Project Management Solutions for Better Business Efficiency
Are you a small business owner or a manager of a team of employees? Whichever category you fall into, you must at some point been faced with the challenge of managing employees to promote a more efficient and productive working environment. Seeing as running a business is a capital intensive venture with recurrent and unavoidable expenditure such as rent, power bills, repairs and maintenance, procurement and staff costs, if you do not have practices in place to enhance efficiency and productivity, you just might end up running at a loss.
Some employers and managers resort to sharp practices to promote efficiency only to have run-ins with labour unions and an unhappy, inefficient workforce. To avoid all this, read on for seven practices to ensure your business runs efficiently.
People can only be efficient when they know what they are doing and what is expected of them in the first place. Training is the way to provide learning opportunities for staff to gain new knowledge, hone their skills and discover new methods of doing things. Some companies shy away from training due to cost concerns, preferring to use the trial and error learning method with staff. Online training, webinars, and conferences are cost-effective options worth considering.
2. Connect With the Team
Running your team as an overseer managing workers on a plantation is not a management style that fosters team spirit. You are more likely to create an ‘us against them’ dynamic. Connecting with your staff, getting them to understand and share the organisation’s vision would make them more enthusiastic about their jobs. When your staff are emotionally engaged with your organisation, they put forth their best and even bring forward fresh ideas to take the organisation in the desired direction. Do not rely too much on emails and motivational quotes, get the engagement done in person. Plan team building sporting events or social gatherings to engage your staff in a relaxed atmosphere.
3. Reward the Team
As your staff don’t own the company, their zeal and commitment might not be as much as yours and may require some form of a reward system built around recognition for their support and hard work. Some managers concerned with keeping their overhead down offer ‘promotions’ without pay: a new title with increased responsibility but no additional pay or perks. More times than not, the results of this are counterproductive as you end up with staff disgruntled and disillusioned with the company. Inefficiency becomes the order of the day as your employees no longer care. Incentives need not always be monetary. A special meal with the Chief Executive Officer, additional leave days, free social/sports club memberships or public recognition are ways to encourage and reward hard-working employees.
4. Work Smart
A number of companies have time-consuming processes and routines that are not particularly relevant to the job and take up time that could have been widely used to complete tasks. Forty-minute meeting sessions every morning are a part of some companies’ routine. Other organisations are more focused on time spent at work than on actual work that got done. Are you that manager who gets all riled up seeing staff leaving at 5pm despite that being the official closing hour? Do you measure commitment by the length of time spent beyond stipulated closing times on a regular? Keep your eyes on the prize, focusing on productivity and results rather than time spent.
5. Consider Remote Work
Do you have an employee who is very smart, hardworking and committed to always getting the job done? Is this staff also a single parent with frequent time off work to address domestic matters? Or is the staff an only child with aged parents requiring frequent visits? You could lay off the employee and take your chances retraining a new hand or you could tap into the world of remote work. Consider offering the opportunity for such persons to work from home checking into the office for face to face meetings at agreed times. Oftentimes a lot of jobs do not require actually sitting in an office to get it done. With the use of a project management application such as Podio you can manage big data effectively with your team remotely. This means more efficiency and a happier working environment.
6. Keep your focus
Multitasking is a ‘thing’ in the business world with many employees taking pride in their supposed ability to do a thousand and one things all at the same time. The reality of it though is that a bunch of projects get picked at with the important stuff hardly getting done. Focus on priorities and do not bog down your employees with work that really can wait. Be clear on your expectations and the timeframe in which the task needs to be accomplished. Attempting to multitask is similar to a juggler trying to juggle ten balls all at once. Chances are high he can hang onto all balls if they are thrown in one at a time. Ten balls all at once will likely end with all of them on the ground and the juggler disoriented.
7. Communicate Clearly
Cases of messages getting lost in translation happens a lot more frequently than one would think. Send email messages directly to the person concerned rather than through a third party. Encourage open communication by not fostering a culture of fear where employees fear reprisals through appraisals. Employees in a healthy work environment feel free to share concerns, feedback on public perception of the organisation and ways things can be better done when open communication is encouraged. When the feedback is negative, endeavor not to react emotionally, lashing out at employees or threatening them with summary dismissal. Staff and humans, in general, tend to work more efficiently in a system where they feel heard rather than in an atmosphere of fear.
Manage Your Business Efficiently With the Polio Project Management Software
Future Solutions is an Authorised Podio Partner. By developing a project management solution, your organisation can manage big data and complex processes effectively and efficiently. We can help design and build your Podio platform from scratch, optimize your existing setup, and integrate your systems through custom API work amongst many other things.
2018 has started strongly, with many exciting developments for our clients.
We have been working on a Podio CRM system to match young people with childcare and training services. As part of this, we built a custom integration with Xero (cloud account system) and WooCommerce on a WordPress platform. Whilst these integrations took longer than expected to complete, we now have a firm base to build upon and will allow the client to build their own integrations on top.
Another major project was a one-of-a-kind mass purchasing and licence allocation function for an e-commerce platform, and linking that to a Podio database and integrated company invoicing function. We are not aware of any product on the market that can achieve what we built, and are very pleased with the early results: full public release follows in April.
