabling rapid prioritization and decision-making.

Ditch What Isn’t Working

Our experts said “the way we’ve always done things” is a red flag that typically conceals inefficient or out-of-date practices. New technologies yield new efficiencies, which by definition challenge older thinking. Organizational change can be difficult, but the long-term challenges of using outdated tech or processes will be even worse.

Stop Stirring the Past

Leaders can’t solve new problems with out-of-date thinking or traditional methodologies. They need to focus on the desired outcomes and then work backward from there. A results-based focus can also provide the perfect solution for tracking and managing performance when a portion of your employees work from home. How long they sit at their desk each day no longer matters—only the results of their work.

Control Multitasking

Employees are more productive when they have the necessary tools to manage time and prioritize projects. Our experts advise finding ways to keep your teams on task and ensure your project, collaboration, and ticketing platforms don’t interrupt complex tasks. However, keep in mind that it is counter-effective to enforce a platform that hinders processes implemented to improve deep thinking and quality of work, even if the system is designed to reduce multitasking.