Get more juice from your 2021 squeeze tracking productivity data

March 7, 2021

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In the new year we are all looking for new resolutions, for at home and the office. And in the office, new 2021 habits likely revolve around remote work, better project management practices, and understanding where your team is spending their time. In that case, key points for putting your best foot forward in the new year include: improved efficiency, greater accountability from your entire team, more transparency in team contributions, and the ability to make the right decisions early in a project’s timeline.  

Find those elusive tweaks toward greater project management efficiency 

There are a number of things that can improve your project team’s efficiency. Often, the two main culprits are simply laziness and lack of solid data. If you are reading this blog about project efficiency, likely outside of work hours, laziness is not your issue. You may be having a hard time consolidating the right project data in a central place where your team can see it. As a result it is difficult to discuss and react to the honest project realities.  

But sourcing productivity data can be difficult. First, you need tools and software that promote diligence for your staff in submitting crucial productivity data that allow you to see an up-to-date view of your project’s timeline. For example, clever managers are using software behavioral bots (chat bot solutions) as the change agent for timely data submissions. Resulting in moving things like time-tracking data from monthly submissions to weekly, and even the rare end-of-day submission practices. But that’s only half the battle…. 

What to do with the data?

As a project manager, once you have created a pace and culture around collecting valuable data, how do use it? How much time are your spending in your daily management role producing such reports? Where do those static reports go? Are they already dated by the time they are discussed? And where are project productivity issues best discussed when working with a team in remote work settingsIt is likely in Microsoft Teams or Slack. In these chat forums project managers now have the opportunity to send live data into chat streams with charts, reports, and dashboards.  

The ability to dynamically present project data will be a key factor in a project manager’s efforts to swiftly assess and act on data. Doing this in a group forum, such as a chat channel, where personal biases are removed allows everyone to recognize the accuracy of the data they have submitted. The data never lies. Especially when it is live streamed directly in front of the team for discussion.   

Better Decisions & Leadership 

Making decisions by data is leading by data. It is a good management strategy to keep a project and its team honest about progress, successes, and problems. No one can blame data, or personally associate it with someone ruling by it, if they are fair individuals themselves. The data doesn’t lie if we all agree on how it’s being collected. Data provides managers with a swift and clean replacement for decision making via consensus. Live productivity data cuts out the gut-feeling areas of decision making. The smarter you and your team are, the faster you can react to the data with decisions to spend more, cut back, or stop all together.  

 

We are making Y in MRR to this client service / product relationship; 

(minus) 

What we spend X on labor / tech supporting this product; 

(equals) 

Your move… spend morecut back, or stop all together? 

 

 

 

Gaining project accountability with your team

Project items that are shared between team members can fall through the cracks when there is no public ledger of responsibility or team accountability for contribution. When looking at QA for software development, it can be a hot potato passed around a software development team. If no one notices that no one is actually doing the proper product QA, software gets shipped with far more bugs, the need for more support, time, and lost money… 

Consider placing live dashboards within your MS Team and Slack project chatsThere is incredible value to presenting productivity data directly in front of your team. Consequently, everyone understands who is contributing where on a particular project. Consider a project manager’s ability to see, in front of their team, a glaring gap in the product delivery, and addressing it in the first half of a project sprint rather than the last 5-7 days when things are a scramble and it may be too late… 

Greater transparency with live data

Kill the debate with data. Save time from arguing by using live productivity data streamed directly within your Slack or MS TeamsPosition live project and productivity dashboards within chat. There is no personal reporting responsibility, the software provides the KPIs to everyone for their diligence, or ignorance. Complete transparency. Streaming your productivity data to chat forums also bodes well for startups pitching investors and grant organizations. Project managers can stream up-to-the-minute data for stakeholders to encourage, congratulate, or express concern.   

AlignTime brings productivity into the team chat 

At AlignTime we saw the need to show live productivity data directly in chat channels to assist our project managers in their effort to coordinate on-going projects. Using Harvest with MS Teams and AlignTime gave us a dramatic increase in our ability to manage projects under time and budget.  

Using AlignTime to stream project time data to team chats gives managers more tools to assess the health of a project. Resulting in swift and impersonal decisions for action based on staff submitted data. During the last year of this pandemic, running a billable hour operation remotely, AlignTime gave us the ability to identify our weak points of a project build while helping us improve our time / resource management in shipping higher quality services.  

To learn more about AlignTime and how it can help you and your team in 2021, click here.