Everything is moving at such a fast pace in today’s world that it can be challenging to keep up with everything. As an entrepreneur or team manager, you’re probably familiar with the challenges of keeping track of everything your team is working on.
Sometimes you can do it, but sometimes it’s just impossible. We know that feeling well.
You may be a good leader, but you’ll never be able to overcome this challenge if you don’t know the system to implement.
This is where task management software comes in handy. Although it wasn’t designed for this exact purpose, task management software offers a variety of features that makes it an ideal tool for team management.
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Task management tools can help you streamline your workflow, foster team collaboration, and ensure your team stays organized and on track.
But that’s not all. They can also help you accomplish more productivity if you know how to use them effectively.
This article outlines 15 secret tips for effective team management using task management software. Read on to find out how to make the most of these tools.
What is Task Management?
Task management is the process of organizing and managing tasks and projects. It involves tracking what needs to be done, by whom, and when.
Before the explosion of the digital economy, spreadsheets, charts, and logic diagrams were the predominant means of managing tasks in companies. But nowadays, task management software helps them do the same more effectively.
The key to effective task management is to figure out your workflows and the steps required to complete a task. Once you have that figured out, you can start creating tasks and assigning them to specific people. You can also set deadlines and reminders to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
What is Task Management Software?
Task management software is a tool that helps you manage and track the tasks you assign to your team. You can use this tool in many different ways depending on your company’s needs and the project’s requirements. For example, some businesses use task management software to assign tasks to employees, while others use it to track the progress of specific projects.
You can also use these tools for communication, allowing team members to share updates and files related to the task. The exciting part of using task management tools is that you can introduce them at any stage of the project life cycle, whether for planning the project from the start or tracking and reporting progress once the project is underway.
The Benefits of Task Management Software
- Increased Productivity
Your team becomes more productive when team members know what they need to do and when they need to do it.
- Better Accountability
It’s easier to hold team members accountable for their work when you delegate specific tasks and monitor their progress.
- Improved Communication
Since task management tools centralize assignments and updates in one place, everyone stays in the loop. This approach, in turn, reduces the chances of misunderstandings.
- Increased Efficiency
Project managers can save time and streamline workflow by automating repetitive tasks (like sending reminders). Moreover, project team members can focus on their tasks and deliver quickly, especially if the software specifies a deadline.
15 Secret Tips for Effective Team Management
#1. List All Your Tasks
It’s vital to create a task list before diving into project execution. List making helps you organize your duties and objectives more efficiently.
The best part of this approach is that it provides a simple structure, so you don’t need to think deeply about the jobs you need to handle.
Many people think list-making is as simple as writing down all the things you need to do, but the process is a little more systematic than it sounds.
After brainstorming and writing out all the tasks that you must execute, label them according to their degree of importance.
For example, “A” for high-priority tasks and “B” for less important tasks, up to a label for unimportant tasks. After attaching these labels, rearrange the task list according to priority.
#2. Create a Schedule for Your Project Team
Creating a schedule for your project team is essential for managing them more efficiently.
The team is less likely to get off track when everyone knows what they are supposed to do and when they are supposed to do it. There are a few different ways to create a schedule for your team.
Traditional methods like spreadsheets or Gantt charts used to be popular for this purpose.
But these days, project managers use task management software like Asana or Trello to schedule projects more efficiently. Whichever method you choose, your schedule should include the task title, its due date, and the team member responsible for completing the task.
#3. Start With High-Priority Tasks
When starting a new project, it can be tempting to try to do everything all at once. But this approach is counterproductive because it can quickly overwhelm your team and lead to frustration.
Instead of trying to do everything at once, start your project by focusing on high-priority tasks. This technique helps your team to be more productive since they will work on valuable tasks rather than urgent ones.
Task management software can help you focus on high-priority tasks by allowing you to create a list of “today’s priorities” and filter out everything else.
Remember, the first step (creating a task list) helps you to identify your most important tasks. All you need to do after that is to feed the task into the software and label it accordingly. Even though you must handle high-priority tasks first, it’s okay to move on to the next task and return to it if you get stuck.
