Project team’s productivity can be influenced by a number of items which can affect the business and project outcomes. It is the project manager’s responsibility to identify these obstructions and keep resources on track. The project is in risk of falling behind, with deadlines impacted and, leaving teams scrambling to deal with the consequences.
A distracted workplace can cost more than a team’s productivity; it is likely to affect the organisations bottom line as well. If resources are focused on something other than their job, this will result in lost productivity in terms of billions each year. If this is the case within your team, then there are a number of factors to consider and how they can be resolved.
Technology Issues
Technology is in place to assist employees with being more efficient and effective in their functions, but according to recent studies, has found that distractions occur because of technology and connectivity issues. To alleviate this, it is best to have team members use effective tools for project management and collaboration. Tools which will assist in the performing the job well where they can learn and leverage from those tools.
Surveys are a good source for determining where the obstructions are located. Once known adjustments can be made, as it is easy to get distracted by high level issues and disregards the daily time consumers that cost productivity.
Poor Collaboration
When team productivity suffers, the project manager may have to take on the majority of the work or pick up the slack for others. While this may just feel like a part of the job, it doesn’t have to be. Ensure there is a workload balance; otherwise there will be resources performing double the amount of tasks, and others hardly being productive. This leads to resentment amongst the team, especially if the project encounters a rough spot. Being collaborative in this instance ensures a share in responsibility and the work load more equally divided.
Collaboration alleviates productivity struggles, allowing the project manager to be a better leader. By instilling this into the culture of teams, can ensure that projects remain on track, avoiding budget overages and angry upper-level leadership.
Unnecessary Meetings
Meetings are beneficial for communication, but they can also be an obstruction to project progress. Surveys have been conducted with respondents stating that meetings can stop them from completing work, and at times are unproductive and inefficient. Finding a balance between unproductive meetings and ensuring the team collaborates and connects can be challenging. The following steps can assist in getting a better outcome during meetings.
• The use of collaborative tools that allows team members to report on their progress towards deadlines and goals without having to meet at a certain time and place.
• Encourage team members to schedule “off-limits” focus times on their calendars so they can dedicate distracted-free times throughout the day to get important tasks done.
• Set a time-limit for each meeting. If the meeting goes over, attendees are allowed to leave. This keeps everyone on track.

Lack of Organization
The search through old emails and computer drives can be time consuming and frustrating. It is important to have a central document artefact sharing mechanism in place. There are Cloud-based filing systems which are critical for keeping documents organized. Take it one step further by making sure the naming convention for documents and folders is simple and straightforward. Being able to find a folder is great, but if it is hard to work out what it is, then the value in having one is lost.
Teams should be empowered to develop a process that works for them, and then implement it together. This encourages them to take ownership of the organization, since they’re likely to be the ones adding to folders and accessing documents the most. As a leader, this takes one extra thing off the project manager’s plate enabling more focus on being as productive as possible.
Not Enough Training
Training has proven to be an effective way to increase workplace productivity. Proper training provides employees the tools they need to fulfil their jobs, but it also helps build confidence which in turn makes them more productive. When investing in training for your team, consider the blended learning style, which includes a mix of online and offline learning.
This type of training allows employees to learn in the format that’s best for them, whether that be in-person or individually, with online courses. With the online component, employees can also be most productive, doing their learning modules as time allows, rather than taking up too much time with in-person learning.
Overcoming productivity obstruction
In project management, productivity is critical. Use these ideas to figure out what’s slowing your team down and where improvements can be made. There may be a mix of issues which can affect cost and deadlines. Once identified they can be fixed and assist with the teams productivity.
Remember, it’s critical to lead by example. Don’t just have a meeting and outline all the ways the team is missing the mark. Implement these practices in day-to-day routines. Practicing what is preached is the first step to becoming a transformational leader, which is perhaps the most effective style of leadership for team productivity.
There are many tools available that can implement most of these productivity tips? They are cloud based project management software that fosters collaboration through online task lists, Kanban boards and Gantt charts. Team members can dialogue through chat and other channels, and store project files in the cloud in one accessible location. See how software can help your team productivity by taking a free 30-day trial.

Author's Bio: 

Consultancy Service

Project Management Companion are not a “Body Shop”, but work with our clients and their teams in a mentoring capacity to assist in every facet of project delivery so the Intellectual Property remains within the organisation. We help your team deliver projects successfully.