The Inherent Value of Visibility

Imagine a world where you no longer have to search multiple files for documents or play email tag to track down critical information — where you have a comprehensive view of your projects, with every data point and milestone at your fingertips, empowering you to make confident, informed decisions and drive successful outcomes. It sounds like a data dream, doesn’t it?

But information visibility isn’t a myth, and achieving it is easier than you think. The right project management tools exist to provide the oversight you need to succeed. With the right information available and accessible to the right people at the right time, processes flow effortlessly, enabling you and your team to achieve the remarkable outcomes your clients expect. It’s time to experience game-changing visibility.

Comprehensive visibility

Project management is fast-paced work. To stay on top of all the moving parts, you need comprehensive visibility of all the elements at play — from timelines, tasks, and stakeholders to action items and collateral. Comprehensive visibility means end-to-end accountability.

But comprehensive visibility means more than having access to information in disparate locations. It also means you have an unfettered view of everything you and your team need in one place — due dates, notes, attachments, internal and client feedback, and more — instantly accessible to all stakeholders. Say goodbye to searching through multiple apps and systems for the data that matters!

Having the entire team working within one platform eliminates redundant and lengthy login processes and multistep approvals. No more time wasted on follow-up emails or constant status requests, either. Via internal and client-facing dashboards, you have immediate access to project status, task schedules, attachments, notes, and feedback — enabling decisive action based on real-time information.

There’s also a level of transparency accompanying comprehensive visibility. When everyone is on the same page, statuses are more evident, reporting is streamlined, there are fewer bottlenecks, and problem-solving can occur in real time. In the age of distributed teams working from multiple locations, that means better collaboration with less need for time-consuming meetings.

Clarity through visibility

In any collaborative endeavor, fostering open communication is essential. But excessive communication can lead to micromanagement, confusion, missed deadlines, and other negative outcomes. Clarity through information visibility prevents these issues.

With clear, visibility-driven workflows, the focus goes beyond identifying “what we need” and “when we need it” because goals, tasks, and schedules are prioritized in the beginning. Integrating real-time communication within workflows establishes the foundation for clear and concise exchanges, significantly reducing confusion while setting the stage for leaders to focus on building client relationships and exceeding expectations rather than answering needless inquiries and seeking endless status updates.

Maintaining clarity amidst countless moving parts comes down to building visibility into the workflow. Customized, automated alerts and reminders keep all stakeholders informed and focused on relevant tasks, helping maintain momentum and leaving no room for missed deadlines or overlooked milestones. Likewise, visible assignments, flagging, and criteria foster accountability, ensuring each team member understands their responsibilities and has the tools they need to execute them.

Creating clarity through visibility — by building information visibility into the inherent structure of the workflow itself — projects are streamlined and efficient from start to finish.

Visibility through consolidation

Time is a critical governing factor in successful project management. Consolidating every aspect of a project into a centralized workflow platform makes it possible to conserve and even reclaim valuable time. Visibility through consolidation results in faster project completion — without sacrificing quality.

Consolidated visibility creates an environment for seamless collaboration, where stakeholders can engage with information (and one another) in real time. This expedites workflows while minimizing the need for constant managerial oversight to keep the process moving. It promotes self-sufficiency and eliminates unnecessary dependencies, allowing teams to operate with agility and confidence.

Managers don’t need to interfere in the day-to-day workflow because critical metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are immediately visible to them. A comprehensive, consolidated overview of the project’s progress enables them to identify potential issues, mitigate risks, and steer the project towards success.

Consolidation also promotes efficiency. Teams collaborate seamlessly, data remains accessible, and management gains the insights needed to guide projects effectively.

Make data visibility a reality

Bringing a project from conception to fruition requires a collaborative effort, and you and your teammates deserve a tool as hardworking as you are. It’s time to adopt project management technology that empowers everyone through visibility.

By embracing comprehensive visibility, clarity, and consolidation, you unlock the potential for remarkable accomplishments driven by seamless collaboration. With information as your ally, the possibilities are limitless. Get ready to reach a whole new level of productivity!

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Finding Your (Work) Flow: Making Work, Work for You

“Work smarter, not harder” is a sage piece of advice that still rings true today. Smart organizations know optimizing workforce productivity through streamlined workflows is good business, as it enables teams to complete tasks more efficiently, frees management to focus on big-picture strategy, and makes for happier clients. Given all the tangible benefits a strategic approach to productivity provides, are you ready to make your workflow work for you?

