Managing a project with lots of contributors – inside and outside the company and across departments – can feel like herding invisible kittens. People ignore your emails, don’t tell you when tasks are late or completed, and change the plan at the last minute. Keeping a project on task often means spending endless hours chasing people for answers.
If your team – or some of it – works remotely, you are probably relying on technology to do this chasing. In most hybrid companies, email, Zoom, and Slack have replaced the hallways, cubicles, and break room of the in-person workplace.
Communicating through meetings and messages is inefficient, though, and requires significant human effort. According to a recent Miro study, 58 percent of hybrid workers said “communication overhead” was the most draining part of their workday.
58% of hybrid workers said “communication overhead” was the most draining part of their workday
Stop for a minute to consider the role your tech stack is playing here. Is communication embedded in the tools you use? Do your teams have to step outside their work management tools to communicate the status of work? Do your tech tools build a connected culture or isolate teams?
Your processes are the heart of your culture
The system you use to communicate about work has a huge impact on the success of your projects. It also affects your culture. “Every process that is created, every system installed, every technology that is used,” according to Melissa Daimler in a Harvard Business Review article, “will reinforce or dilute the culture.”
The Miro study found that the two biggest drivers of relationships at work are working closely with colleagues and casual conversations that happen within work tools.
That’s why our tools allow for communication within – and about – the task you are working on.
Chatting with the team members you are working with– right in the space where you accept work, track work, track the hours you spend on work, and update the project – brings people together while bringing clarity to the process.
Stepping outside your work planning system to send a Slack message or email makes for disjointed conversations that are difficult to keep track of. And jumping from one tool to another to discuss work is distracting.
And eliminating the need to communicate – by making the workflow obvious – reduces friction and cuts out time-consuming updates and status reports.
In Moovila’s work management systems, you can see a real-time view of what your team has accomplished, chat with a customer, leave a note for someone who did a great job, understand why a delay is happening and how it will affect the project’s progress months from now, assign work, accept work, and rebalance work – all with a glance at a dashboard.
There is no Zoom stand-up meeting or email that gives that level of rich data about projects, customers, and personnel with so little effort.
Better communication saves money
When projects take months, involve dozens of people in different locations – as well as subcontractors and vendors – communication can get very complicated. You need to know when someone saw your message. It's also helpful to have an easy to find history of communication around tasks and projects.
A single lost email can derail an important step in the process. That missed step can proliferate downriver into major delays – and costs.
One study calculated that poor communication can cost companies with 100,000 employees an average of $62.4 million a year and small companies $420,000 a year.
The mental cost, for your team, of communicating basic information is also huge. Writing emails, staying on top of Slack, and Zoom meetings fill everyone’s day but accomplish little more than communicating what needs to be done and what has been done.
Giving everyone – from the C-Suite to the customer – visibility into the project eliminates the need for much of that communication.
When everyone has a clear view of the project, it’s like gathering explorers together to study a map. Everyone can see the route and the terrain. Someone can stick a pin in and call something out by dropping a note on a task or starting a group chat within the task. But there is no need to describe the map or ask for constant updates on where things are on the map.
The project map
Perfect Project simplifies communication, making it a seamless part of the work process. Instead of writing an email or message to find out if a task is done or if someone is blocked or overworked, a dashboard shows you who is working on what, what they have accomplished so far, and if they are overtasked or underutilized.
There is no need for a daily standup if browsing through the project plan and notes shows the entire team that a task is overdue even though Tim, Elaine, Mahmood, and Tese have logged long hours, ticked off 70% of the necessary tasks, and are currently blocked because the customer has not returned a necessary document.
Everyone can see what’s happening.
Everyone can see that the customer has never logged into the work management tool. And everyone knows, probably because the PM picked up the phone and called the client, the moment the client finally logs in and uploads that missing document.
If your tech stack isn’t helping you get clarity into the work your teams are doing and the health of your projects – while building a stronger work culture – you should fix that, especially if your tech stack has replaced your physical workplace.
For a tour of our intelligent work management tools, visit Moovila.com.