Productive at Our Core

June 27, 2019 by Lynn Faughey

In case you missed it, in addition to being National Vanilla Milkshake Day, June 20th was World Productivity Day. This lesser known day has been designated as a way to honor all aspects of productivity from organizations who have improved or are looking to improve their productivity to those companies that provide tools to help us all be more productive. Last month, Rose discussed delegating, which is one of the four D’s of productivity. Rose explained, “…as project managers our role is to lead, to guide and to delegate responsibility to our team.” As such, we are creating opportunities to be more productive. Productivity is a classic characteristic of a project manager, as we tend to organize our tasks towards a goal. In fact, at FlexPro, we talk about our three core values: Flexible, Productive and Professional.

One of the tools we utilize here at FlexPro is called Asana, which is an application created to help manage, organize and track projects. As defined in Wikipedia, ” Asana is a software-as-a-service designed to improve team collaboration and work management. It helps teams manage projects and tasks in one tool. Teams can create projects, assign work to teammates, specify deadlines, and communicate about tasks directly in Asana. It also includes reporting tools, file attachments, calendars, and more.” Around the office, I’m known as the Asana queen, integrating this tool into key parts of the business. It speaks to my sense of order and organization, and I particularly like the communication aspect. It’s a wonderful tool for keeping everyone updated and on the same page.

On the Asana blog this month, author Jenny Thai blogged about how to “Make every day more productive with Asana”. She offered several useful tips that could apply even to those who aren’t utilizing this tool. For example, the four D’s of productivity are highlighted below and offer practical strategies to keep your priorities in order. Thai suggests:

Defer: For tasks that are important, but not urgent, decide to work on them later in order to prioritize the most pressing work.

I’ve found that if I put off less important tasks and they are important enough, they will be addressed later; if not, they may even go from deferred to deleted.

Delegate:  For tasks that you don’t have the time or resources to deal with, yet still need to complete, look to re-assign to someone else on your team.

As Rose had discussed last month, practice letting go when your plate is already full in order to increase productivity and also keep your momentum.

Diminish: For work that’s both important and urgent, but could be accomplished with fewer resources, adjust the scope of the task.

(e.g., do we really need an excel spreadsheet for that financial analysis or is the “back of the napkin” swag good enough?)

Delete: When addressing a task that is neither important nor urgent, decide if the work is even  important or relevant enough to complete.

Weigh the options of non-essential tasks and the consequences of completing or not completing them. Has this task moved far enough down the priority list that it holds little or no value? Has the scope of the project changed and now rendered this task irrelevant?

In the end, whether you choose to use Asana, to do your own thing or to utilize a different tool, keeping your project moving forward and on track is the common goal we all strive for. Fortunately, in the world of project management, productivity is just part of our DNA and if you’re like me you appreciate tips and tools that help you accomplish those goals. If you haven’t heard of Asana, I highly recommend it and would be happy to discuss FlexPro’s use of it in more detail. Drop me a line or give me a call!

The FlexPro Group is a project management consulting firm, specializing in the Life Sciences industry since 2008. FlexPro combines industry-certified experts with proven project management processes and subject matter expertise to deliver results on-time and on-budget. Our focus areas include Product Development & Commercialization, Supply Chain Optimization, Integration Management, and Early-Stage Acceleration. Contact FlexPro today to learn more!

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