Evaluate your current processes

Before you can optimize a process, you must first assess it. More often than not, projects fall behind because workflow practices are more a force of habit than an effort to improve efficiencies. Generally, the first-in/first-out approach reigns supreme. While that methodology may get the work done (eventually), it doesn’t ensure stakeholders stay on task or on schedule — or the most critical tasks are addressed first. Prioritization is key, but is it enough?

Here are a few more ways to increase efficiencies in your organization:

  • Encourage frequent breaks via time blocking.
  • Delay low-priority or noncritical tasks.
  • Delegate tasks as necessary to personnel best suited for the job.
  • Break up complex tasks into manageable mini tasks.
  • Schedule deadlines based on priority so important tasks are completed first.
  • Intelligently manage your inbox — not every email requires a follow-up.
  • Explicitly mention “No Need to Reply” in appropriate emails to remove ambiguity.

The communication conundrum

As a project manager, you might think the more you communicate with your team, the more work gets done — but that’s not actually the case. Over-communication can hinder performance or even bring it to a standstill. The key to a successful workflow is getting the right information into the right hands at the right time. Communication is still important, but an organized process squashes the need to over-communicate. So how do you find the right balance?

Consider partnering with an expert who can help you implement a single-source project management platform that delivers simple and repeatable processes, tracks progress, prioritizes tasks, streamlines workflows, enhances accountability, and enables meaningfully constructive communication — so you and your team can focus on what matters: getting the job done, on time and on budget. This tool enables:

  • Your team has access to all the information they need to complete their tasks, cutting down on wasted time searching through emails or locating critical data. Everything they need is at their fingertips.
  • All the relevant information for every task, from backups to notes to deadlines, is visible to the right people at the right time. Additionally, task priorities and assignments are clearly stated; thus, you don’t have to micromanage because all stakeholders are held accountable.
  • As tasks are completed, all relevant support materials, such as documentation, notes, attachments, and questions, are retained for future reference, and the next task is automatically queued up for completion — streamlining the communication process and reducing redundant conversations and emails.
  • Personalized to meet your specific needs, project standards, best practices, repeatable methodologies, and even customized alerts and notifications are automated in your digital workflow.
  • An open, accountable culture means everyone understands their responsibilities and has the necessary tools and resources to execute them. Your team can handle issues in real time, freeing you to focus on business-critical items instead of putting out fires.

Digital solutions boost efficiencies

The pandemic, which immensely transformed the ways we work, also led to a boom in the adoption of digital solutions. Many businesses have augmented their project management practices with technology and are reaping the benefits — saved time and money, more focused teams, and happier clients. A comprehensive digital workflow management solution allows you to:

  • Fully define projects. From timelines and task prioritization to assignments and expectations, your plan is completely structured to meet your needs before the project even begins.
  • Focus on priorities. Project requirements are broken down logically. With all the right information accessible and visible to the right people, you spend less time explaining and more time producing results.
  • Stop micromanaging. You are more available to your team to address critical issues and provide guidance. Gone are the days of bottlenecks, circular conversations, and needless delays. Tackling issues in real time boosts productivity.
  • Streamline communication and collaboration. With all pertinent information at their fingertips, your team can solve problems without your constant involvement, enabling you to focus on managing client expectations and delivering results — building client trust and confidence along the way.

Optimizing your workflow is easily achievable if you have the right tools and resources in place. We understand how challenging it is to keep a business running smoothly and are here to support your efforts with information management strategies designed to make your workflow work for you.

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Work Now — For the Future

Today’s successful companies understand that less time spent compiling reports and presentations or searching through emails for critical information means more time focused on forward-looking business-critical strategy and high-priority projects.

Smart organizations constantly seek opportunities to improve efficiencies through technology and drive their business forward, but uneven technology adoption remains one of the greatest challenges they face.

Welcome the digital transformation

It’s time to embrace the digital transformation and make technology work for your business. If you’re looking to nurture a solutions-focused, tech-positive culture supporting the adoption of tools that empower your employees — helping them complete tasks more quickly, collaboratively, and conscientiously — partner with the experts.

JJ Consulting helps clients supercharge efficiency through Smartsheet technology — providing the roadmaps, recommendations, training, best practices, documented plans, and support materials you and your team need to realize the operational efficiencies you’ve been missing.

Improve efficiency and enhance collaboration

Efficient, transparent data and information management is more critical now than ever. Regardless of how hard you and your team work, if your current information management tool isn’t working for you, you’re likely stuck in an endless cycle of late reporting, cost overruns, pricey miscommunication, lost time searching through emails for needed information, delayed deliveries, and unhappy customers (both internal and external).