The company continues to grow month after month, and is about to start work on several new builds in Q2.
If you would like to discuss how we could help your organisation to grow and develop, please do get in touch.
We are fortunate enough at Future Solutions to work alongside some fantastic organisations and help them achieve more in a fraction of the time and effort.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the projects we are working on at the moment:
- A stock management and communications platform for a furniture upcycling organisation
- A communications and project management platform for a youth organisation
- A CRM, e-commerce and customer portal for a childcare organisation
- A membership platform upgrade for a higher education organisation
- A client onboarding and contracting process for a social enterprise organisation
Sounds interesting? It is! Feel free to get in touch with us to see how Future Solutions could help your organisation achieve more. We offer a variety of services including business process consulting, implemention, support, development and web hosting.
2018 has been a great year so far: let’s make it even better…!
Today we are excited to announce the official launch of The Future Group!
The Future Group is a collection of organisations seeking to achieve positive change. Our vision is a society where all organisations are led by socially conscious people. Our mission is to create a more sustainable and brighter future, by inspiring individuals and supporting organisations to achieve their full potential.
We have four founding members: Future Foundations, Future Foundations Society CIC, Future Solutions, and our pioneering leadership movement Global Social Leaders. Bringing them together under one banner helps to communicate that they are all part of a bigger idea, that they all work together to achieve positive change, and they are all united.
We also have four key partners: Devas Club, Lovvol, Oxbridge Guardians, and our latest partner Role Models. All our partners work alongside us in our office hub in the Devas Club building (in Battersea, London), and share our vision and mission.
Find out more at our website: www.ourfuturegroup.com
We will be holding our launch day on Saturday 2nd December at the Devas Club in a jam-packed day of workshops, sessions, experiences, sport, and socials running throughout the building. Save the date! We are looking for members of our network to volunteer to lead a session that they are passionate about that is aligned with our vision and mission: sound like you? Please register your interest here.
Watch this space for further announcements and follow #ourfuturegroup on social media.
It’s a phrase you’ve almost certainly heard of, but few understand it’s real potential. More specifically, few understand its real potential to do harm.
Big data is the “macro-economic” view. It’s the collective interpretation of all the individual items/records into a summary/distilled soundbite. As a basic hypothetical example, 80% of people who eat an apple a day have better than average health.
On the face of it, big data has huge potential. If the statistic above is true, then all we need to do is eat more apples and we all have better health. But there lies its simultaneous weakness. If absolutely everyone ate an apple a day, the average health of the population overall increases; and therefore the marginal benefit of eating an apple a day disappears.
Most disturbingly of all, the inverse position now becomes true: now, if you DON’T eat an apple a day, there’s an 80% chance that you will have below average health.
So when using big data for decision making, trend analysis, or any other purpose, you must remember the three golden rules:
- Past: your data is collected from things that have happened already. It is not perfect. It is not future proof. It is already old.
- Present: make the right decisions and choices based on what you know and can deduce today.
- Future: embrace change, encourage new thinking, accept you don’t know what will be true. Innovate. Then do it again.
At Future Solutions, when we build advanced automated processing routines for our clients, we always seek to understand before being understood: we want to learn the past. That helps us understand the present: what are the pain points, the frustrations, the peaks and the troughs. Then we provoke dreams of the future: if X were no object, what would be true?
We know however that as soon as we start building the dream future state – in the present – it will soon become the past. As soon as our clients see what their system can now do for them in a fraction of the time it took previously, they start to dream even bigger and what could be possible given their new present state.
And that’s why we do what we do.
And we love it.
Big (data) time.
Here at Future Solutions, we have built thousands of automations and integrations. The best thing about automations and integrations is when they’re there, they’re there. You don’t need to think about them any more. To quote the late great Steve Jobs, “It just works“.
But words can only say so much… What you need is proof, right? Well let’s look at some evidence…
That’s 1 person doing the work of a full time team of 4.
Another client is a training company with 7 full time employees. They use Podio with Globiflow for all their project management, reporting and HR,
They save 145 hours of work every single day, 365 days a year.
One of our clients runs an specialist education website with 6 full time employees. They use Podio with Globiflow. A lot.
If one person worked from 1st January to 31st December for 24 hours a day, our client would complete the same amount of work automatically on the 27th of January.
Interested? Get in touch to see how Future Solutions could help you optimise and leverage your resources, and help your organisation get more output for much less work.
It seems efficiency is increasingly high on the list when people are buying things these days.
From fridges to dishwashers, from cookers to TVs — even entire houses — it feels like everything these days has an energy rating slapped all over it.
People up and down the land are feeling the smugness of having a A+++-rated lightbulb, and the overwhelming guilt of a G-rated portable radiator stuffed in their attic (hidden away from judging eyes of course).
PC Magazine has awarded Podio with a prestigious Editors’ Choice Award for “The Best Online Collaboration Software of 2016”.
Here at Future Solutions, we’ve known the power and possibilities of Podio for years and we specialise in designing, implementing, supporting and training others on how to transform their businesses through the power of a Podio platform.
If you’d like to know more about how we could help you, contact us to arrange a free consultation.