4+ Effective Recommendations on How to Be Productive in Project Management
What do you usually mean by the word ‘productivity’? Perhaps, it is a kind of criterion that allows specialists to evaluate the significance of the work done. Actually, it is just the tip of it, and today we study this question properly.
In our present article, you will meet with the right definition of productivity and its main features in the context of project management work processes. Also, we would like to share our tips on how to increase your productivity and improve professional management skills. Our material will be definitely useful not only for project managers, but also for many different specialists in IT industry.
The meaning of productivity
It is better to start with one flash fact: often the concept of productivity is confused with the concept of effectiveness, equating one with another. Of course, both of these terms are similar to each other, but they still have their different meanings.
Effectiveness is a measure that indicates how correctly any task or the whole work was performed. Effectiveness is closely connected with the assessment of the work success – it reflects how well the goal was achieved. Productivity, in its turn, means the success and the velocity of the work process itself. That is, productivity represents the shortest way from the work goal-setting to its implementation with minimal time and financial costs.
It is also noteworthy that if the effectiveness of the work mostly depends on the efforts of the employee himself, then the productivity of work is the result of the work of the whole team in combination with the appropriate decisions of the manager and, therefore, the absolute consistency in the actions between all the work participants.
Productivity vs. project management: how to measure
We decided to consider the meaning of productivity in the frame of such a complex business segment as project management, where productivity plays a key role in the success of the whole process.
The process of the project creation itself consists of many important components that may require totally different efforts and costs. Nevertheless, even such multiple areas are quite suitable for analyzing the productivity of various processes occurring in them, starting with the project planning itself and ending with its launch into the market.
First of all, it is necessary to determine the purpose of productivity measuring – in most cases, the causes may be the following factors:
- assessment of working time – as usual, it implies a certain analysis of the number of hours spent on a particular task. Managers resort to such a check, not only because of some doubts in the rational approach to work and time management among employees, but also simply for the sake of data statistics, for example, when preparing different reports for top executives or the project stakeholders;
- evaluation of the effectiveness of selected approaches to the implementation of a project task – here specialists, usually project or product managers, try to track the progress of work in the context of a certain project management methodology or a strategy – they analyze how it is appropriate to use a certain tool in order to execute a certain task;
- the need to analyze several projects and calculate approximate time frames and costs of performing such types of work – in this case, the productivity measurement is due to the application of the collected data for project portfolio management or for other purposes.
And now let’s touch the main important issue – what the ways exist for measuring such a value as productivity. There are some different ways that bring company analysts to the most accurate results, and each of such methods serves its own purpose.
- Time tracking systems. There are lots of different programs and applications that allow specialists to get a comprehensive information about the busyness of every employee throughout the working day. It is possible to choose the most suitable time tracker variant for a particular project (automated systems or manually operated programs) and use it in order to have a clear vision of the development team productivity in accordance with the time spent on their work.
- Measure the amount of data and changes to the project structure made by each specialist involved in the development. This way is considered to be the simplest in IT world practice: if the project is being executed on open source platforms like Github, it is possible just to see the number of so-called commits (adding and recording of code changes in the project structure) that demonstrates the efficiency of the developer’s work. In other cases, the intensity of the work of the team and each of its members can be monitored and analyzed by means of different project management tools where there is a detailed information about the project, the development team and the tasks that are assigned to certain employees. For example, it is tools like Trello, Jira, Hygger, Asana and other helpful online programs.
- Comparative reports for a qualitative assessment of the project work. In this case, it is necessary to have data on previous projects or tasks, that will give a more realistic picture of the productivity of each employee and the entire development team. That is, in the numerical version, the productivity result can be represented as a ratio of the time spent to the amount of the work performed (the percentage of a specialist’s contribution to the development of the project). Thus, the higher the percentage, the higher and the better is the productivity.
Tips how to increase the productivity
Now we have come to one more important question – how can we save or improve our personal productivity and set a proper collective collaboration? The answer is the bunch of our profitable tips on how to do it easy, let’s read and follow them!
- Rely on yourself and on hi-tech. Of course, it is good to be self-confident and execute work timely and correctly, but still – you can combine your own efforts with some great tools that make your project development process easier and more efficient. Thanks to such programs and applications, you can manage your work in a comfort way and you won’t miss any important aspect of your responsibilities and duties.
- Try to focus on the systematicity, not on the final goals. Fixation on a certain business wish can lead specialists to the wrong statement ‘the end justifies the means’ and turn all their work into a kind of race for the results only. In order to avoid the chaos in project management, you should stay focusing on a smooth, consistent and consecutive of every project work step – and believe, you will achieve the desired goals with minimal efforts.
- More meetings won’t go amiss. The objectives that are pursued during the project development require the efforts and ideas of each involved participant. So it is a good project management practice to initiate more collective meetings (stand up conversations, weekly retrospectives and others) in order to see the real situation of work on the project and listen to different opinions about some technical and functional decisions of the future product.
Today we have done a really important thing – we have studied the subject of productivity in details, and now we know what to do to be productive and effective in project management workflow.
Also we would like to know your personal opinion about the necessity of productivity measurement and improvement. How do you determine when it is necessary to upgrade the work performance and speed up? What tools do you use in order to improve your execution productivity? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!