With IT pros feeling more overworked and stressed out, it’s even more important to organize the work week. Creating and communicating an organized plan can help focus a team. Although it may not remove stress, it can relieve some of it by giving the team a plan of attack instead of leaving them to wonder how everything will get done.
Implementing these four techniques will help the team plan, organize, communicate and track your work week.
Monday and Thursday Meetings
Keep these meetings short and focused – no more than 30 minutes. Use the Monday morning meeting to discuss which projects need to be completed and who will do it. Keep a written record of this. Use the Thursday meeting to discuss what needs to be completed before the end of day Friday. Make any schedule changes necessary to make this happen.
Record in a Communal Place
Keep the project schedule somewhere the team can easily reference it. A whiteboard or shared document are two of the best choices. Make the schedule as aesthetic as possible. Color code projects or days of the week. This makes the record both easier on the eyes and easier to reference.
Additionally, use it has a reference for when the team is feeling overworked or stressed. Note what the team has accomplished.
Schedule Time for Emergencies
Plan some projects into the schedule that aren’t time-sensitive. Use these projects as a “cushion” for emergencies that pop up during the middle of the week. When an emergency comes up, take a non-time sensitive activity off the table and replace it with the emergency. This will keep you from having to stop everything to call an emergency meeting. If an emergency doesn’t come up, just spend that time focusing on the originally planned activity.
Future Projects List
Keep a one-page clipboard or legal pad of future projects. This serves two purposes. First, it will help you judge the importance of a project compared to the next few weeks instead of just the immediate week. For example, a project may appear unimportant enough to be pushed back a week, but if you have two or three big project deadlines the next week it might become important to finish the “unimportant” project this week.
Second, it will keep you from forgetting any projects when planning during your Monday and Thursday meetings. If you don’t keep this list, you may need to call an impromptu Wednesday meeting to make time for a project that you forget to put in the schedule.
About the Author: Vanessa James is a business technology consultant specializing in database management. She has a passion for sharing her knowledge with individuals and companies alike. She currently writes for Oracle monitoring solutions provider confio.com.