It’s time to spend less time looking backward and more time looking ahead. You need an information management tool that works as hard as you do. Our fully customizable Smartsheet solutions:

  • Establish standards for all deployed projects
  • Streamline workflows and expedite processes
  • Encourage immediate collaboration with email-integrated tracking tools
  • Provide up-to-date Information visibility to all stakeholders, no matter their location
  • Improve agility, adapting to shifting priorities and circumstances
  • Simplify scheduling, with modifications visible in real time
  • Alert stakeholders to delayed tasks and changes
  • Present live dashboards and reports to your chosen audiences

Embrace automation

The purpose of automation is to improve efficiency and accuracy. By automating repetitive tasks, companies reduce human error, miss fewer deadlines, enforce standardized processes, and collect the right data from the right people at the right time. Waiting for the information you need is a thing of the past — embrace automation and deliver high-quality service in less time, for less money, and with far less frustration.

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The Joy of Efficiency

There is inherent monotony in every job — across every industry and in every position. Day-in, day-out tasks must be completed to keep business moving forward! But true job dissatisfaction typically stems from inefficient time management and inability to access information productively. No one finds pleasure in a role when they’re “chasing their tail” all day long.

If you’re ready to refocus yourself and your team on what matters — enabling everyone to find real joy in their jobs again — here are a few simple techniques to help you regain control, reenergize your passion, and remember what you loved about your job in the first place.

Waste not, want not — reevaluate and simplify

Simplification involves reevaluating repetitive processes like creating reports, attending meetings, and sending emails. While these tasks were originally intended to increase efficiency, today they’re only adding to an already long and tedious workday. Studies show the average manager spends up to 40% of their time producing reports and 30-60% coordinating and preparing for meetings, while average workers spend 28% reading and answering emails.

Can you imagine how much less time would be wasted if you and your team could get even a percentage of that time back? Smart organizations question the need for generating reports when technology already provides the same information at their fingertips. They don’t schedule meetings for every action or decision. And they implement “No Need to Reply” (NNTR) in email subject lines so employees know when an email is simply informational and requires no response.

In addition to simplifying, encourage your team to take small frequent breaks — like a short walk outside. These breaks help split the workday into more manageable chunks of time so it feels less like a never-ending slog. Although it may seem counterintuitive to accomplishing tasks quickly, you will find that short and well-timed breaks actually boost efficiency in the long term.

The Pomodoro Technique

Many businesses credit the Pomodoro Technique for helping their teams tackle the day more efficiently and more attentively. This technique uses time-blocking to break tasks up into bite-sized pieces so they feel less intimidating and reduce workload-related stress. The core steps within the Pomodoro Technique are as follows:

  • Set a timer for 25 minutes.
  • Work on a task with no distractions.
  • When the alarm sounds, take a 5-minute break.
  • Repeat the process 3 more times.
  • Take a longer 15- to 30-minute break and start again.

More tools for efficient project managers

Shane Green, business magnate and global Fortune 500 organizational culture consultant, suggests a good manager should start their day with a basic to-do list broken down into four main categories:

  1. Delegate It. Delegating a necessary task to the right team member boosts efficiency.
  2. Dump It. Don’t cloud the big picture with irrelevant issues — if a task truly does not make a difference, dump it!
  3. Do It. Focus on completing the most valuable and impactful tasks quickly and efficiently.
  4. Delay It. Lower-priority, less time-sensitive tasks should be completed when time permits.

Further, consider a robust project management tool to help streamline processes. But buyer beware! A new app may feel like a lifesaver at first, but only if you fully understand its capabilities and use it as intended. For example, many organizations have moved from mainly email communications to chat apps with channel capabilities — in the hope that quick real-time bursts of communication would reduce time spent reading and responding to lengthy emails about specific projects. But there is little efficiency in lateral solutions if they don’t produce intended results. Where is the benefit if instead of being constantly interrupted by emails, you’re now constantly interrupted by nonstop pings, lengthy group chats, and confusing channel conversations?

Finding, learning, and efficiently utilizing a true project management tool like Basecamp, Asana, or Smartsheet actually frees up the time, headspace, and energy your team needs to not just stay focused on the task at hand, but also feel relieved of burdensome tasks. An unburdened team not only feels less stressed, more efficient, and more productive — but finds joy in their jobs!

Tackle your day with these tools in mind and watch your to-do list shrink. When you or your employees are frustrated, productivity — and your bottom line — takes a hit. Efficiency in the workplace is a mood booster, so pull yourself and your team out of that mired down mindset. You will produce more, waste less, and find that joy in your job you’ve been missing.

Discover the joy of efficiency with