Organization: The eternal enemy of employees. Of everyone really. Getting organized would mean extra input of effort and work.
“Why would I do that? I get my work done.”
Efficiency is the answer.
Imposing organizational strategies will make you work more efficiently, prevent headaches and will let you display your work at a glance.
We can’t force everyone into good habits — some have work-load chaos deeply rooted within them — but for those seeking improvement, these tips will be of great value.
1. Proper Storage is Key
A proper way to store and manage your data is crucial to achieve transparency. Databases and spreadsheets are great if you are handling a large amounts of unified data.
However work items, assignments and projects are handled more effectively in a visual manner. The basic concept of visual management is simply a visual representation of your work flow and business processes.
We are all familiar with post-it notes and how messy they can get unless we introduce a proper system. A structured board will allow you to place your cards or post-it notes in process stages and easily identify each one’s status.
2. Visual Cues
Without a doubt, visual management introduces organization into your processes. It’s a clear and simple way to organize and present information.
Your post-it notes are the visual cues that indicate work items. They can be further expanded into cards that hold more information than a simple note.
Accessing these notes on a standardized work flow board with process stages will be a breeze to manage and follow. Extra points if you categorize each task and give it a type for future reference.
3. Avoid Multitasking
Multitasking is one of the main culprits of an inefficient work system. Focusing on too many tasks at once will have disastrous effects on the delivery time and quality of your work.
Focus only on one task at a time. Generally introducing more tasks at once will hinder your performance. Focusing on one at a time will allow you to put maximum effort toward it and produce supreme results.
4. Estimate and Evaluate
Keep a record of all your tasks and assignments. It will come handy when estimating your capabilities and adjusting you work-in-progress limit.
Based on this past experience you will be able to estimate how long it will take you to finish a particular task and how much you can handle at once or in one day.
If you are looking for more complex improvements, you can analyze that data and generate diagrams like a Cumulative Flow Diagram. This kind of diagram allows you to spot any bottlenecks in your work flow or estimate the delivery time of all your tasks.
What’s your organized data good for if you have no easy access to it? Physical whiteboards are great, but you are stuck with the information in that one particular place.
Having access to everything on-the-go through multiple devices is really important if you are not bound to your office desk. Consider some cloud solutions for that matter.
6. Getting Your Team on Board
Encourage your team to implement the changes you did. You have to be a living example of successful adjustments of your organization methods to convince others.
Outline the benefits of organization and the transparency it brings, improvements and new management methods. Present them a list of challenges they will overcome if they follow your adjustments and implementations. This takes a great amount of collaboration, but it will pay off once every one is on the same page.
Without a desire to change there will not be any improvements. Understanding your problem and taking small steps toward enhancing your organization is what matters.
Some of these adjustments may seem major, however once you get the ball rolling you will see greater results. It starts with you — there is no instant cure!