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Companies Adopting Product Management Methods

Gartner’s recently released Market Guide for Product Management and Roadmapping Tools reports a continued uptick in adoption of a product-centric-delivery model. By 2022, Gartner claims, 70% of organizations will have made this shift and let go of older project management practices in favor of more integrated product management methods. In addition, by 2023,  75% of product managers “will rely on product management and roadmapping tools to improve planning and communication with IT and business stakeholders”. Product leaders should take advantage of the moment to review how their team manages every phase in the product life cycle and determine areas that could benefit from current solutions on the market.

History of Product Management

The many misconceptions around product management make the discussion and decision about the right tools especially difficult for business leaders looking to adopt product management methods. While product management as the modern discipline that it is today is most often associated with software development, it is recommended for all industries and actually got its start in consumer goods. To make an even greater argument for product management’s relevance outside of software, Phil Hopkins, Senior Product Manager at Bridg.com, makes a compelling claim that product management is one and the same with human history:

The history of the world is the history of product management. Today we think of product management in contemporary business terms, defined by the role of the Product Manager in software and other fields. But whether the products are sharpened rocks, or printing presses, or penicillin, or nuclear fission, the advancement of human civilization is almost entirely defined by products…What can be more interesting than inventing products, which gets all the attention, is the management of products after they’re invented. While a product’s eureka moment may be more glamorous, it’s hard to think of a product that doesn’t owe the timing and nature of its impact, or lack thereof, to its management.

Rather than continuing in this line of thought, it is more useful to turn attention to the more recent history of product management. By looking at how different aspects of the practice developed, leaders are able to grasp more fully the significance and challenges that the discipline faces.

1923- Asking the Right Questions

An economist named Dr. Paul Smelser joins Procter & Gamble. He immediately starts asking questions about the customer. This leads people to realize that anecdotal evidence ie., knowledge that most employee’s wives buy Ivory soap, is insufficient for creating accurate predictive models. 

1924-Pillar of Product Management, Market Research Instituted

Catching on to the value of Smelser’s thinking, leaders at Procter & Gamble ask him to create the company’s market research department.

1931-The Original Product Manager Role is Created

Junior Executive at Procter & Gamble, Neil McElroy creates a new role; “brand man.” At this time the company maintains a strong policy that internal brands should not compete aggressively against each other. Ivory soap, has captured the market and other brands at the company, like Camay, are struggling. McElroy’s brand men for Camay soap will manage the brand and promote as aggressively as if Camay was an individual company. Effectively, the brand man is the first “cross-functional leader coordinating between R&D, Sales, Marketing, Manufacturing,” explains  Jason Shen, in his article on the subject.

1958-Product Management in Space and Defense Programs

As secretary for defense, McElroy leads the creation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency. At this time, separate defense and space efforts have previously been run in each branch of the military. What with competition between service branches, this is an excellent change. In the same way that modern product teams have a unique ability to reconcile competing priorities from external stakeholders for the overall good of the product, ARPA, which will later be absorbed by NASA, stands outside the competition and makes better progress in defense technology and space exploration.

1980s-Product Management in Software Development

As Microsoft engineers work to develop Excel for the Macintosh, product managers prove themselves more and more indispensable. The engineers are working with a foreign landscape over which they have little control. Because of this they find themselves getting pulled too far into the weeds and losing sight of overarching goals. Product managers once again stand outside of the fray and balance the importance of individual requirements with the sheer amount of effort creating each in a strange program takes. In the book, Making Things Happen, Scott Berkun, describes Microsoft’s original idea of a product manager:

A wise man named Jabe Blumenthal realized that there could be a special job where an individual would be involved with these two functions, playing a role of both leadership and coordination. He’d be involved in the project from day one of planning, all the way through the last day of testing. It had to be someone who was at least technical enough to work with and earn the respect of programmers, but also someone who had talents and interests for broader participation in how products were made.

Additional Background-Hewlett Packard and the Dissemination of Product Management Philosophy

McElroy’s impact on product management did not end with ARPA and NASA. As an advisor to Bill Hewlett and David Packard during their time at Stanford, McElroy passed along much product strategy. Considering how many tech greats got their start at Hewlett-Packard, it is no surprise that product management has spread like wildfire through Silicone Valley.

The Discipline of Product Management Defined

From this short history, it becomes clear how complex but indispensable product management is for companies looking to achieve their potential. Product management is not the simplified function it is easy to imagine it as. Instead, product management is the business management of the entire product lifecycle, from ideation to discontinuation, so that it generates as much value as possible to the organization. A helpful model to refer to is João Craveiro’s visual interpretation of product management today:

In his article “Marty Meets martin: Connecting the Two Triads of Product Management,” Craveiro explains how he combines author Marty Cagan’s definition of product management as the effort “to discover a product that is valuable, usable and feasible” and Martin Eriksson’s description of “product management as the intersection between business, technology and user experience.”

Product Management Operating as “Business Fuel Efficiency”

Another way to look at product management is to compare an organization to an aircraft. If business success translates to upward momentum, products are the fuel that generates this momentum. Product management is in charge of making sure that the organization uses its fuel as efficiently as possible. In preparation for flight, careful calculations of aerodynamic drag, weight and more are made to ensure that the aircraft has enough fuel to make it through the flight successfully. Product management takes its responsibility to generate enough “lift” from each product equally seriously.

Gartner Defines Current Product Management Needs

Given how critical product management is to business success today, it is important that product teams have the tools they needs to succeed. While every product team differs, Gartner has defined several key requirements of product teams that want to stay as innovative as possible. These requirements are described below.

Information Makes or Breaks Product Management

In every stage of product management there is much information that must be made common knowledge to the entire team. This is absolutely critical. Because product strategy is an extension of business strategy, the defined business needs for each product is one such piece of information. For example, the driving goal behind Amazon Prime’s launch was to increase customer loyalty. Longterm, this made an impact on revenue positively. However, the desired business outcome for the Prime product was clearly communicated as a demonstrable growth in loyalty. In order to make products as successful as Prime, a product team must have a clearly defined business need in mind at every state. In the same way, customer and market insights must also be accessible. After all, product team without access to customer feedback about shipping prices and times might have chosen an alternative to Prime that may not have been as successful.

Product teams that can more easily access key information are able to create products that do more with less. Therefore, it is critical that teams work in a product management program that offers this accessibility. Gartner lists “management of ideas, requirements and resources” as a necessary feature in top level product management solutions and adds “centralized notes” preferable as well. Priority Matrix, featured by Gartner as one of the most full featured product solutions on the market, offers both these functions. Access to all informational resources is easily managed and, by default, available to the entire product team.

