- Develop a supportive environment that encourages brainstorming. There are always ways that could lead to more efficiency within a given area.
- Avoid the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality, yet refrain from continuously reinventing the wheel too.
- Create an environment that perpetuates the ability of your people to make decisions,and impart the freedom and creativity to implement new ideas or procedures.
- Provide an incubation or trial period for a new concept or idea. Allow the originator of the idea, the time for refinement that takes place in many of our big "Ahaas!"Encourage others participation and feedback and be open to varying perspectives.
- Maintain open and direct lines of communication with employees. This does not mean to say that it always has to be done verbally and in person. The written format is also very effective in keeping people apprised.
- Have regular staff meetings. Management personnel are not responsible for seeing to it that all information imparted is assimilated by their people. To avoid redundancy for an entire group, encourage active participation and time for questioning procedures or new formats.
- Create an effective means of notifying people who report to you beyond the usual meeting format. Hold them capable and responsible for dealing with information in this format.
- Aid your people in developing and utilizing their highest capacities by providing challenging and stimulating work environments, assignments and projects.
- Be explicit in regards to the procedures, tools and resources available in completing all projects.
- Delegate tasks and responsibilities without feeling you are the only one that can do a task proficiently. Learn to settle for excellence rather than perfection. Delegation is a powerful tool to employ others in reaching their highest capacities.
- Allow for constructive criticism and alternative ways to deal with day to day management and procedures.
- Be available to your people during set times of day even if its only for 10 minutes at a time. This increases morale and lets them know you are aware of the environment. It allows you to actively perceive their creative levels, share in their accomplishments,observe their work habits and inventiveness, as well as exhibit your concern for all in your charge, that you do have a keen interest in each of them.
- This format of managing can lead to some personalities thinking you are available for any of their immediate thoughts, concerns or dilemmas. Any patterns that are allowed to be created during the times of your visibility, will perpetuate and eventually escalate to situations you do not wish to create. Advise your staff of your management style and why you choose this form. If anyone mistreats this"personal-touch-time" and initiates approaches that are not immediate emergencies,remind them that you are available for resolving solutions during your posted consultation/office hours.
More Specifics Regarding Project Management
Most people get behind in dealing with projects primarily because of improper scheduling or failing to see the massive amount of multiple steps that are really entailed in completing a project.
I have seen far too many clients treat a project as something they need "to do,"when in reality it needs to be seen as a "series of to do's."
The easiest way to schedule a project is to maintain an ongoing list of all the necessary steps and components needed to complete it in entirety. As new steps jog your memory just add them immediately to the list to be scheduled at a later time.
The next stage would be to schedule each "to do" on a regular weekly/monthlybasis, say maybe 2 hours a day, 2-3 times per week.
To calculate the amount of time you can dedicate or need to dedicate to the project,work backwards from the final due date for the entire piece.
Designate regular slots of time to complete all components you have listed as "todo's" for its' entirety.
The amount of time designated to work on the"to do's regularly is obviously contingent on the amount of time remaining to work on the project.
Scheduling as many components early on, is the surest way to meet all timelines and avoid the stress of too much to do in too little time.
Create a timeline for each segment of the project and schedule weekly "to do's" at least a week prior to timeline due dates to avoid a crisis if good ol' Murphy's Law decides to intervene.
Remember, you cannot expect to sit down and schedule an entire project for one sitting. You will find out too late that there were too many pieces and potentially be handing incomplete assignments or work that is far below your truest capabilities.
Avoid procrastination as early as possible. Tell a friend what you have in the fires...someone who will care enough to know about your progress.
There are only so many times you will be willing to tell a friend"I haven't started yet" before you hear your own words and decide to move on getting in motion towards completion.
Last and not least, be mindful of what you are saying "yes" to. Oftentimes people procrastinate on projects because they really didn't want to do them in the first place.
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