In 21st century management, two of the greatest challenges are matching peoplesâ€™ skills and availability to the work being done, and keeping work flowing productively. For people to be productive and happy, they need a steady flow of relevant work that matches their skills and how they want to work.
In the 20th century, managers usually had a team of people to complete work. Work teams were generally collocated and the manager matched team membersâ€™ skills and availability to get work done. Usually if a skill was missing one of the team members would cover the gap, albeit sometimes very inefficiently.
In the 21st century, the people with the knowledge and skills to best contribute to a task are often not collocated or even in a managerâ€™s team. Consequently managers are required to spend a lot of time and effort assembling the right team, gaining agreement on who has to do what, when, and with whom, keeping track of changes and progress, keeping all team members informed, solving problems and reporting.
Where team members are employed full-time, managers need to be able to manage activity peaks and troughs by outsourcing and insourcing work on an as required basis. The internet has made it easy for many types of work to be done remotely. Consequently it is time to launch a global work management service that makes it easy and fast to find people with relevant skills and availability, and to keep work flowing to maximize productivity.
Each team member simply wants to know what they need to do, and to get on with the work without interruptions. Currently, finding out what the manager really wants done, then keeping managers informed of changes and progress takes a lot of time.
On small tasks, interactions with managers and administration can take longer than the time required to do the task. This frustrates team members, causes stress for everyone, and breaks down trust.
Trust is an important, but fragile, part of any relationship. If managers are constantly trying to find out what each team member is doing, it doesnâ€™t take long for all parties to start to lose trust in each other. Often a downward spiral begins, because reduced levels of trust lead to incorrect assumptions and create a reluctance to pass on bad news that leads to more questioning when work is not done. This further reduces trust.
People have always managed their own time. Every day we make many decisions about what we are going to do next. A problem occurs when we are unsure of exactly how we need to contribute to tasks. Many people create some form of list that they update from meetings and communications and the actions they complete. Maintaining these lists to stop forgetting anything is also unproductive in that it takes time away from doing work.
In the 21st century, it makes little sense to continue employing inefficient management methods that waste a significant amount of time and effort for all team members (including managers) and reduce trust. We need to design management methods that use available technologies to not only communicate, but to simplify assembling the right team, gaining agreement on who has to do what, when, and with whom, keeping track of changes and progress, keeping all team members informed, solving problems and reporting.
A Global Work Management Service that makes it easy and fast to select team members with the right skills and availability, and to get the work done with minimal interruptions to workflows is urgently required. In 21st century management, everyone needs to be able to instantly find out what is happening, and what to do, from anywhere at any time.
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