Decisions in Product Management

Throughout a product’s life cycle, many important decisions are made. Perhaps the most important one is defining the products value proposition. Paul Wormal provides an excellent definition of the term:

The phrase “value proposition” is not as important as what it represents, and what it offers through that representation. It offers clarity and confidence in communicating critical issues especially emotional and functional benefits, before a product exists. It is a powerful, valuable output of research that can resonate equally with designers, clients and users. It is an easy-to-access guiding document, a signpost to steer and inspire downstream design.

By “output of research” Wormal refers to the fact that the value proposition is synthesized from business, market and customer insights recently discussed. As such, the decision around value proposition is best made in the same tool that holds all other helpful information. Priority Matrix is especially helpful with strategic decisions like this. The program’s four quadrant model helps teams engage with and manage various options, to ultimately converge on the right strategy. As an example, product teams can easily use a four quadrant value synthesis template to track product ideation from needs management to defined value proposition.

Clear and Updated Product Roadmap

If the data garnered by research is the “why” and the value proposition is the “what,” the product roadmap is the outline of the “how” and the “when.” Naturally, product management solutions must facilitate creation of and follow through on this outline. Since product management is an intersection of many different job functions and distinct processes, there are many instances where progress is stalled. Once again, the question of “accessibility” returns, this time that of both logistic and conceptual accessibility. Two features that Gartner considers when evaluating product solutions for their market guide are milestone tracking  and workflow management. Priority Matrix is able to offer these features so that product teams can build and work in a fully functioning roadmap. In addition, Priority Matrix’s multiple views and analytics provide the “visualization capabilities of tools [that] also make for easier collaboration with and between staff in IT application development and multiple lines of business such as marketing, finance and operations.” 

Flexibility to Changes

Product teams need to be responsive to changes. Based on new information and developments, aspects of the road map and even, at times, value proposition will change. However, this responsive method only helps with swift value delivery and continuous improvement if the information is up to date. Gartner recognizes improved communication as a top goal for product teams. Concise and clear communication or its lack thereof has the power to render effective product management either even more successful or nearly impossible.

Priority Matrix recognizes that the roadmap and additional product resources are living documents. Because of this, product teams in Priority Matrix are able to hold clear and swift conversations in the context of each action item. This way product teams are never working off of old news as they wait for critical changes to trickle down. The communication function of Priority Matrix has even been found powerful enough to reduce the need for team-wide meetings, thus saving time.

Conclusion

Product teams carry a lot of responsibility when it comes to the continued success of their companies. However, the right product management and roadmapping solution can help these teams take full advantage of the benefits that product management practices bring. Check out the the full 2019 Gartner Market Guide for Product Management and Roadmapping Tools to see Priority Matrix’s full list of product management and roadmapping features, or start a trial with your team!

The post How to Evaluate Product Management Tools appeared first on Priority Matrix Productivity.

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Companies Adopting Product Management Methods

Gartner’s recently released Market Guide for Product Management and Roadmapping Tools reports a continued uptick in adoption of a product-centric-delivery model. By 2022, Gartner claims, 70% of organizations will have made this shift and let go of older project management practices in favor of more integrated product management methods. In addition, by 2023,  75% of product managers “will rely on product management and roadmapping tools to improve planning and communication with IT and business stakeholders”. Product leaders should take advantage of the moment to review how their team manages every phase in the product life cycle and determine areas that could benefit from current solutions on the market.

History of Product Management

The many misconceptions around product management make the discussion and decision about the right tools especially difficult for business leaders looking to adopt product management methods. While product management as the modern discipline that it is today is most often associated with software development, it is recommended for all industries and actually got its start in consumer goods. To make an even greater argument for product management’s relevance outside of software, Phil Hopkins, Senior Product Manager at Bridg.com, makes a compelling claim that product management is one and the same with human history:

The history of the world is the history of product management. Today we think of product management in contemporary business terms, defined by the role of the Product Manager in software and other fields. But whether the products are sharpened rocks, or printing presses, or penicillin, or nuclear fission, the advancement of human civilization is almost entirely defined by products…What can be more interesting than inventing products, which gets all the attention, is the management of products after they’re invented. While a product’s eureka moment may be more glamorous, it’s hard to think of a product that doesn’t owe the timing and nature of its impact, or lack thereof, to its management.

Rather than continuing in this line of thought, it is more useful to turn attention to the more recent history of product management. By looking at how different aspects of the practice developed, leaders are able to grasp more fully the significance and challenges that the discipline faces.

1923- Asking the Right Questions

An economist named Dr. Paul Smelser joins Procter & Gamble. He immediately starts asking questions about the customer. This leads people to realize that anecdotal evidence ie., knowledge that most employee’s wives buy Ivory soap, is insufficient for creating accurate predictive models. 

1924-Pillar of Product Management, Market Research Instituted

Catching on to the value of Smelser’s thinking, leaders at Procter & Gamble ask him to create the company’s market research department.

1931-The Original Product Manager Role is Created

Junior Executive at Procter & Gamble, Neil McElroy creates a new role; “brand man.” At this time the company maintains a strong policy that internal brands should not compete aggressively against each other. Ivory soap, has captured the market and other brands at the company, like Camay, are struggling. McElroy’s brand men for Camay soap will manage the brand and promote as aggressively as if Camay was an individual company. Effectively, the brand man is the first “cross-functional leader coordinating between R&D, Sales, Marketing, Manufacturing,” explains  Jason Shen, in his article on the subject.

1958-Product Management in Space and Defense Programs

As secretary for defense, McElroy leads the creation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency. At this time, separate defense and space efforts have previously been run in each branch of the military. What with competition between service branches, this is an excellent change. In the same way that modern product teams have a unique ability to reconcile competing priorities from external stakeholders for the overall good of the product, ARPA, which will later be absorbed by NASA, stands outside the competition and makes better progress in defense technology and space exploration.

1980s-Product Management in Software Development

As Microsoft engineers work to develop Excel for the Macintosh, product managers prove themselves more and more indispensable. The engineers are working with a foreign landscape over which they have little control. Because of this they find themselves getting pulled too far into the weeds and losing sight of overarching goals. Product managers once again stand outside of the fray and balance the importance of individual requirements with the sheer amount of effort creating each in a strange program takes. In the book, Making Things Happen, Scott Berkun, describes Microsoft’s original idea of a product manager:

A wise man named Jabe Blumenthal realized that there could be a special job where an individual would be involved with these two functions, playing a role of both leadership and coordination. He’d be involved in the project from day one of planning, all the way through the last day of testing. It had to be someone who was at least technical enough to work with and earn the respect of programmers, but also someone who had talents and interests for broader participation in how products were made.

