Visibility is key to success when managing departments, teams, or projects. Knowing what’s been done, what’s coming next, and what’s stuck can make or break a deadline.
If you’re tired of relying on to-do lists, post-it notes, and excel sheets to manage your work and your teams, look for a software solution that has a variety of views to help you manage your way. A few views you might be looking for are Kanban, dashboards, and calendars.
The Kanban view is a popular management tool to determine which stage an item is in. As shown in the columns below, the status of an item on your to-do list is visible in the related column. You might even create rows for each member on your team so you can see if 1 team member has all their items sitting in review while another hasn’t even begun working on their assignments.
To break down the fourth wall on this a little bit, when this blog post was assigned to me, it was in the “New” column. When I started writing, I moved it to the “In Progress” column. Once it was in layout and I needed peer/manager feedback, I would move it to the “Review” column, and once it was published, it moved to “Done” and off of my list.
It should be noted that the columns for these types of boards can change based on the type of work you are doing. The image shown shows a standard list of columns for contract management, but these can be altered to manage matters, HR projects, or blog posts.
Outdated reports make planning challenging, and when managing a larger team, the status of projects and items can change quickly and constantly. Additionally, for busy teams, manual reporting processes require time that these team members just don’t have.
Dashboards resolve these pain points. By providing up-to-the-minute reports – that are meaningful to the leaders and members managing the work, you can adapt your plan as-needed and keep your team’s efforts focused on the work that matters.
In the image below, you’ll see the variety of reports that might be shown on a dashboard. List reports of what is assigned to whom, calendar views, pie charts, and more. Your dashboards should show a high-level overview of what a manager needs to know to direct the team or project.
My brain processes information in calendar format. It’s always been important for me to be able to see my to-do list on a calendar, and when I started my career, I had to build my own system to tracking things the way I wanted to see them. And it was time-consuming. Calendar views in management software shows start and end dates for the items on you to-do list, shows how they interrelate with other members of your team, and gives you an easy-to-see to-do list for the day. This helps with prioritization and keeping your team on track.
Additionally, calendars might be used for specific types of work, like a PTO tracker, tickets in a specific project, a contract expiration/renewal calendar, and more. Using filters on your calendars can focus that view on the exact information you know in order to successfully manage your work.