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How to Launch a Productivity Project Without Breaking the Bank

iStock_000012479982XSmallThis is an idea I have developed after working with some smaller organizations with no budgets for either consulting interventions, or individual training. Here are the steps to follow.

Step 1 - Find a Pilot Unit or Department

Enroll a single group of employees who work together on a project, or department, in some tangible improvement goal they care about accomplishing. It should be related to time-based productivity in some way, and look to reduce symptoms such as:

  • email overwhelm
  • lateness
  • information overload
  • time-stress
  • improving a bad reputation for timeliness or reliability
  • an imbalance of work and personal life
  • important commitments falling through the cracks
  • physical clutter
  • unproductive multi-tasking
  • missed deadlines

Step 2 - Get a Quick Baseline

Have a meeting or do a survey in order  to get a feel for the current reality. Test your conclusions with the group, and refine as necessary.

Step 3 - Deploy the Book

Get copies of Perfect Time-Based Productivity for each person. (If you need over 100, call me for a group discount.) Also give them easy access to all the forms. (For a different, more gentle learning experience suitable for novice learners in productivity, you can use "Bill's Im-Perfect Time Management Adventure" as the first book in a two part series.)

Step 4 - Form Small Groups

Help them set up regular schedules to meet - I recommend weekly meetings for at least 8 weeks. Declare a closing date on which you will bring everyone together to wrap up the formal group process. Have them select a group leader. Describe the requirements of a heutagogical approach.

Step 5 - Attend Their First Meeting

Emphasize that the purpose of the exercise is to help them change their habits, practices and rituals and that putting together a plan based on their evaluation is the essential activity.

Step 6 - Monitor and Adjust

Through their group leader, keep tabs on the group's progress and intervene as needed.

Step 7 - Close Out

Conduct a meeting out close out the formal part of the program. Encourage groups to keep meeting and conduct a comparison with the original baseline. Write up your results and set up another group. Six months or a year later, conduct another comparison.

Good luck with your intervention! If you want to conduct a more formal program, read my article on How to Program a Time-Based Productivity Intervention.

P.S. Would a pre-packaged set of self-study notes help? Let me know.