Additional Background-Hewlett Packard and the Dissemination of Product Management Philosophy

McElroy’s impact on product management did not end with ARPA and NASA. As an advisor to Bill Hewlett and David Packard during their time at Stanford, McElroy passed along much product strategy. Considering how many tech greats got their start at Hewlett-Packard, it is no surprise that product management has spread like wildfire through Silicone Valley.

The Discipline of Product Management Defined

From this short history, it becomes clear how complex but indispensable product management is for companies looking to achieve their potential. Product management is not the simplified function it is easy to imagine it as. Instead, product management is the business management of the entire product lifecycle, from ideation to discontinuation, so that it generates as much value as possible to the organization. A helpful model to refer to is João Craveiro’s visual interpretation of product management today:

In his article “Marty Meets martin: Connecting the Two Triads of Product Management,” Craveiro explains how he combines author Marty Cagan’s definition of product management as the effort “to discover a product that is valuable, usable and feasible” and Martin Eriksson’s description of “product management as the intersection between business, technology and user experience.”

Product Management Operating as “Business Fuel Efficiency”

Another way to look at product management is to compare an organization to an aircraft. If business success translates to upward momentum, products are the fuel that generates this momentum. Product management is in charge of making sure that the organization uses its fuel as efficiently as possible. In preparation for flight, careful calculations of aerodynamic drag, weight and more are made to ensure that the aircraft has enough fuel to make it through the flight successfully. Product management takes its responsibility to generate enough “lift” from each product equally seriously.

Gartner Defines Current Product Management Needs

Given how critical product management is to business success today, it is important that product teams have the tools they needs to succeed. While every product team differs, Gartner has defined several key requirements of product teams that want to stay as innovative as possible. These requirements are described below.

Information Makes or Breaks Product Management

In every stage of product management there is much information that must be made common knowledge to the entire team. This is absolutely critical. Because product strategy is an extension of business strategy, the defined business needs for each product is one such piece of information. For example, the driving goal behind Amazon Prime’s launch was to increase customer loyalty. Longterm, this made an impact on revenue positively. However, the desired business outcome for the Prime product was clearly communicated as a demonstrable growth in loyalty. In order to make products as successful as Prime, a product team must have a clearly defined business need in mind at every state. In the same way, customer and market insights must also be accessible. After all, product team without access to customer feedback about shipping prices and times might have chosen an alternative to Prime that may not have been as successful.

Product teams that can more easily access key information are able to create products that do more with less. Therefore, it is critical that teams work in a product management program that offers this accessibility. Gartner lists “management of ideas, requirements and resources” as a necessary feature in top level product management solutions and adds “centralized notes” preferable as well. Priority Matrix, featured by Gartner as one of the most full featured product solutions on the market, offers both these functions. Access to all informational resources is easily managed and, by default, available to the entire product team.

Decisions in Product Management

Throughout a product’s life cycle, many important decisions are made. Perhaps the most important one is defining the products value proposition. Paul Wormal provides an excellent definition of the term:

The phrase “value proposition” is not as important as what it represents, and what it offers through that representation. It offers clarity and confidence in communicating critical issues especially emotional and functional benefits, before a product exists. It is a powerful, valuable output of research that can resonate equally with designers, clients and users. It is an easy-to-access guiding document, a signpost to steer and inspire downstream design.

By “output of research” Wormal refers to the fact that the value proposition is synthesized from business, market and customer insights recently discussed. As such, the decision around value proposition is best made in the same tool that holds all other helpful information. Priority Matrix is especially helpful with strategic decisions like this. The program’s four quadrant model helps teams engage with and manage various options, to ultimately converge on the right strategy. As an example, product teams can easily use a four quadrant value synthesis template to track product ideation from needs management to defined value proposition.

Clear and Updated Product Roadmap

If the data garnered by research is the “why” and the value proposition is the “what,” the product roadmap is the outline of the “how” and the “when.” Naturally, product management solutions must facilitate creation of and follow through on this outline. Since product management is an intersection of many different job functions and distinct processes, there are many instances where progress is stalled. Once again, the question of “accessibility” returns, this time that of both logistic and conceptual accessibility. Two features that Gartner considers when evaluating product solutions for their market guide are milestone tracking  and workflow management. Priority Matrix is able to offer these features so that product teams can build and work in a fully functioning roadmap. In addition, Priority Matrix’s multiple views and analytics provide the “visualization capabilities of tools [that] also make for easier collaboration with and between staff in IT application development and multiple lines of business such as marketing, finance and operations.” 

Flexibility to Changes

Product teams need to be responsive to changes. Based on new information and developments, aspects of the road map and even, at times, value proposition will change. However, this responsive method only helps with swift value delivery and continuous improvement if the information is up to date. Gartner recognizes improved communication as a top goal for product teams. Concise and clear communication or its lack thereof has the power to render effective product management either even more successful or nearly impossible.

Priority Matrix recognizes that the roadmap and additional product resources are living documents. Because of this, product teams in Priority Matrix are able to hold clear and swift conversations in the context of each action item. This way product teams are never working off of old news as they wait for critical changes to trickle down. The communication function of Priority Matrix has even been found powerful enough to reduce the need for team-wide meetings, thus saving time.

Conclusion

Product teams carry a lot of responsibility when it comes to the continued success of their companies. However, the right product management and roadmapping solution can help these teams take full advantage of the benefits that product management practices bring. Check out the the full 2019 Gartner Market Guide for Product Management and Roadmapping Tools to see Priority Matrix’s full list of product management and roadmapping features, or start a trial with your team!

The post How to Evaluate Product Management Tools appeared first on Priority Matrix Productivity.

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Introduction

There’s no denying it, maintaining productivity on a daily basis is not easy. However, instead of beating ourselves up about times when we weren’t able to match the productivity of the day before, it is more constructive to find the key success factors that we can rely on to work towards consistent and repeatable productivity. Instead of feverishly trying to avoid losing focus, it is better to take an additive approach. Below are some practices that have been proven to contribute to consistent productivity.

