How to Manage Teams More Efficiently

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If a team is not working efficiently, it means holding back a project or company from reaching its true potential. It’s not unusual for even the strongest teams to encounter hurdles along the way. There are numerous methods these hurdles can be addressed and overcome through efficient team management. As a leader, efficiency is one of the most critical challenges you will have to face to get the work done in the best possible manner.

But why is efficient team management so crucial in the first place? It’s undeniable that one of the best traits a company can possess is efficiency, which refers to how a team operates to deliver high-impact work without going off course. Team efficiency is necessary because it will guarantee that a company succeeds for the foreseeable future. It will also help protect its future as a top-performing company keeping ahead of the game. While even a well-planned schedule can help thwart wasted time, it can be challenging to stay on top of plans when unexpected issues arise. For example, specific tasks may require more time or resources than initially planned. The following is information on how to ensure your team is operating as efficiently as possible.

Quick Fixes for Efficiency

If you want to increase your team management skills as quickly as possible, these are a few tips you can use for an immediate efficiency boost:

1. Stop scheduling unnecessary meetings.

By now, we have all heard that the pandemic has brought to light which meetings could have been emails all along. Scheduling frequent, unimportant meetings in the middle of the day can decrease someone’s efficiency by interrupting their workflow. Shorter meetings without a clear purpose can end up wasting more time if they go over. Consider canceling these unproductive meetings. Additionally, meeting organizers sometimes invite team members whose presence is not at all required due to the subject matter being discussed. If you don’t believe your attendance is necessary for a meeting, reach out to the team organizer and ask.

2. For meetings that absolutely must occur, have a plan in place.

Of course, meetings can be productive and can generate quicker solutions to a problem than back and forth correspondence. These are the meetings that have a clear plan and objective. If possible, share the agenda with attendees before the meeting. This will give attendees time to consider if they have anything to bring to the organizer’s attention, which they can do during the last minutes of the meeting reserved for questions. The meeting organizer or another team member can be responsible for taking notes, so no details get missed, avoiding the need to send out further correspondence for clarification.

3. Prioritize tasks and avoid multitasking.

While team managers likely already know how to prioritize, they can ensure that their team members understand as well. Sometimes, when a team manager delegates tasks, the team member gets confused on which tasks are the priority. To avoid a team member from attempting to multitask, give clear priority rankings for every assigned task.

4. Start delegating tasks.

If you’re a team manager becoming overwhelmed with tasks, consider delegating them to other team members. If you know someone on your team has strengths in a particular area, ask them to complete the task instead. However, don’t forget to keep track of the tasks you delegate to avoid reassigning the task or forgetting about it altogether.

Project Planning Steps

For efficient team management, an effective project plan can be useful to outline the following essential steps clearly:

  1. Objectives: Goals to be achieved, including both as a group and individually.
  2. Success metrics: Outlines how success is evaluated, such as profitability.
  3. Stakeholder and roles: This provides an overview of key leaders and their responsibilities.
  4. Budget: Predicted costs associated with every resource.
  5. Milestones and deliverables: Mini-objectives to be achieved until the project’s completion.
  6. Timeline and schedules: This includes day-to-day group and individual schedules.
  7. Communication plan: Establishes methods of communication between group members and leaders.

Additional Efficiency Considerations

If you want to dive further into improving the efficiency of your team management skills, these are a few other elements to consider:

1. Consider strengths and weaknesses.

When assigning tasks, consider team members’ strong suits to benefit from their skills. Plus, team members prefer tasks that relate to their skillset.

2. Consider cross-functional collaboration.

For projects that could benefit from other team groups, it can help a project’s potential by getting other teams involved to take advantage of their resources. It makes sense to collaborate with other teams working for the same company, especially when their projects overlap. Both teams can benefit from communicating what current projects they are taking on.

3. Consider full days without meetings.

No-meeting days increase productivity by allowing team members to work through an entire day without distraction. Often, team members have to stop what they are working on to focus on preparing for a meeting, which results in losing more time from their day. Saving this time for hard work can be done by scheduling one day without meetings, so that team members do not have to worry about daily interruptions.

4. Consider using different communication channels.

Specific types of correspondence are better communicated on some channels more than others. That being said, using multiple channels can be somewhat confusing if a team member is not sure which one to use. To avoid confusion, clearly spell out which channels are used for what purpose. For example, instant messaging can be used for immediate answers, while emails can be used for matters that can be addressed at a later date.

5. Master efficiency with the right software.

Efficient team management doesn’t just happen overnight. It requires constant effort and planning. A time tracking software platform that implements productivity tactics can help boost a team’s efficiency. actiTIME can track the time spent on all activities, allowing teammates to assess their efficiency and make changes to their schedules accordingly. Teammates can adjust their schedule accordingly after visualizing where they’re wasting their precious time. actiTIME can bring your team’s efficiency to the next level.

Originally published at actitime.com

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