Make Employees More Productive With Scheduling Solutions Like Business Software Programs
Scheduling is not difficult. It is simply organizing activities to complete the scope of work. The scope of work consists of Deliverables or services. If we take the schedule and decompose it into bite size pieces it’s not hard. We can start by taking each Deliverable or service and begin to list the activities needed to produce them. Once the activities are listed we can go back and see what the best way to sequence them is. Once the activities are correctly sequenced we can then, whenever it makes sense, link them. Now that we have all the activities needed to produce the Deliverables listed, sequenced and linked we proceed to the next step which is associating resources. What follows are some tips to effectively schedule resources in business software programs to promote productivity.
Business Software Programs
Don’t assume that your resources are always available. Employees take vacation days, have leaves and get sick. If your project will last a few months, a good tip is to poll your team and find out, before the schedule gets finalized, what their leave and vacation plans are. As a safety net for employees that may get ill, another tip is to have your own skills or Subject Matter Expert (SME) database so if one employee is not available you know of backups.
As a project manager you may have multiple projects you are responsible for. Good employees will be in demand within your Workgroups and will be requested on other projects as well. A useful tip is to have a good understanding of how your own and competing projects are being prioritized within the company. Clearly high priority projects will have greater access to employees that are over resourced. If this information is known in advance your schedule can be adjusted in light of competing schedules with higher priorities to address this potential conflict.
Improving Productivity with Business Software Programs
Subject Matter Experts (SME) can improve productivity by providing critical information. A tip is to use their knowledge on how long it really takes to get things done. Query their experience on potential risks. Subject Matter Experts can provide intelligence that can improve the quality of the schedule and provide insight on issues that can substantially impact the project.
Productivity is improved if the project manager receives accurate and timely information. A way to improve the accuracy and timeliness of information being received is know when and how to ask for it. Status information, for example, should be requested in 20% increments. If the activity is 10 days long, ask for updates every 2 days. If you ask how things are going at day 8 and only 30% of the work is done it will be too late to recover. If on the other hand you see after 4 days that only 10% is done you have enough time to fix the situation. In terms of what you ask for, further quantify what the % complete represents. It might be as specific as lines of code. The objective is to make the measurement as non-subjective as possible.
Smart scheduling and asking the right questions at the right time allows the project manager to maximize the employee’s contribution. All of which leads to higher productivity.