Taking Breaks

We aren’t machines and taking breaks can help us keep our energy up. Any time we lose in a five minute break is well worth it if we are able to productively work for another hour or so as a result. One productivity method that has been proven to increase productivity is the pomodoro technique. This technique, which divides time into twenty-five minute segments, has breaks built in. After every segment, or pomodoro, you are encouraged to take a five minute break. After four of these pomodoros, you take a longer, twenty minute break. Rather than pushing you to finish something in one sitting, this technique emphasizes manageable amounts of uninterrupted time and sees breaks as contributing to your ability to avoid interruptions.

The Pomodoro Technique - YouTube

Giving Yourself Credit for Accomplishments

A lot of times we get stressed and lose productivity because we do not acknowledge what we have already accomplished. If we never feel a sense of accomplishment, all the work that we do can start to feel pointless. Instead, looking at what you have already done reminds you that this is what hard work produces-progress and a sense of satisfaction. In addition, according to motivational speaker, William Arruda, taking time for self-congratulation is key because it is a great confidence builder. When other people are too busy to acknowledge your strengths, you simply need to do it yourself.

Maintaining Realistic Expectations

Another thing that can greatly sap productivity is a constant feeling of failure. When we put too much on our list we will never succeed. While challenging ourselves to accomplish an unheard of amount of tasks in one day might seem like just what we need to kickstart our motivation and send us into hyperdrive, more often than not, when we invariably do not finish everything, we end up demotivated the next time we start work. Instead, consistently accomplishing realistic goals encourages us and will lead to a greater sense of productivity which will in turn lead to an increase in actual productivity.

Unitasking

Multitasking is not possible. In fact, continuing to try do it does more harm for our productivity than good. When we think that we are multitasking we are actually frantically jumping back and forth between several different tasks, unwittingly losing time as our brains try to keep up with all the context switching. Instead, being content to do one task at a time and doing it as best as you can is much better for your productivity.

Staying Focused on Goals

It is difficult to stay productive when you cannot quite remember why you are working on the mountain of work in front of you. Make sure that you always understand why and how each task is important to your goals. A good practice is to consistently challenge each task as if it was personally trying to steal your time. Perhaps you keep feeling like you should do a task but you can’t actually figure out how it will help. These are the tasks that demotivate you and distract you from more important things. You are able to to tackle the tasks that you see as directly contributing to your goals with a much better sense of purpose, which will encourage you to work more productively. One way to make sure that all of your tasks are connected to goals is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. The Eisenhower Matrix categorizes tasks based on priority level, and this is directly related to how it will impact your goals. When you look at your tasks placed in the Eisenhower Matrix, you directly see the impact of accomplishing each and every one of them.

Finding the Right Tools

When we do not have the right tools, productivity can suffer. Finding the right notebook, organizer or project management software can do wonders to help productivity because these tools are supposed to continually support our efforts. To find the right tool, do your research to see what methods and software is out there. This way, you will get a sense of your options before you make a choice. One productivity tool to check out is Priority Matrix, a priority and project management software that directly uses the Eisenhower Matrix. You can download a free trial today!

Watch this video to learn more:

3 Ways to Categorize Tasks for Increased Productivity - YouTube

The post Key Success Factors in Maintaining Daily Productivity appeared first on Priority Matrix Productivity.

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Introduction

Creating and managing new hire packets for each new employee can take up a lot of time for HR professionals. In Priority Matrix, HR managers can create a template for, customize and share new hire packets. This way, all the important tasks in employee on-boarding are in one place.

What is a New Hire Packet?

A new hire packet is a collection of information and forms that get the on-boarding process for a new employee started. While it is typical for a new hire packet to include fun gifts like apparel or branded office to supplies, this aspect of the new hire packet is only one part. A new hire packet also includes tax forms, payroll information and other necessary resources that the employee must look at and sign so that they can officially be deemed an employee of the company.

New Hire Packet in Priority Matrix

In priority matrix, HR professionals can create a new hire packet template with all the generic items that it is policy to include. When on-boarding a new hire, they can easily add important forms to the Priority Matrix new hire packet and share it with the new employee. While physical welcome items will be waiting for the new employee on their desk, the critical documents in the new hire packet will be safely stored in Priority Matrix. This way, HR managers can have the peace of mind that all the important forms will be kept track of.

We have created a public New Hire Packet Template for you to launch. This template is divided into four categories:

  • Welcome Info– This will hold the press release or new hire email that may have been sent to the company. Any official announcement so that the new hire is aware of it. In addition, the welcome letter from the CEO can be placed here. Finally, any additional welcome info, like an overview of company culture, etc.
  • Paperwork– Here will go forms that the new hire needs to look at or sign for compliance purposes. This quadrant holds the items that HR managers are especially focused on completing ASAP.
  • Logistics– Information about employee training, important passwords, or their new email address will go here.
  • Misc.-Additional information or items of not can go in Misc. New employees can also create items to make requests from the HR manager.

Because Priority Matrix items can hold files, images, links and more, this four quadrant project is a perfect framework for a digital new hire packet. In addition, the conversation box attached to each item allows the HR Manager to collaborate with the new hire to clarify steps and help them fill out necessary paperwork.

Create Your New Hire Packet Template

1. Start by launching the “New Hire Template” as a base.

2. Customize the Quadrant names and contents if needed.

3. Right Click on Project in list and select “Save as Template.”


Set Up New Hire Packet for a Specific Hire

1. Create a new project from your new hire template.

2. Rename the project with new hire name

3. Upload relevant files

4. Invite new hire to project

5. Assign Actionable tasks

6. Collaborate!

The post Creating a New Hire Packet in Priority Matrix appeared first on Priority Matrix Productivity.

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Introduction

When taking on the role of manager, people are faced with many important decisions. Perhaps one of the biggest pressures they feel is navigating many types of manager that they see today. Granted, theyhope to be a good manager but there are many different ways to accomplish this. Management style dictates how they will do their job and while it does not directly impact how well they do it, finding the right management style is key. However, there are many additional variables to the outcome as well.

Hands-on Vs. Hands-off

One of the most obvious differences among the many types of managers is whether they are hands-on or hands-off. Each manager will have their own opinion about what style is best. However, it is important to realize that there is not one right answer. Depending on the situation and other skills that the manager brings, a hands-on or hands-off attitude can be either the best or worst things for the company. We are going to look at two examples each of a hands-on manager and a hands-off manager and explore how different choices and practices, not only the management style, determines whether the manager is successful.

Micromanaging or Coaching?

