Setting your business up with clear guidelines for task management is an important way to empower your team. Consider all of the times they ask questions or don’t know where to start. This not only takes up more of your time, but holds them back from getting their work done too.
These 4 simple steps below will help you empower your team and get your task management up and running smoothly. If you have a remote team, these steps are even more important, as they will save time and misunderstanding for everyone involved.
What platform should you use to manage your tasks?
You may not have considered your business to ‘manage projects’ or need a project management platform before. However, here are 3 benefits you and your team will receive if you set up a project management platform like ClickUp or Asana.
- Clear due dates and task responsibility
- Client service deliverables and consistent quality can be adhered to with more ease
- Real time updating so that remote team members can stay up to date
Aside: I’m a ClickUp Consultant and Asana Certified Pro. I provide strategy, team training and support for small businesses who need to get their tasks set up into a project management system so that they’re team knows exactly who is working on which task, and when it is due.
Teams that have this set up and working well for them find that the productivity within the team improves, as does moving a task or project through the various stages towards it completion.
Team members also save time by being able to quickly and easily update a task without having to follow up, or write an additional email or Slack message.
4 simple steps to manage your tasks and empower your team
Step 1: Capture your tasks
Taking the time to capture all of the tasks is a step that many overlook. However, here’s why I think this first step is so crucial.
Until the tasks are documented:
a) there is uncertainly and inconsistency within your team.
b) there will be more questions, because there is less clarity. In order for your team to get on and complete their work, they need clarity around what, when, whom, how, and why
c) building trust throughout your team becomes difficult to maintain
This is one of those Nike moments – just do it! Start adding them to your project management platform.
Here’s some tips to get you started:
- map out a workflow and document all of the actions that need to happen from the start of the workflow to the end.
- consider your recurring business tasks and add them in
- categorise them as you enter. Noticing these categories helps you start to sort them in terms of projects and folders as you start to get into the ‘Organise’.
- forward tasks from your Inbox into into your PM platform to create a new task. This reduces the need for you to have multiple to do lists on the go.
They don’t need to be perfect – just get started so that you can improve as you go.
Step 2: Organise your tasks
The second element of task management is to organise all of the tasks. Keeping them organised helps you to:
- save time by being able to batch similar tasks together
- track the flow of tasks, individually (per task or per project), and overall (ie seeing where all of your client tasks weekly so that you can report on progress and observe blocks)
- As a team manager, this overall view is essential to be able to report and support your team.
- see where the operational gaps are from Step 1 so that you start to build a fully operational task management system that any team member can join or get involved in.
Depending on your platform, you have a variety of options for task organisation to help empower your team.
In ClickUp, you can organise tasks in to a Space (like a Department). Then you can have folders in each space, and multiple lists in each folder. This gives you great opportunity to organise the tasks. You can then have sub tasks and checklists!
ClickUp also has multiple views for seeing the information, such as board view, list view, table (like a spreadsheet), calendar view, Gantt chart, ….. and more! This allows you and your team to organise exactly what you need to see, without getting overwhelmed with #allthethings. This also helps with prioritisation.
Asana has Projects where you can organise your tasks into sections. You can also create sub tasks.
The view options in Asana are list view, board view and calendar view only. The Premuim level allows you to have status options, where there are standard ones, or you can customise your own.
Step 3: Track Progress
Whether you work in an office or in a remote team, being able to track the progress of a task or project without actually having to have a meeting or go and ask a team member can save loads of time and empower your team to get on with the work without needing to be micromanaged.
This is where project management tools can really make a difference within a team. Updating the progress of a task becomes essential for progress. Updating a task also allows you to add comments, updates, tick off a sub task, or tag someone else so that they know the next task is their responsibility. This streamlines the progress of a task or project, and also maintains the clarity of who’s doing what, by when – a key aspect of managing a team!
Within ClickUp, using the status to quickly track and update progress is key. You can customise your own terms for tracking the task from start to finish. Statuses such as Not Started, Assigned, On hold, For Approval, In Progress, Completed can help any one in a team see exactly what’s going on.
Asana also has status tracking of a task, where you can select from a drop down list, however this is a premium feature.
Whether you use a Kanban board, or a list view is not important (ClickUp and Asana have both, and more!). There’s no ‘right way’. What’s more important to empower your team is that the task can move through the status and every one knows what’s next, who’s responsible and where it’s up to in real time without having to stop and remember to follow it up and see where it’s up to, or who it’s currently with.
Step 4: Reporting
In small business, numbers matter. I always feel like having more information is better than not having enough. Also, when numbers are involved, it’s always an opportunity to improve quality or performance.
Here’s a few of my favourite examples that help to empower teams and good decision making:
- Knowing which service is most popular
- knowing how overdue a follow up task is
- knowing which team member is overloaded with too many tasks
- knowing how much time tasks will take versus how much time your team has over a week
- knowing which team member completed the most tasks
- or knowing which client has used up all of their time.
When it comes to reporting, having this information available is essential. In order for your business to achieve this however, the tasks need to be captured, organised and tracked!
I’m going to repeat that, because it’s important:
If you want this information, you need the data, and that comes by tracking the task.
As a team manager, business owner or project manager, having the data also gives you facts, and there is less chance for assumptions to be made, or emotional reactivity. If transparency and building trust in your team is important, then this another way for you to achieve this.
So where to next when it comes to managing your tasks so that your team can do what they do best?
- Decide on your task management platform (like ClickUp or Asana) and start capturing your tasks.
- If you already have a platform, then chances are you are along the way but it needs tidying up and organising. Ask someone in your team to do this, or block some time to focus on this so that it’s robust and anyone in your team can see what they need to when.
If you need help with any of these, remember, this is what I can help you with. Whether you’re just getting started, or have started and it’s starting to feel messy or hard work, let me help so that you can empower your team and create that strong foundation for your business operations. You’ve got this!