There's a reason why dinosaurs are extinct. And while the exact theory pinpointing their demise is still being debated by scientists (crashed comets? climate change? mammals eating dino eggs?). The fact remains that they didn't survive with the times and simply died out. Your workplace has similar dinosaurs. Those are the dated work tools or work processes that used to be able to handle the job but are no longer viable in this day and age of increased connection and collaboration. Let's take a look at them:
This king of all work tools still has preeminence in the office; simply because everyone has it and it still works for short, quick messages. The problem with this T-Rex is that it's got short stubby arms. Which is a metaphor for how disastrous it can be to use email for managing projects.
When your back-and-forth communication is spread out over several email threads, and you have a ton of attachments, you'll know that email is a monster.
First off, there's no context in an email. Then you have no visibility into work being done, or even accountability regarding who's doing what. Then there's the addictive distraction of dealing with every incoming message. Talk about time wasted!
There are a lot of collaborative project management tools that are more efficient than email. If you're on this blog, you know Wrike is one of the best because it transfers the bulk of your work communication from your cluttered email inbox and places it in a centralized location for all team members to see. Nothing lost. Everything gained back — especially context.
The other main work dinosaur — spreadsheets — is less damaging than the T-Rex of email, mainly because it's still a very powerful tool for databases and calculations. You can use spreadsheets to: create a project timeline, create a budget, create a project calendar, and much more.
The only real problem is when you try using spreadsheets to manage multiple projects and suddenly realize you're spending just as much time maintaining the spreadsheets as you are doing actual work. That's when you look up at the dinosaur and realize what a monster it is to actually feed.
In contrast, using a work management tool allows you to look at data and know it's not obsolete the minute it gets into a table. It's real-time data. Plus there is only one version of the truth in your tool since there aren't 10 copies of the Excel file floating around the company, being updated by multiple people.
Then there is the velociraptor of work: those quick, but deadly status meetings that somehow always seem to swiftly kill all productivity in your team with one bite.
Let's face it, meetings take time — and time is your team’s most precious resource (coffee may be a close second). If you spend time going over details that could have been disseminated via email or a work management tool, then that’s a waste of everyone’s resources. A good work tool will show you where any project or any individual task stands — without having to disturb your team from their flow.
Yes, one-on-one consultations are needed to take team temperature and ensure your people are growing and continue to do the things they love. But if you just want to find out whether the project can make a deadline — there's a dashboard for that.