You could characterize both a “micromanager” and a “coach” as a hands-on manager. However, while coaches are lauded for their constant presence, this is the characteristic of micromanagers that drive their employees crazy. For many new managers, it might be difficult to find the line between “engaged and supportive” and simply not letting employees do anything on their own.

Author and founder of LeadershipIQ, Mark Murphy believes that micromanagement happens when leaders are fearful. This fear is because they are not used to not being directly in control of results, as they were when they were an individual contributor. Many of these managers were promoted because of their exceptional skills and they have difficulties because they are not used to having to trust other people’s skills. In addition, managers can find themselves micromanaging when they feel that they do not have enough opportunity to show their expertise. Instead of “finding new areas in which to be seen as an expert,” they comb through their direct reports work to catch mistakes and fix them.

In contrast, managers who use a coaching type management style are present only when needed. This may be often, but again, it is first and foremost for the good of their employees. In addition, a coaching type of hands-on management style emphasizes direction and support in order that the employee can become more and more self-sufficient. While micromanaging does not tend to lead to improvement, only annoyance, coaching has a positive goal that has nothing to do with the managers needs and fears.

In Priority Matrix managers are able to see what is going on so that they can jump in as needed without disrupting their employee’s workflow just to reassure themselves that everything is on track.

When is Laissez-faire too…Laissez faire?

Then there are the types of managers who take a hands-off approach. This type can be called a chaotic management style or a laissez-faire approach. While these names make this practice sound negative, there are many industries and companies that greatly benefit from this. Why is this? Because, with this approach, managers provide expectations to their employees but let them choose freely how they will accomplish the goals. This can be very motivating because employees are often excited to be able to make more decisions. As a result, they find themselves accomplishing more than they thought possible, once given this extra responsibility and freedom. As can be imagined, this is highly positive for situations that require innovation and out of the box thinking.

While there are instances where this approach is beneficial, it is by no means across the board. Many teams that are led by laissez-faire managers are overwhelmed and confused. As a result, inefficiency, confusion and lack of ownership can result. What is the big difference between a hands-off approach that is successful and an approach that wreaks havoc?

One big thing, besides the question of whether or not the industry is compatible with a hands-off approach, is how well the manager knows the people they are letting roam free. An unsuccessful hands-off manager assigns goals to an employee without knowing whether or not they have the skills and energy to be successful. This manager adopts the hands-off method without taking on the responsibility that comes with this method. Successful hands-off managers only take the back seat when they know enough to confidently trust that their employees can handle these extra demands. In short, a hands-off management approach may seem relaxed but it is by no means thoughtless. The successful chaotic or laissez-faire manager knows their team inside and out and uses this knowledge to their benefit.

Helping These Types of Managers Succeed

The good news is that micromanagers and unsuccessfully hands-off managers can definitely find solutions that will help them reap the benefits of their chosen approaches. Often, they just need to make a couple tweaks and Priority Matrix is able to provide them with the support that they need to do this.

Real-Time Visibility for the Micromanager

One of the most frustrating things about having a micromanaging boss is that they are constantly emailing each employee for a status update. Believe it or not, the bosses find this exhausting themselves and would prefer not to do it. Priority Matrix helps managers keep track of status and projects from afar. Having this visibility into team activities gives managers the peace of mind they need to let go of the fear that makes them want to lurk. In addition, the big picture view that the system gives lets managers clearly see what opportunities there are for them to utilize their expertise for a greater good. With the insight that they receive into the status, workflow and direction of the team, the manager can scratch their itch to be seen as an expert by filling previously unseen needs with exciting solutions and initiatives.

Managers use Reports, Universal Views and Live Feed to see what’s going on. Context for the Manager Trying to Sit Back

Because Priority Matrix tracks tasks, conversation and decisions that each team member makes, managers are able to look back and understand not only what their track record has been but also how they tackle problems. This gives them the knowledge they need to be able to successfully choose a hands-off approach. Priority Matrix can tell managers what team members thrive with more responsibility, are able to deal with pressure and innovate well without direction.

Managers can filter their view to focus on one independent contributor and analyze their individual skills and contributions. Using Priority Matrix for Both Types of Managers

No matter whether they are hands-off or hands-on, struggling against micromanaging or already an experienced coach type, managers can benefit from the visibility and context that working in Priority Matrix provides.

The post Two Types of Managers in Priority Matrix appeared first on Priority Matrix Productivity.

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Introduction

As a manager, you are doing everything you possibly can to ensure team success. But what exactly does this entail? Depending on the circumstances, success my look different for each team. However, here are some common success markers:

Markers for Team Success
  • On time projects
  • Good communication practices
  • Clear Direction
  • Optimal Organization

Since team success is the most important responsibility for a manager, anything that they do to support this has an added bonus of contributing to their own professional success as well. Below are some of the many ways that Priority Matrix positively impacts team success.

Shared Priorities

A successful team must know the direction that they are working towards. More importantly, the must understand what activities are not important in the context team goals. Lack of team understanding in this area can really take a toll on team success. Especially in a fast-paced environment, individual team members can lose track of the top priorities. To combat this, managers often spend much of their time trying to direct people towards the biggest positive impact. This can take a lot of time away from other management responsibilities like individual development.

In Priority Matrix, teams collaborate in four-quadrant projects. These projects, based on the Eisenhower Method, clearly define what activities are most important for team success. When managers organize projects in these four quadrants, they can ensure that there is always a clear direction for each project. When priorities change, chaos does not have to ensure. Manager can simply move items around to convey changes in priority and these changes are visible to the entire team.

In-Context Conversation

A huge part of managing team success is being present to answer questions and provide additional information as needed. Many managers find their own work countlessly interrupted throughout the day by people stopping by to clarify something that is unclear or seek direction. This not only requires the manager to interrupt their current workflow, they often need to understand the background information before they can be of help. In Priority Matrix, there is a conversation feature built in. However, unlike other chat features, every conversation stream is in context of one and only one item. This means that if a team member asks a question about a task, all the relevant information is already there. Not only is it easy for the manager to understand the context of the question but this and any other conversation around that task is preserved and available to the entire team.

MultipleViews

A challenge that can impact team success negatively is the fact that different team members may prefer to work through projects and look at information differently. In addition to the four quadrant format, Priority Matrix offers additional views that appeal to different working styles. The Calendar view shows all the tasks scheduled out, while the Gantt Chart provides the increments of time that each task in a project will take, on a timeline. Finally, the Master List is perfect for those who like the vertical list view. No matter what view a team member uses, it doesn’t affect the project format for anyone else. No matter the view, each team member can see and update item details as normal.