#4. Break Down Large Tasks Into Smaller, Manageable Pieces
When you have a large task to complete, it can be tempting to attempt powering through it all at once, but this approach is usually a recipe for disappointment. You’ll find it more challenging to finish the task this way because you’ll easily get stressed out or caught up with anxiety.
The best way to approach a large task is to break it down into smaller pieces. When you do this, you’ll be able to work on the task in a more organized and efficient manner.
Also, handling small tasks that are easy to complete will help your project team feel more productive and motivated. They will feel more in control of the project because they can finish tasks quickly.
#5. Set Reminders
Reminders are key to effective team management. This feature is valuable for every project as it helps to keep everyone organized and on the same page. Most importantly, reminders prevent people from forgetting important tasks or failing to meet deadlines.
Forgetting is an inevitable human memory process. We do it every day in our personal lives and get away with it. But it can attract heavy consequences in the business world.
Task management tools can help you set reminders easily. They usually come with features that allow you to create custom reminders for each task. Ideally, these reminders pop up as email or app notifications when it’s time to execute a task or when it’s nearly due. This way, you’ll never miss a deadline again.
#6. Set Time Limits and Deadlines
Deadlines are important during task management because they help team members to stay on track and maintain focus.
Setting time limits motivates team members to finish their work and prevents tasks from piling up and becoming overwhelming. Ideally, your task management tool will provide options for setting time limits for tasks.
As you use the time tracking feature on the program, be realistic about the amount of time you allocate to a task. Set a deadline that gives team members enough time to complete the task without feeling rushed.
Tight deadlines usually create stress and lead to poor work. You also have to communicate deadlines early enough to give team members an idea of what to expect so they can prepare accordingly.
#7. Conduct Team Meetings for Transparency
Regular team meetings are essential for improving transparency during projects. They provide a forum for everyone on the team to share updates, ask questions, and identify potential problems.
But team meetings can also be counterproductive if they’re not conducted effectively.
To ensure your team meetings are productive and transparent, give everyone a chance to speak. Be clear about what you expect from each meeting. And shun distractions.
A meeting can go on forever if you don’t control how it flows, so adhere to a schedule for the meeting and end at the appointed time, even though people still have things to say. You can always schedule more meetings to gather fresh ideas and perspectives.
Transparent team meetings facilitate project management by creating company alignment. When team members air their opinions on workflow improvement, it informs project managers to implement more effective measures for handling projects.
#8. Define Roles and Delegate Tasks
You’ve probably heard the saying, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” Busy people are usually good at getting things done. And when it comes to project management, delegation is key. That’s why defining roles and delegating tasks as early as possible in the project life cycle is important.
The project tends to run smoother when everyone knows their role and what they’re responsible for. Needless to mention, delegation helps spread the workload and ensures everyone is accountable.
So how can you oversee task delegation with task management software?
- Start by deciding which tasks to delegate, then play to your team members’ strengths and goals.
- Ensure that whoever is responsible for a task has the relevant qualification to handle it or requires the experience for professional development.
- Communicate the task deadline and expectations.
- Then, encourage team members to ask questions if they’re unsure about their roles.
#9. Set Clear Expectations
Setting clear expectations is key to a successful project. When everyone knows what’s expected of them, there’s less confusion and better communication. It also reduces stress and anxiety as each team member will clearly understand what they have to accomplish.
Task management software can help you to set clear expectations by providing templates for project plans, checklists for milestones, and tools for tracking progress.
Moreover, setting clear expectations with task management software is as simple as ABC. First of all, you have to define the project goals and objectives. Then outline the tasks required to achieve those goals. Finally, ensure your goals are measurable.
#10. Limit the Number of Tasks per Day
Avoid overwhelming your project team with too many tasks at once. Limiting the number of daily tasks ensures that everyone stays focused and has enough time to devote to each task. Otherwise, they will easily feel overwhelmed or stressed out.
