Three ways the right task manager can improve team productivity
A task manager has many benefits on individual productivity: it helps you to keep track of your goals and to stay on top of your tasks. But a team task manager can further boost productivity in your office.
Collaboration implies working together to achieve shared goals, and a team task manager will help your team share knowledge, building consensus and learning together. But beyond its benefits for team collaboration, a team task manager can boost productivity in your office in some very practical ways.
Having a shared task list where everyone is assigned their own tasks is a great way of increasing accountability among your team members.
When everyone is transparent about the tasks they are working on and they share their tasks with their team, people are more inclined to follow through on the tasks they committed to, as they feel directly responsible for the outcomes of their work.
Team members that take responsibility for their work are not only empowered by the ability to make decisions, but are also more engaged within their organization. And when the team experiences a sense of ownership over their work, they also experience greater job satisfaction – which in turn boosts team productivity.
Reduced communication overhead
Communication is absolutely necessary for the team to move forward toward its goals – that is, as long as it’s effective. Communication overhead is the time you spend communicating rather than getting work done, and you want to keep it to a minimum.
There can be such a thing as a waste of communication. For example, in The Mythical Man-Month, Fred Brooks gives a formula for the number of communication pathways: [n*(n-1)]/2. That means that for a team of 5, you get [5 * (5-1)]/2 = 10 communication pathways, or channels. But if the team has 10 members, then you have [10 * (10-1)]/2 = 45 channels.
Of course, the larger the team, the more communication pathways. This means that the time it will take to make decisions and to get the project done will dramatically increase. But even in a smaller team, ineffective communication can be a drag on productivity.
That’s where a team task manager can make it easy to communicate effectively, especially when it comes to the specific task context. A simple commenting functionality can decrease the amount of time spent on communicating about the tasks, and allow your team members to get more done instead.
Clarity of team goals
In a team setting, it’s extremely important for everyone to be aligned and working toward the same goal. In other words, team members need to understand the why: why are we working on the tasks we are? How are they going to bring us closer to our goal?
A shared task list gives your team the ability to see an overview of the tasks that will get the team closer to the desired goal. It will also give team members a greater sense of cohesiveness and allow everyone to see what the others are working on. This is extremely important in keeping the team transparent, as it ultimately goes back to team accountability and engagement.
Not sure how to choose a task manager that works for your team? Check out the five things to consider when choosing one, and the essential features of a trusted collaboration system.
Have you experienced increased team productivity using a team task manager? Tell us about it in the comment section below!