Filters

Another factor in team success is not only how information is displayed but also how much of it is displayed at a time. Too much information can distract team members from focusing on the tasks that each one needs to accomplish individually. In addition, looking at everything to be done across the whole month is not necessary positive. At times, it is better to simply focus on the work for today or this week. The filters help each team member create the view that help them work as productively as possible. They can narrow the task by time frame, filter out anything that is not assigned to them, or create a special tag and filter to filter by. In short, filters help teams visually prioritize in their own way and prevent information overwhelm.

One on One View for Team Success

Finally, the One on One view is especially designed to help managers directly support team success. The One on One view helps them look directly at the work that they share with each one of their direct reports. This view is not only helpful in preparation for in person one on ones. In addition, this view helps managers check in on status without needing to pick up the phone, send an email or schedule a meeting. Learn more about the One on One view

Conclusion

While there are a lot of things that can impact team success at the drop of a hat. Priority Matrix can help managers make sure that team are working and communicating in the best way possible.

The post Team Success in Priority Matrix appeared first on Priority Matrix Productivity.

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Are you a legal professional looking to gain more knowledge in the field of law? Would you like to network with other attorneys in the industry? Or, are you inspired to become a better lawyer?

You can complete all of the above in addition to promoting your law firm, fulfilling your continuing legal education requirements, and learning how to harness new legal technology by attending a legal conference in 2019.

By taking part in a legal conference, you will immerse yourself in an environment with a variety of professionals and speakers, and you are bound to learn a ton from the individuals around you.

In this article, we will refer you to a variety of legal conferences in 2019, including:

  • Attorney Conferences
  • Legal Technology Conferences
  • American Bar Association Conferences
  • International Bar Association Conferences
  • Legal Assistant Training
  • Paralegal Training
  • Legal Secretarial Training
Legal Conferences 2019 Legal Conferences Lawyernomics 

Lawyernomics is a consistently sold-out business development conference that brings a variety of legal professionals together to share ideas and get you inspired.

Topics include marketing, branding, the latest technology, and more.

The 2019 details have not been announced yet, but keep checking their website for updates on the dates, the location, and registration information.

Here is a video with some highlights from the 2017 Lawyernomics conference:

Lawyernomics 2017 - YouTube

Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference

Date: April 8 – April 10, 2019

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

The Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference will help you refresh your strategies, renew your ideas, and recharge with your peers. It’s the place to learn how others are driving new business and creating value for clients, share challenges and solutions with a network of colleagues from all types of roles, and connect theoretical discussions with real world examples and return to the office ready to act on new ideas.

Here is a chat with first time attendees at the 2018 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference:

#LMA18 First timers' Chat (Facebook Live) - YouTube

American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Conference on Immigration Law

Date: June 19 – June 22, 2019

Location: Orlando, Florida

Focus on immigration law and policies with the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Learn about the latest issues, policy changes, and hot topics in agency adjudications, and receive a summary of the most recent liaison meeting discussions.

AIPLA 2019 Annual Meeting

Date: October 24 – October 26, 2019

Location: Washington, D.C.

Join a diverse, global community of law firms, companies, and institutions involved in the practice of patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, and other unfair competition laws at the American Intellectual Property Association (AIPLA)’s Annual Meeting.

Legal Technology Conferences Legaltech New York

Date: January 29 – January 31, 2019

Location: New York, New York

Legalweek New York is the week in which various segments of the legal industry gather to explore the business and regulatory trends, technology, and talent drivers impacting the industry. Legalweek will feature workshop boot camps, networking events, hundreds of exhibitors on the tradeshow floor, and five conferences designed to address key issues at a functional level: LegalCIO, LegalMarketing, Legal Diversity & Talent Management Forum, Business of Law Forum, and Legaltech, the world’s largest and longest running trade show for legal technology.

CodeX FutureLaw 2019

Date: April 4, 2019

Location: Stanford, California

CodeX FutureLaw 2019 at Stanford University focuses on the way technology is changing the legal profession and the law itself, and the way these changes affect us all.

CodeX FutureLaw 2019 brings together the academics, entrepreneurs, lawyers, investors, policymakers, and engineers spearheading the tech-driven transformation of our legal system. Check out this unique educational event for an opportunity to connect and exchange ideas with legal tech innovators from around the world!

ILTACON

Date: August 18 – August 22, 2019

Location: Orlando, Florida

Drawing on the personal and collective strengths of law firm and law department professionals, ILTACON 2019 is the best place to learn what works, what doesn’t, and what’s next in legal technology. Topic experts deliver examples, inspiration, and takeaways through a variety of session formats that can be applied to the challenges and opportunities you face within your team, your organization, and the industry.

This four-day event features extensive networking opportunities and educational content inspired by and developed by peers, with a volunteer planning committee that works collaboratively with peers, business partners, and experts to ensure each session provides value to a variety of professional roles.

American Bar Association Conferences ABA 2019 Midyear Meeting

Date: January 23 – January 28, 2019

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Join your colleagues at the Midyear Meeting and be a part of the in-depth discussion of issues, regulations, and trends that are reshaping the legal profession.

ABA TECHSHOW

Date: February 27 – March 2, 2019

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Technology is becoming fully integrated in the practice of law. Our legal work is now more dependent on the use of technology, in and out of the office. It helps us to practice more efficiently, serve clients more effectively, and better manage our daily lives.

ABA TECHSHOW is where lawyers, legal professionals, and technology all come together. At the conference, attendees learn about the most useful and practical technologies available. Their variety of CLE programming offers a great deal of education in just a short amount of time.

Here is a video that explains what the ABA TECHSHOW is:

ABA 2019 Annual Meeting

Date: August 8 – August 13, 2019

Location: San Francisco, California

International Bar Association Conferences IBA Annual Conference

Date: September 22 – 27, 2019

Location: Seoul, South Korea

At IBA 2019, you will access the one of the world’s best networking and business development events for lawyers and law firms. This event attracts over 6,000 individuals representing over 2,700 law firms, corporations, governments, and regulators from over 130 jurisdictions.

