Six Indicators of Inefficient Work Management

September 24, 2013 Workfront

 

It's simple. All managers need in order to effectively manage their team's work is to be able to answer these six questions:

Managers Need Answers to These Questions

No biggy, right? Easy-peasy.

**Wrong. **

Unfortunately, most managers find it difficult to get the information they need in order to answer these questions realistically. And without the answers, it's hard for executives to justify resources, for managers to prioritize and plan efficiently, and for workers to be their most productive and creative.

In reality, managers struggle to get the data they need because the work that most needs to get done is not what is actually getting done. Instead, a significant portion of the average worker's day is spent on unproductive tasks like:

  • 36% - Trying to contact customers, partners, or colleagues; find information; or schedule meetings
  • 14% - Duplicating information (forwarding emails or phone calls) and managing unwanted communications

In total,** 50%** of the average worker's time ends up being unproductive. And it's not really their fault. These stats are the result of the bad habits and poor work processes that most organizations have adopted and even accepted as the best way to get work done. But such a high percentage of inefficiency in today's workplace is a good indicator that most enterprises still lack effective work management practices. Plagued by poor work management issues, managers and employees continually struggle with:

  • Continually missing deadlines
  • Budget overruns
  • Reduced creativity and innovation
  • Inefficient output of work
  • Finger pointing and blaming
  • Burnt out, frustrated, and disengaged employees

What happens, then, is a ripple effect of pure chaos—confusion about work assignments, lost or neglected work requests, overburdened resources, inaccurate budgets, and incomplete or late work—you get the idea. Thus, getting the simple insights a manager needs in order to know what needs to change, can be an endeavor not much different than a total nightmare.

In the following series of posts, I will outline six indicators of inefficient work management, the business impact of each, and what current unsuccessful tactics most enterprise teams are using in an attempt to fix them. My hope is that, at the end of the series, we'll be better equipped to recognize bad habits and unsuccessful tactics, as well as learn how to turn these common inefficiencies into hardcore productivity. The posts will go as follows:

Inefficient Work Management Indicator #1: Misaligned Work Prioritization

Inefficient Work Management Indicator #2: Non-strategic Work

Inefficient Work Management Indicator #3: Inability to Justify Resources

Inefficient Work Management Indicator #4: Ineffective Resource Planning

Inefficient Work Management Indicator #5: Poor Productivity Management

Inefficient Work Management Indicator #6: Inability to Collaborate Meaningfully

The Key to Conquering Work Management Inefficiencies: Visibility

I hope you'll stay with me along the way and chime in with your thoughts and comments as often as you have them.

*This post is derived from the whitepaper, ***Report: The Unhealthy State of Enterprise Work***. Download the complete whitepaper here.

 

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5 Symptoms That You're in Work Management Survival Mode

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Normalizing Change - The Role of Project Managers

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