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4 Steps to Streamline Your Business Management




Managers are always busy, but being busy doesn’t necessarily mean being productive, studies have shown. Ninety percent of managers waste time on inefficient activities, while only 10 percent focus their time effectively, a ten-year study by the University of St. Gallen professor Heike Bruch and London Business School professor Sumantra Ghoshal found. One out of ten middle and upper managers waste at least three hours a day. Browsing online, social media, email and unproductive meetings are some of the most notorious time-wasters in the workplace. Outdated technology can also slow down productivity.


In the midst of this inefficiency, it’s vital for successful companies to take steps to win back wasted time. Using automation to perform redundant tasks, save time and increase productivity is one way to do this. Here are four steps you can take to integrate your business management tools and streamline your team’s operations.


Standardize Your Team’s Communications Equipment

The foundation of effective management is good communications, and a prerequisite for efficient communication in today’s mobile workplace is reliable smartphone equipment. If your company’s communications network is distributed between landlines, business phones, and BYOD devices, consider standardizing your communications equipment and policies around a single mobile phone platform.


Not only can this simplify your communications network, but it can also enable you to take advantage of the latest advances in smartphone technology, such as faster processors that empower accelerated communication and new security features that make your company’s data safer. Going with a carrier that offers prepaid phones with flexible plans such as T-Mobile can help smooth the transition from your old equipment to your new upgrade.


Adopt a Unified Communications Platform

Email is one of the biggest drags on communication efficiency. The average employee receives 304 emails a week, checks their email 36 times an hour, and takes 16 minutes to refocus after handling an incoming email, according to Altassian data. Traditional email also suffers from inherent defects. For instance, if a new person joins an email chain that has already been in progress for a while, catching them up on emails they missed can be tedious. Attachments sent via email can also get out of sync as different correspondents handle different versions of documents. Email also falls short on real-time and visual interaction.


To overcome these issues, many companies are turning from email to unified communications platforms which combine all communications channels into one integrated solution. Many of the latest UC interfaces are cloud-based & have interfaces modeled on social media, where it is easy to carry on conversations with groups and keep shared documents in sync. Today’s leading UC tool is Skype for Business, which can now function within Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365 suite.


Streamline Meetings

After emails, meetings are one of the biggest time wasters in the workplace. The average employee attends 62 meetings a month, spending only half of the time in these meetings productively and wasting 31 hours per month. For managers, the time wasted is often more. This doesn’t include time spent scheduling meetings and sending email invitations.


Unified communications software can help simplify your meeting scheduling process by providing you with video conferencing capability. Additionally, tools such as Doodle that sync with your team’s calendars can help you automate the process of finding available time slots and sending out invitations. To get the most out of these tools, adopt a strategy of minimizing meetings by only scheduling discussions that are truly necessary and only inviting people who truly need to attend.


Use a Real-time Project Management Dashboard

Your choice of project management software can also help simplify your management chores. Managing projects via email suffers from the same general defects as email communication. Online project management dashboards are an improvement, but some require you to manually import project data from another program such as Excel to generate a progress chart and then export the chart into another program such as Visio to share it. This wastes time, and during that time, the information being shared becomes outdated.


A solution to this is to adopt a real-time project management dashboard such as those available at ProjectManager.com. Real-time dashboards let you see current information on your team’s progress without having to waste time importing and exporting data. You can use a single interface to track all projects, see all team members’ schedules and view project timelines. You can also get real-time business intelligence analytics displays to optimize your project management.



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