In addition, you will:

  • Build invaluable international connections with leading practitioners worldwide
  • Increase your personal and law firm’s profile in the international legal world
  • Hear from leading figures including officials from the government and multilateral institutions, general counsel, and experts from across all practice areas and continents
  • Acquire greater knowledge of the role of law in society through rule of law and human rights
  • Gain up-to-date knowledge of the key developments in your area of law which you can put into practice right away

Conferences for Individual’s in Your Law Firm Legal Assistant Training National Association of Legal Assistants Conference and Expo

Date: July 11 – July 13, 2019

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Paralegal Training Paralegal Cruise

Date: March 2 – March 7, 2019

Location: NCL Epic, Bahamas, and Mexico

This cruise is for paralegals, legal assistants, judicial assistants, legal secretaries, law office managers, attorneys, and other law office, courthouse personnel or in-house legal department staff, including students, individuals who are in between positions, and individuals who are retired to take seminars, classes, and listen to world renowned speakers all while soaking in the sun.

NFPA Joint Conference

Date: April 26 – April 28, 2019

Location: Denver, Colorado

The annual National Federation of Paralegal Association (NFPA) Joint Leadership/Regulation/Certification Ambassadors Conference is one of the most popular and most beneficial gatherings for paralegal leaders in their local association and their community.

Attendees have the opportunity to share and network with professionals regarding association leadership, certification, and regulation within the paralegal profession.

AAfPE 38th Annual Conference

Date: November 6 – November 8, 2019

Location: Detroit, Michigan

This is a conference for paralegals by the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE).

Here is a video from a previous AAfPE Annual Conference:

2014 AAfPE Annual Conference LLLT Seminar - YouTube

Legal Secretarial Training Legal Secretaries, Incorporated (LSI) February 2019 Quarterly Conference

Date: February 15 – February 17, 2019

Location: Alpine, California

Enjoy seminars, network, and celebrate the theme Viva Las Vegas at this quarter’s LSI conference.

Conclusion

These legal conferences, expos, and networking events are a great opportunity to interact with fellow legal professionals, learn from one other, and absorb an abundance of information that you can apply to your law practice. So consider investing in yourself and your career by attending one or more of these legal conferences.

Which legal event are you registering for in 2019? Comment below!

The post Legal Conferences to Attend in 2019 appeared first on Priority Matrix Productivity.

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Looking to add construction conferences to attend in 2019 to next year’s schedule? This article includes a wide variety of construction events that will meet your interests. 

When working in the construction industry, sector updates and education are key. The perfect place to meet, connect with, and learn from different industry professionals is at construction conferences. There are many different options of conferences, summits, and expos in 2019, so finding the right one for you is crucial!

Attending any of these conference creates a unique opportunity for construction professionals to meet face to face with fellow engineers to discuss shared problems and solutions, and to hear from some of the most influential leaders in the industry.

Construction Conferences in 2019 1. Building Innovation Conference and Expo

Date: January 7 – January 10, 2019

Location: Washington D.C.

For: Construction and Design Industry

The Building Innovation conference brings together a team of building professionals that work together and gain insights into the different aspects of high performance and resiliency in the industry. Credit-building educational sessions, idea-sharing networking events, stimulating technology demonstrations, and inspiring award ceremonies will all be included during this Washington D.C. based conference.

2. Construction CPM Conference

Date: January 20 – January 23, 2019

Location: San Diego, California

For: CPM Industry

A construction conference with three full days of study and training in CPM, the Critical Path Method of Planning & Scheduling Analysis. Industry professionals will study and discuss the theory and practice of CPM with leading founders, prime movers , and modern practitioners from around the world that will help construction professionals integrate CPM into their work.

3. NAHB International Builders’ Show

Date: February 19 – February 21, 2019

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

For: Construction and Design Industry

International Builders’ Show brings together the industry’s most important global manufacturers and suppliers, showcasing the latest products, materials, and technologies involved in all types of buildings including, but not limited to, wood, concrete, stone and brick. Bringing together retailers and industry professionals, the Builders’ Show provides the opportunity to network and become more educated on new industry developments.

Here is a video from last year’s International Builders’ Show: 

Best of the Intl Builders Show 2018 - YouTube

4. Construction Institute Summit

Date: March 7 – March 9, 2019

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

For: Overall Construction Industry

This construction conference allows the sharing of new developments and innovative practices in the construction industry. Network with others in the construction industry, earn PDHs, and expand your knowledge base to enhance the success of your projects.

5. AEI Conference 2019

Date: April 3 – April 6, 2019

Location: Tysons, Virginia

For: Architectural Engineer Industry

This architectural engineering conference offers the opportunity for members of the building construction industry, including structural, mechanical, and electrical engineers, as well as construction management professionals and architects to learn about and discuss advanced strategies and state-of-the-art practices of building technology. This conference features presentations on building integration, along with the latest technology in different areas of building design, construction, and maintenance.

6. Structures Congress 2019

Date: April 24 – April 27, 2019

Location: Orlando, Florida

For: Civil Engineer Industry

This civil engineering oriented conference helps professionals in the industry find the latest information, innovations, and technologies. They also provide guidance to competitively fine-tune your skills, finding new ways to cut costs, streamline processes, and drive change.

7. Offshore Technology Conference

Date: May 6 – May 9, 2019

Location: Houston, Texas

For: Oil and gas industry

The OTC is a conference in which energy professionals meet to exchange ideas and opinions to advance scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters. OTC is the largest event in the world for the oil and gas industry featuring more than 2,400 exhibitors, and attendees representing 120 countries. This year it will be hosted in Houston, Texas.

Check out a video about this year’s fiftieth OTC.

OTC 50th Celebration - YouTube

8. World Environmental and Water Resources Conference

Date: May 19 – May 23, 2019

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

For: Environmental Construction Industry

This conference provides the skills for integration of technical expertise and public policy in the planning, design, construction, and operation of environmentally sound and sustainable infrastructures impacting air, land, and water resources. Attending this conference is beneficial for any constructional professional looking to be educated and network with environmental experts.

9. Unconventional Resources Technology Conference

Date: July 22 – July 24, 2019

Location: Denver, Colorado

For: Energy Industry

The URT Conference brings together an entire team to connect on all things unconventional. This Colorado based event is one the most vibrant and vital events that every upstream energy professional should attend because of its collaborative platform and innovation exchange which sustains and propels the industry’s ongoing success.

10. International Accelerated Bridge Construction Conference

Date: December 11 – December 13, 2019

Location: Miami, Florida

For: Bridge Construction Industry

The ABC Conference aims to provide resources to professionals in the industry to reduce the societal costs of bridge construction by reducing the duration of work zones, focusing special attention on preservation, service life, construction costs, education of the profession, and development of a next-generation workforce fully equipped with the proper accelerated bridge construction education.

