Posted by:Ranjit Anand October 7th, 2015

One of most important aspects of management is managing productivity. This affects various other factors in the project such as deadlines, billing, resource allocation, utilization, costs, etc. and needless to say, the project momentum. One of the most important factors to keep in mind is the human factor involved in productivity. This human factor doesn’t real correlate to the emotional factor but just a fact that the employees are the ultimate assets for the company and assets should be looked after well. The best value contribution comes when best utilized.

Before reading further, I would to clarify that according to me, Productivity ≠ more work in less time.

I believe in, Productivity = Accomplishing the work as per planned time.

Let’s look at various ways through which you can improve productivity:

Avoid long meetings

“Managers love meetings” is the myth that I often hear from team members. Meetings are mostly unaccounted for in some projects, so the lesser time that is spent on meetings, the better. Managers at times call for long meetings that can last for a few hours at a stretch. Since we mean serious business, everything decided in a meeting has to be converted into action. Understanding human attention span is very important here. Having many people in a long meeting not only gets less effective due to shorter attention spans of the attendees but also directly affects the utilization rate considering the total number of hours spent by all attendees.

Simple ways to communicate

Many times, people spend quite a lot of time discussing stuff with inappropriate channels of communications. Especially if the project team is in single location, taking certain simple steps can lead to effective communication. Using skype chats, walking down to the concerned team member or instant grouping at your workplaces can turn out to be effective than having the same discussions over emails or similar channels. Any information from a discussion that needs to be recorded can kept on emails and rest can be taken offline and decided. This can make the team more dynamic and also can sometimes contribute to fun in the workplace. For instance, just observe the work style in a busy McDonald’s outlet, shout-outs can be real fun at work.

Avoid daily releases

This applies to projects when they are in support mode or during testing phase. There is a considerable amount of time spent in preparing and deploying a release. A candidate and this effort remains the same regardless of how big or small the release is. By making a release every day, there will be very little time left for developers to make a significant amount of fixes and less time for the QA team to carry out regression testing. This leads to more issues arising out of fixes which in-turn leads to unplanned time on project. The team can get more productive if the releases are planned and tasks allocated accordingly.

Task empowerment

Many a time, due diligence about the tasks is done by technical architects and business analysts before being assigning to a developer. Thus it leaves the developer very little space to think through various scenarios beyond the documented ones, and it can lead to more time spent on fixing an unforeseen scenarios as there is a learning curve involved in handling such scenarios. Empowering the developer while assigning the tasks to carry out all the appropriate research required, leads to tasks getting completed within the planned time. And of course, the added benefit of a team member enhancing their skills.

Don’t be sticky in managing

Asking for updates at regular intervals in a day, spending more time at a team member’s workstation, pinging constantly on group chats asking for updates, controlling the way a team member plans his/her tasks, etc. A lot of times, a person can get more productive when we give them enough space to think through, plan and deliver a task. Many tasks get delivered with incomplete coverage due the rush created by their managers. Having confidence in your team member will help you to keep calm and manage tasks accordingly.

I’m sure there are many other simple ways to improve productivity in your projects. Would love to hear them, please fill them over in comments.

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