Introduction to Work Management

Project/ Work Management 101

Overview of Work Management

To remain competitive in modern systems, organizations have to be efficient and effective. There is much pressure on companies to produce value for customers and hit their deadlines. Many companies resort to micromanaging practices, which tends to cause stress to individual team members. Instead, you may want to use a more modern approach to increase your team’s productivity and efficiency: work management.

1.  What is Work Management?

According to Gartner, Work Management is a system that organizations use to structure their workflow for every level and team. It is a process that helps a business manage the flow of work and the load of work simultaneously to improve results and performance.

Work Management

The purpose of work management is to increase clarity within individual teams to ensure that there is minimal internal miscommunication, which can cause unnecessary delays and stress. Effective Work Management also encourages collaboration within all levels of the organization, which further boosts productivity.

With effective Work Management, team members will always be given tasks to complete without making the threat of burnout. This ensures that tasks are completed efficiently and effectively without overwhelming the team with work they can’t complete within the given timeframe.

2.  How is Work Management different from Project Management?

Some organizations tend to use the terms Project Management and Work Management interchangeably despite the two having completely different meanings.

Project Management helps to organize a team’s workflow and tasks to complete the delivery of a single specific project. Its primary purpose is to ensure that the project meets expectations and deadlines. Additionally, Project Management only involves the project team members that are associated with the project.

Swiftenterprise’s Agile Program Management, Delivers Your Organization’s Biggest Initiatives Quickly &Amp; EffectivelyMeanwhile, Work Management has more to do with an organization’s day-to-day work. Its primary purpose is to help the business grow by ensuring that all of its teams’ workloads across multiple ongoing projects and ad hoc tasks are managed efficiently.

Additionally, project work and general work are too different entities. Project work is any task that is directly linked to a project. This makes this work time-bound with a deadline. Project meetings are an example of this. Meanwhile, general work is an organization’s day-to-day work that continues regardless of whether there is an ongoing project or not. An example of this are weekly meetings and general tasks.

While the two are separate ideas, both are important for managing and improving  productivity and delivering key results within an organization.

3.  The Work Management Lifecycle

As a process, the Work Management lifecycle can be done in many ways. Getting Things Done, or GTD, is a popular framework for organizing tasks. Frameworks like GTD help accomplish the primary goal of Work Management: to streamline the flow of work to make it more manageable for an individual or team.

Work Management Lifecycle

Here is a simple Work Management framework that your team can use to organize your workflow:

Angle Single Right Directional Icon Flat Arrow Shape Work Identification

The first step in the Work Management process is identifying the current task to be done. Teams must first define what the problem is before identifying the appropriate task to solve it. This information must be available to everyone on the team to ensure that they are all on the same page.

Angle Single Right Directional Icon Flat Arrow Shape Work Organization

Once the tasks have been decided, the work must then be organized. This means blocking off times for weekly meetings and delegating tasks to the appropriate team members.

Angle Single Right Directional Icon Flat Arrow Shape Work Review

Work is rarely straightforward from start to finish. Your task list may require updating and revisions as you complete each item. Review your to-do list often, and make changes whenever necessary.

Angle Single Right Directional Icon Flat Arrow Shape Work Execution

After planning and scheduling the work, the fourth step is to execute the tasks. This step should be straightforward as your workflow should have already been decided and organized.

Angle Single Right Directional Icon Flat Arrow Shape Work Analysis

The final step, after executing the tasks, is to assess the finished work and its quality. This means asking certain questions, such as “Is the finished work up to your standards? If not, what went wrong and how can this be avoided in the future?” Analysis of your finished work allows your team to continue improving.

It’s worth noting doing this steps can be made much simpler through using an all-inclusive Work Management platform, such as SwiftEnterprise.

4.  The Challenges of Work Management

Managing work is not a simple task. Managers will typically run into certain problems when trying to create the workflow for the team. Here are the most common issues that managers have to face:

Angle Single Right Directional Icon Flat Arrow Shape Getting Work Done

This is the most important challenge managers and organizations face. Teams or individuals that accomplish little to no work during the work week mean wasted resources that could be allocated to more productive avenues. A streamlined workflow must be introduced to ensure that everyone within the team is generating value for the company.

Angle Single Right Directional Icon Flat Arrow Shape Prioritizing The Incorrect Tasks

During a project, the line between urgent and important tasks tends to get blurred. This is what happens when there is no clear communication between team members regarding what tasks need to be done first.

Angle Single Right Directional Icon Flat Arrow Shape Establishing Deadlines

Without first consulting the execution teams, it can be difficult for managers to set a realistic deadline for their tasks. More experienced managers will have less difficulty due to their knowledge, but there may be other factors that can affect delivery times.

Angle Single Right Directional Icon Flat Arrow Shape Misallocating Tasks

An effective manager assigns the appropriate tasks to the individual team members most suited to handling them. However, not all organizations allocate tasks in this manner. When tasks are not tailored to the individual team members handling them, this may cause delays in the delivery process.

5.  Do You Need a Work Management Tool?

Introducing and implementing Work Management to your team requires the proper tooling. A quality Work Management tool, such as SwiftEnterprise, can give your team everything they need to work together and complete their tasks on time.

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Here’s what a Work Management tool can do:

Angle Single Right Directional Icon Flat Arrow Shape Enable your teams to collaborate

Traditional collaboration tools, such as email, can make it difficult to see what each individual member of the team is working on. A quality Work Management tool can help teams understand what their other team members are trying to accomplish, which inspires them to collaborate and share their insights.

Angle Single Right Directional Icon Flat Arrow Shape Make schedules clear to everyone

With a proper visual Work Management tool, such as a Kanban board or a visual task list, your team’s work schedule, overall workload, deliverables and deadlines can be visible to everyone. This helps teams by ensuring that all team members are aware of key dates and current assignments  for individual team members. Team members can use “blockers” – visual flags – to indicate they are stuck and could use their team-mates’ help. This transparency and visibility makes it easier for the team to collaborate on tasks and deliverables.

Angle Single Right Directional Icon Flat Arrow Shape Nurture transparency within the team

Work Management software allows teams to be more transparent and direct with each other regarding the progress of their work. When work is transparent, team members are more likely to assist each other when they notice that key tasks are behind schedule. This transparency also fosters accountability within the team, which encourages members to produce quality work. This is why SwiftEnterprise has a built-in Kanban board that allows team members to view each other’s progress on tasks.

Angle Single Right Directional Icon Flat Arrow Shape Make every meeting more valuable

When meetings are the only way to gather team members together, teams tend to have too many of them. When teams have frequent meetings, it also means that they’re spending less time working and creating value. By communicating progress updates through a Work Management tool, teams can spend less time meeting and more time making tangible progress on their deliverables.

Angle Single Right Directional Icon Flat Arrow Shape Support a Hybrid Work Model

Modern teams are no longer confined to a single physical space. Team members can be located in different cities and even time zones which can make having frequent meetings much more troublesome. Effective Work Management software, such as SwiftEnterprise, can make it easier for teams to collaborate on tasks despite being from different physical locations.

Work Management can change the way your team works for the better–but only with the proper tooling. Having a visual, collaborative and transparent work management tool can work wonders for your team, in terms of improving morale, productivity and lead-time performance.  They help in aligning business objectives to execution and provide a greater sense of purpose to team members.

If you are interested in learning more about the Work Management tool that can help your teams work more effectively, you can request a demo here.

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