Here is a highlights video from the 2017 ABC conference:

2017 National ABC Conference Highlights Video - YouTube

Conclusion

These different construction conferences and networking events are a great way to meet other construction industry professionals who share your similar concerns and challenges. You can choose to attend one conference or mix and match different expos and summits that cater to your exact construction needs. Through all of these events, you will be able to find different improvements in all fields that feed into your industry.

The post 10 Construction Conferences In 2019 appeared first on Priority Matrix Productivity.

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Why Measure Productivity?

Measuring productivity is an important part of making sure that you are doing the most you can to achieve your professional goals. However, taking this measurement is easier said than done. What exactly does one measure to get an accurate understanding of one’s productivity. Uninterrupted hours worked? Tasks completed? Projects finished ahead of schedule? The answer is ambiguous.

Priority Matrix’s Approach to Productivity

At Priority Matrix, we look at productivity as the result of spending the time we are given on the things that matter most. Productivity is allocating your precious resources towards activities that will have long-term positive results. By doing this, you make every hour count for more, in the long run. In order to encourage this type of workflow, we utilize the four quadrant matrix in each of our projects. Whether you create a team project for the entire department a short project for only yourself, the four quadrants helps you do more, better.

The Eisenhower Matrix

The four quadrants are based on the Eisenhower methodology, which makes a distinction between how critical something is vs. how immediate. The four quadrants categorize tasks in a project like so:

Quadrant One, Critical and Immediate

These tasks are technically fires. They are critical to your goals and if they are not done on time they will have negative effects on your success. In a perfect world, these types of tasks would never exist. We would get everything important done ahead of schedule, meaning we would only work from quadrant two.

Quadrant Two, Critical but not Immediate

These tasks are important, meaning every minute we spend on these tasks is a minute spent productively. These tasks are of the same importance as those in quadrant one. However, they do not absolutely need to be done immediately. If left alone, they will become fires, no doubt, but there is still time. Working from quadrant two is ideal. Working from quadrant two means you are working proactively.

Quadrant Three, Not Critical but Immediate

While the tasks in quadrant three might have an immediate due date, in the context of your priorities, they might not need to be done at all. Generally, you should work to minimize the amount of time you spend on tasks in this quadrant. Either find someone else whose priorities align better with these tasks or do them only after everything in quadrants one and two have been done.

Quadrant Four, Uncategorized

Quadrant four holds ideas or resources that you want to keep track of, but are neither important nor immediate.

Measure Productivity in Priority Matrix

In order to help you measure your productivity, Priority Matrix reports keep track of how much time you spend in each quadrant:

You can measure your productivity by tracking the percentages in the quadrant focus. If the percentage in Quadrant one decreases and the percentage in Quadrant two increases, then you can be confident that you are minimizing fires and working more proactively. As a result your productivity will increase.

Conclusion

Using the reports and the quadrant focus view will help you to measure your productivity and that of your team, giving you the confidence that you are making progress and increasing your effectiveness!

The post How to Measure Productivity in Priority Matrix appeared first on Priority Matrix Productivity.

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Looking for the Productivity Formula

Everyone wants to be more productive. We are always trying to increase our rate of output. Google the word “productivity” and you can find countless articles on how to increase personally productivity, employee productivity, company productivity, etc. Yet, what many productivity methods forget is that none of us try to become more productive simply to be able increase our general volume of “doing.” The goal of productivity is be able to accomplish what we want sustainably.

Eisenhower’s Take on Productivity

Eisenhower understood this. Consequently, his productivity formula did not focus on increasing his speed or spending less time eating dinner, talking to his wife or engaging in any of the activities that are, not only characteristic to being human, but essential. Eisenhower’s productivity formula does not put a premium on finding a herculean way to increase our ability to expend more effort daily. Instead, his philosophy helps us find the unimportant things and take time away from them instead.

So, We Aren’t Trying to Do Things Faster?

Productivity methods that do not focus on increasing speed and output face a lot of skepticism. After all people wonder, ‘why do things slower if you can do them faster? First of all, by no means do things faster if your extra time is only going to be spent on unimportant things like projects and tasks that do not move your professional or personal needle. If your only success indicator is how quickly or how much you do, you will spend so much time on the doing and no time wondering if it should be done. You may move through tasks and projects like a cyclone,  but when it comes to making critical decisions you will come to a stand still. This is where Eisenhower comes in. First the Supreme Allied Commander in WWII, then Supreme Commander of Nato and President of Columbia University simultaneously, and finally President of the United States, Eisenhower only tried to do one thing more quickly: make decisions.

The Benefit of Swift Decision Making

Experts now believe that making decisions quickly doesn’t simply save a few minutes. According to author and coach, Dan Johnston, the problem is not only the amount of decisions we have to make but also how long each one takes us:

” I have found it is not only the amount of decisions we make, but how long we ponder them. Every open loop is draining your finite resources, so by the time you get to new decisions, it’s natural that you feel utterly indecisive.”

Perhaps Eisenhower was a neuroscientist before his time? This perspective on the importance of making swift decisions definitely sheds light on his ability to do so much. Perhaps he had the mental resources to conceptualize and push NASA through congress because he spent less and less time on each individual decision over the years.

How Does Eisenhower’s Productivity Formula Help Decision Making?

When you do not understand how decisions will impact larger goals, making them is a bit like choosing between two roads with no understanding of where they will lead. Because of this, it is often necessary to stop and spend a lot of time understanding if and how each individual decision will lead you closer or farther from your goal. Proactively labeling activities critical or non-critical to your success helps you make pre-decisions across the board before they are urgent enough to cause anxiety and make you want to waste mental effort overthinking. When you are clear what activities are and are not important to your goals, you are able to recognize which decision is the best and continue onward.

Lack of Productivity or Time Frame Confusion?

Another reason why speed and output productivity is emphasized so often is because the first things that we tend to think when we miss a deadline or are unhappy with the quality of our work in a particular time frame is “if only I had been able to think faster, work faster, take fewer bathroom breaks!” On the contrary, most missed deadlines come from not prioritizing not only in terms of importance as mentioned above, but also not prioritizing based on immediacy. We get caught in the myth that everything should be done ASAP. However, stepping back and seeing what absolutely must be done and what can wait a bit is key to making deadlines in time and staying on schedule.

The Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix takes into consideration both criticality and immediacy and pushes you to categorize tasks and projects in this way:

By doing so, you are able to make all decisions more quickly but the decision “what to do next.”

The post Eisenhower’s Productivity Formula appeared first on Priority Matrix Productivity.

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