Days like this suck.  You spend more time in meetings talking about work – or playing on your mobile phone because you’re bored to death and frustrated – rather than getting any actual work done.  Why don’t leaders get death by meetings creates a productivity decline in the office?!

Well… I’ve been there. I’m going to help you prevent these kind of days and make you look good to your boss.  I recommend an agile approach.

Agile is typically used within project management in technology organizations but the principles can be adapted for other areas in any industry.

Now on to the fun part!  Here are 5 aspects of an agile approach that can help you get more actual work done:

Establish a governance body:

Open communication and collaboration is a key agile principle. Build a tight, yet lean, governance structure. Include clearly defined processes for prioritization and resolution to any changes or problems that could derail your work. Risks, issues, dependencies and impediments arise in most daily work environments. They must be tracked and mitigated. Resolution of certain efforts requires interaction with team members, other parts of the organization, stakeholders, customers, and in some cases, with leadership.

Define your sprint (or iteration):

Obviously you have an end goal in mind. Break your tasks into manageable chunks of time – iterations or sprints. Whether you choose 7, 14, or 30-day “sprints” – decide what the timeline is going to be for each task that will be completed within that sprint. This allows you to make incremental progress on multiple things at once, while tracking dependencies and impediments, maximizing efforts to manage work more effectively in the long term.

Hold daily stand-up meetings:

Consistency and communication increase the chances of quality deliverables. Each day hold a standing only 15-minute meeting with team members or stakeholders collaborating on work products . This daily stand up is the opportunity for every member of the team to discuss what they did yesterday, what they’re doing today, what road blocks they foresee, and what information they may require from others to complete tasks. Go forth and conquer.

End of sprint retrospective:

Quality work shouldn’t be rushed. Don’t immediately go to the next set of deliverables or jump into the next sprint. When one set of tasks or deliverables is complete, time is needed to reflect on what went well and why, and what didn’t, prior to moving ahead. This continuous learning cycle helps to contribute to future success.

Communicate, communicate, communicate:

Whether it’s with stakeholders, among members of the team or anyone else within the organization – make sure all parties who have a hand in collaborating on tasks or deliverables are informed about what is going on, when it’s going to happen, and how it’s going to impact them – and your customers.

So…moral of the story…this meme is funny for a reason.  Because it’s true! You know what else is true – it doesn’t have to be that way. So look good to your boss – and increase morale and productivity – by using some of the principles of agile project management in your daily work.

To learn more about how Agile principles can help you improve your productivity – contact us today.

Help me be more productive – GO AGILE