Forgetting to complete a vital task… accidentally missing a deadline… being late for an important meeting… losing vital documents… these are all common aspects of day to day office life, but they shouldn’t be! The average attention span is dropping, along with our ability to focus on the task at hand, and unfortunately this difficulty in concentrating and keeping on top of things could be severely hindering our efforts to create a productive and profitable workplace. The solution? Improved task management. Efficient and effective task management for both offices as a whole and for individual teams is an essential aspect when it comes to minimizing downtime and boosting overall productivity.
Task Management Solutions
We’re living in the digital age, and the rise in technology to improve businesses operations in recent years has been significant. In fact, spending on business technology rose by more than 6 percent between 2014 and 2017, with the overall spending figure now believing to exceed $2.1 trillion in total.
We’re beginning to see more and more businesses switch from manual processes, which can be time consuming and which are open to human error, to automation. Some businesses, including supermarkets, hotels, stores, and museums have even started to make use of robot technology! There has been a rapid increase in automated processes across many different sectors of business, particularly with marketing automation, so it stands to reason that we could sensibly utilize automated processes for task management, too. Task management software is a simple solution that could be hugely beneficial.
What is Task Management Software?
Quite simply, task management software is a digital solution which takes manual tracking out of the equation, focusing more on automated monitoring of task progression. Ultimately, what this software does is force us to look at our workload in a different way to usual; it makes it quick and easy to break down any given task into manageable chunks, so that we’re looking at bite-size pieces of the task, rather than at the task as a whole. The software shows you exactly where you are in the life cycle of the task and guiding you through to a successful completion. While standard task management software may not be detailed enough to handle project management or process management, it is considered to be one of the most effective tools available for keeping track of day-to-day office tasks.
Overall, good task management is about dividing a task and separating it into different stages, making it possible to tackle each stage individually to see a satisfactory result. While different types of task management software have their own ways of doing this, in its most basic form a task can almost always be divided into four distinct sections: planning, testing, tracking, and reporting. For the purposes of this guide, we will look at these four sections alongside an example mentioned earlier; the accidental missing of an important deadline, and see how the task as a whole can be broken down into these four pieces:
The planning stage is all about organization and prioritization, planning your workload accordingly to ensure you meet the deadline. Imagine you have been assigned a 5000 word report, which is due in 5 days. At the planning stage of the process, you could plan to write at a rate of 1000 words per day.
At the testing stage, it’s time to put your plan into action and test whether or not the plan is proving to be effective at helping you to complete the task at hand. Looking at our example, at the testing stage we would examine whether or not the allotted daily word target is realistic, or if it needs to be adjusted.
Task management software can help you to track your progress with each and every task that you need to complete, displaying exactly where you are in the task’s life cycle and indicating whether or not priorities need to be adjusted in order to meet the deadline. It is a simple way of tracking progress.
Once a task has been successfully completed, task management software can be used to create a report to summarize the progress that was made throughout the life cycle of the task. This report can be used as a learning and development aid, helping you to correctly identify any areas for improvement.
What Else can Task Management Software do?
Task management software is incredibly versatile, and typically offers much more than simply the ability to break down tasks into manageable chunks, and create progress reports. A good system can offer many more benefits for businesses, too, including providing a simple and straightforward overview of all tasks that need to be completed, offering excellent visualization of individual task status simultaneously. Visualization of the situation can make it easier to prioritize workload and ensure that deadlines are met.
Task Management for Teams
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of modern task management software is that these systems are fully compatible with collaborative techniques. Collaboration in the workplace is the key to ensuring that shared tasks are completed smoothly and successfully, and systems that actively encourage collaboration between team members can make a huge difference to the overall outcome. Any progress or changes that are made to the life cycle of a task by one user is instantly synced with other users so that all members of the team have instant access to the status of a task at all times. This reduced the risk of duplicate work or redundant input. Task management software for teams essentially acts as a modern, comprehensive, digitalized to-do list which can be shared at the touch of a button with others.
Getting Things Done
Effective task management is never easy, but it can be made much simpler, and more efficient, with good task management software. Task management software can help to save you time while also encouraging team collaboration, boosting productivity, and ultimately playing a big role in increasing both internal and external communications, business reputation, and overall profitability.
Mensur Zahivoric is a Swedish developer and entrepreneur, in addition to being a world traveler and overall human dynamo. A programming prodigy, Mensur started his own e-commerce business aged just 18. Mensur worked as a senior IT expert for major global brands. He’s now the CEO and lead developer of Easynote, an easy-to-use task management tool that’s garnered critical acclaim.