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3 strategies to improve productivity

Being productive is essential to any business. We want delivery of our products or services to be a faster process. Yet that is more easily said than done. Every business wants this and, if it was so easy, all would’ve achieved maximum efficiency. To that end, we should begin questioning just where we can improve and focus our productivity.

Use technology

Despite our reliance on technology in every facet of our lives, many business leaders still remain sceptical of going “too far”. We don’t want to face a situation where, for example, all our data is dependent on one computer, database and so on.Yet this is not a problem with technology, so much as management.

We should be using all available tools and systems, examining which works for us.

Some are free or low-cost, helping with a range of issues. As the BDC highlights, online project management tools can be very useful, for example. These allow businesses to “host their own workspaces to manage certain projects and foster improved collaboration among employees. Typically, users need to download and install a program, or simply log in online, to create tasks, participate in discussions or edit, store and share documents. These applications usually include activity streams allowing users to easily find out who changed what and when and share feedback.”

It fosters collaboration and allows for transparency. This reduces tasks’ time, as we don’t need to rush and wait to find out what others have done or will be doing. We can see precisely where our input is needed and what our job is.

Of course all this is simply a matter of proper business process management, which itself can be aided by personalised systems. Businesses should seek out companies to aid them in creating such systems. All this will significantly reduce task times, add transparency and provide necessary tools to help ground employees in their duties.

Review and reassess

We won’t get far if we don’t know what we’re doing wrong. This is why it’s important to take time out to review our processes. This can be from entire systems of workflow to individuals.

Review processes aren’t merely to assert dominance over employees. Instead, as experts advise, we should use this as an opportunity to touch base, find out how to improve. One professor from Harvard Business School tells Inc.com that an employer and employee should use the opportunity reviews provide to problem solve. In this way, the review becomes “more of a dialogue about what an employee can do to improve and what an employer can do to help.”

Look outward

We must use our competitors as springboards, not obstacles, to our success. We must find out where they saw a vision and we did not. It might be helpful to get outside help and scrutiny, so that an objective assessment can provide a full and proper analysis. Removing any emotional attachment we might have means we can make objectively better decisions in the future.

(Image source: Sean MacEntee / Flickr)