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24 March 2016

20 WAYS TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE – Improve Planning

Productivity means higher output using your current resources, or achieving the same level of sales with less resource.

Planning is one of the fundamental elements of a good management system in any business.  Planning has to be focused on the short-term objective (today, this week, this month) and time spent in preparing a meaningful plan.

In a manufacturing environment this is a much easier task to focus on, but in office based or service environments it’s harder for managers to understand what constitutes a good plan.

If the end objective is clear, then the plan will reflect exactly how the goals can be achieved in terms of time and resources. Resources are not just the financial budgets and labour requirements, but materials, machine capacity, storage facilities, computer time, meeting time, client availability (yes sometimes the client needs to be involved in getting the work done) – in fact anything which needs to be prepared and ready prior to starting the work so that it can’t hinder progress once the plan is in motion.

Once the plan is put to paper, the next step is to communicate to the staff and stakeholders and get commitment to that plan.  Getting team buy-in will ensure the plan is met as closely as possible if the employees are given the opportunity to tweak or adjust the plan based on their judgment as to what will or won’t work.  They should be encouraged to suggest changes, so long as the overall objective is reached.  If the staff understand and agree to the plan, and the plan is based on high standards of performance, higher levels of productivity will be achieved.


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My book “20 Ways to Be More Productive” offers easy tips, case studies and ways you can improve productivity and save money in every aspect of your business.