According to a Scientific American publication, team members often produce better-quality work and fewer mistakes when relaxed.
So if you’re looking for a way to improve your team’s productivity, this approach is worth considering. And it’s quite easy to implement. All you need to do is decide on a specific number of tasks to complete each day.
The number of tasks your team can handle in a day will depend on the difficulty of each assignment and the skill level of the people handling it.
While your team can execute dozens of simple tasks in a day, they’ll need more time to handle more complicated tasks. Nevertheless, remember to apply the fourth tip: break complex tasks into smaller pieces.
#11. Track Your Team’s Progress
When tracking your team’s progress, you should strive to teach them how to move things forward and be productive. Monitoring their progress along the way makes them feel accountable for their work and be more invested in seeing the project through.
This practice will also help you identify potential bottlenecks and address them before they cause major delays or waste.
Task management software makes it easy to track your team’s progress. All you need to do is set up task milestones on the software.
Each team member will see these milestones on their systems and check them when they’re complete. Sharing the same interface with team members, you’ll be able to see how far they have gone with their tasks.
Project management software like Monday.com features battery-like progress tracking columns. While working on a subtask, the employee’s progress reflects on your screen as “working on it”; once completed, it reflects as “done.” Then you can assess their work and approve it or request a revision. The software also provides time tracking insights.
#12. Give Feedback and Recognition
Giving feedback and recognition is an essential part of any team project. It keeps everyone on their toes and makes them feel appreciated. It can also help motivate them to do their best work.
But sometimes, it can be difficult to know when and how to give feedback. That’s where task management software comes in handy again.
It makes it easier to communicate with your team and provides a structure for giving feedback that’s both concise and effective. While communicating with your team during projects, ensure your comments are relevant and helpful.
Thank your team members for their efforts, and let them know how important their work is to the project’s overall success.
Instead of generalized compliments, be specific about what you like or dislike about their results. And if their results are unsatisfactory, offer suggestions for how to improve the task in the future.
#13. Manage Change
Changes are often inevitable during projects. Maybe the client changes their mind about what they want, or new information that affects the product’s design comes to light. Whatever the reason, it’s important to be prepared for changes and have a plan to deal with them.
If managed poorly, changes can cause delays and disrupt the team’s workflow. They can also lead to confusion and uncertainty among team members.
On the bright side, task management software can help you manage changes effectively by providing a centralized location for all the changes-related documentation, such as change requests, meeting minutes, and email correspondence.
It also tracks who made the change, when it was made, and why it was made. This information is essential for determining how best to address issues and prevent them from happening again.
#14. Keep Things Simple
Simplifying project management is crucial to success. The more complex your project gets, the more confusing it becomes for everyone involved. And this confusion increases the chances of making mistakes.
Conversely, keeping things simple makes it easier for everyone to understand what’s happening. The simpler the process, the faster it goes.
Moreover, complexity is expensive. The more complex a project, the more time and money it takes to complete.
Keeping things simple helps to avoid wasted resources and keeps costs down. One way to simplify your processes is to stick with only one task management software.
#15. Celebrate Successes and Learn From Failures
Celebrating successes and learning from failures is a key part of any team’s growth. This practice helps you to stay positive and motivated.
When you reflect on your successes, it reinforces the positive behaviors that led to them. And when you learn from your failures, it helps you to avoid making the same mistakes again. Neuroscience research shows that celebration builds team morale and keeps everyone on their toes.
It helps you to improve the work process. By reflecting on your successes and failures, you can identify areas for improvement and make changes to your processes accordingly. Task management software makes it easy to track all of this information in one place so that you can evaluate your team’s performance at a glance.
Now you are informed on the tips for effective team management using task management software, it’s time to put what you’ve learned into action. Even with these tips, you still need the right task management software to make the most of project management.
Several task management tools are available on the market today, and it can be challenging sifting through the multitude. Hence, we compiled a list of the best task management software to help you make a great choice. With the right tools and a bit of organization, you can lead your team to success.