You must have heard or read management pundits raving about productivity while they impart their wisdom on project management to the lesser mortals. So much has been said about the importance of productivity over the years yet project managers don’t truly fathom its criticality.
There is always a lingering thought in our minds that whether productivity is actually crucial or is it just another buzzword in project management.
To cut the long story short, productivity is the most important parameter that you need to consider while managing your projects. To understand this statement fully let’s discuss
- What productivity is?
- What importance does it hold?
- How to become a productive project manager?
What is Productivity?
Simply stated, productivity is the measure of output that you get against the effort (input, i.e. project resources) you put in to achieve it. Higher productivity means that you have got a greater output for the same or lesser amount of input.
By understanding this definition, we can gauge the degree of success or failure of a project. It can be measured simply in terms of productivity.
In economic terms, productivity is equivalent to the ROI i.e. Return on Investment. The concept of productivity is universal and can be applied to employees, managers, teams, and even whole businesses.
Why is Productivity Important?
In project management, your aim should be to increase your productivity. It is one of the most important parameters that encompasses all other metrics that define the progress of any project.
If a team is more productive, it means that they are able to generate more work in the same amount of time that other teams take for lesser work. In other terms, productive teams (or employees or businesses) take lesser time in achieving the same results than their peers.
Hence, as a project manager, if you strive to skyrocket your as well as your team’s productivity, you are right on course to achieve project management nirvana.
Benefits of Higher Productivity
Almost everything related to better project management is dependent on productivity. Following are the major benefits that result from better productivity.
Efficient Resource Utilization
The major resources used in any project are time, money, and human resources. If your productivity is high, you’ll be utilizing lesser resources to get the desired output. There is always a trade-off between the time taken to deliver the scope of the project and the cost of achieving the results. With higher productivity, you can optimize the results by creating a win-win situation for your business as well as your clients.
Faster Project Delivery
Time is the ultimate resource in any project. Since you utilize your resources effectively, the time taken to complete and deliver a project reduces proportionately. And if your team members are efficient too, the delivery time would reduce drastically.
Higher productivity means faster output with lesser use of resources. This directly reduces the cost of a project. And when you deliver projects well within your allocated budget, it simply means an increased profitability for your business.
Better Client Relations
There is no better way to forge healthy relationships with clients and earn their trust than fulfilling their expectations or even going beyond them. Higher productivity lets you amalgamate solid client relations by delivering timely projects within client’s budget.
Such strong tie-ups and goodwill created by your productive and efficient approach sets you apart from your competition. It also helps you get higher number of referrals from your existing clients. Every client wants to refer highly productive businesses and project managers to their associates. More productivity means more business for you!
Better Risk Management
When productivity is in-built in your actions, you gain a tight control on your project dynamics. This enables you to predict risks with a greater degree of certainty. Such an ability to forecast risk enables you to avert them in the first place or to have a contingency plan ready to handle the risks when they arise.
How To Become Productive?
It may seem like something impossible or improbable, but enhancing your productivity is not that difficult. You need to adopt certain basic principles and ingrain them in your actions to yield superior results. Let’s have a look at some of the most important action points.
Devise Standard Processes
Standardization is the key to enhance your productivity. Create flowcharts and processes to devise standard methods for every aspect of your project operation. While every project demands unique strategy for successful implementation, there has to be some standard structure in place.
You can mould this framework for every client to provide tailor-made solutions, while keeping the basics same. Such a standard framework reduces effort and increases productivity by acting as guidelines for your project management.
Use a simple project management software to plan and manage your project’s lifecycle. Such a tool is not a luxury but a necessity to increase productivity. Go for an easy project management software tool that is intuitive to work, faster to learn, and has a great support team in place. It is a great investment and would drastically improve your performance.
Effective communication is often overlooked, but it is a critical parameter to consider if you want to enhance your productivity. Ensure that you are deploying a tool to keep all the stakeholders in touch regarding the progress of your project. This way you would always get fast feedback on the status of the project. This enables you to adapt to changes faster. You would even be able to anticipate and mitigate risks much faster.
If you are still working on your project based on just your intuition and guesses in this age of information, you are lagging far behind. Use data from your simple project management software to analyze your processes and improve them. Emphasize on data-based insights and take objective decisions for every aspect of your project.
Learn and Train Continuously
Enhancing productivity is not a rocket science. It is something that can be learnt and mastered with practice. Keep yourselves up to date on knowledge and learn how to manage projects in an effective manner. Organize workshops for your team. This helps to motivate them to become more efficient.
Productivity is the cornerstone of every successful project. Increasing it amidst your team members should be one of your priorities. not only will it help to garnar quality results but can also help clients receive deliverable on time.
After all, maximizing productivity with efficient practices can only help your organization boom in future. Therefore, it is time you focus on boosting your productivity. It shows that you are well on your way to become a prolific project manager.