Organising Work

Most business start out small, where ad hoc works fine and day-to-day seems like a sensible event horizon.

But as things grow — as more people join and more needs to be done — you need to find a better way to organise work.

You’ll know you need this when:

  • You can’t keep track of what’s going on — things start falling between the cracks.
  • People need you to predict when things will happen in the future — but you only know about today.
  • And just getting through today feels like wading through treacle.

Organising Information

Step 1: Start by organising your information.

This may sound like an odd place to start but:

  • It sets an agenda for being better organised — right across the business.
  • It provides a framework on which to hang the other things you need to organise.
  • It gives you a way to communicate organisation — consistently and to everyone.

Managing your business information tells everyone that ad hoc is no longer good enough — storing data in one big file share or cloud — and from here onwards, everyone needs to think about how the machine should work.

Design your information management to reflect the structure that you want from your organisation and from the work that it does.

  • If you want to be strong on projects, then make these the keystone to your information management.

Next Steps

Once you’ve established an agenda for being organised — and have the framework on which to hang more of it …

Step 2: Start scheduling the work within each team:

  • Projects are usually the best way to get work done — so start with project plans.
  • Keep the project plans in an obvious and public place — in your new information management system.

Step 3: Once you’re doing this — reliably — start planning each teams resources:

  • Based on the team work schedule.
  • Keep the resource plans with their related project plans.

Step 4: Then finally, start managing resources across all of the teams:

  • Bring together those individual team resource plans like a jigsaw.
  • Like before, make sure there is an obvious and public home for the plan.

Ongoing

Once all these steps are in place — and working reliably — you need to keep the machine running.

Make sure the work schedules and resource plans are always current, and remain the go to place for work planning information throughout the business.

Points to take away …

  • Recognise when you need to start organising work — are you wading through treacle?
  • Start by organising information — set the agenda and provide a framework.
  • Next, schedule team work, then plan team resources.
  • Finally, manage resources across the teams — build the jigsaw.
  • Keep your plans current.