The Power of Work Management: Streamlining Cross-Functional Collaboration

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By Sivan Kaspi, Updated on August 02, 2023, 6 min read
Work Management

Every organization is complex, formed of hundreds, if not thousands, of interlinked and interconnected parts. From task lists and project pipelines to comms channels and timekeeping, everything needs to work together to create the most efficient and productive company possible.

 

However, keeping track of all those moving parts is challenging, and in a digital landscape where things move faster than ever before, an organization can soon become overwhelmed without proper planning.

 

Enter work management. This systematic approach employs various tools and techniques to help you manage the important elements of workflows at your business. It helps you streamline processes by improving collaboration and communication across your entire organization. It allows for a birds-eye approach to managing your company’s projects, processes, and tasks as parts of a whole, so you can break down silos and harness the potential of a unified operation.

 

 

What are the Benefits of Work Management?

Work management is high-level organization, meaning you’re one step above all the projects and programs that make your company tick. Just as strong project management allows you to prioritize individual tasks, well-implemented work management allows you to prioritize projects, leading to the better allocation of resources and time across the entire organization.

 

Nowhere is this more visible than in the growth of cross-functional collaboration under work management systems. The big-picture approach allows you to draw connections between the various teams and projects in your organization and, more importantly, implement the tools and practices needed to streamline collaboration between those groups. This can help develop projects and is a vital first step towards better team task management.

 

With this comes the breakdown of silos that creep into almost every company as it grows. Silos isolate individuals and teams, resulting in a lack of knowledge sharing and, more often than not, the misalignment or duplication of work. In other words, the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

 

Work management, however, forms streamlined connections between the various groups, turning your company from a series of silos to a network of collaborative teams all working together. A major part of this is improved communication, with better tools, channels and practices put in place to get your team not just talking, but collaborating.

 

Better communication, collaboration and inter-team cooperation, in turn, improve your company’s productivity and efficiency. Without silos, the chances of teams doubling up on work is significantly reduced, meaning fewer wasted resources and more time saved. Additionally, where collaboration thrives, employee satisfaction does, too, with the breakdown of silos resulting in improved team member morale. And, according to research led by the University of Warwick, happy team members are about 12% more productive.

 

Breaking down silos improves morale for a number of reasons, including better personal connections through communication; knowing that you’re not doing ‘pointless work’; and organization-wide knowledge sharing. This last point is possibly the most important since employees are placing increasing weight on growth and learning when choosing their roles. In fact, a Gallup report found that “59% of millennials say opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them when applying for a job.” Work management offers the opportunity to build knowledge sharing directly into your company’s operation.

 

Moreover, work management also improves transparency and visibility within your organization since decisions, results and progress are more easily accessed across teams. This can again lead to improved employee satisfaction as relationships with your team members are strengthened.

 

 

Work Management Tools for Your Company

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Implementing work management is not as difficult as it seems since much of it relies on gathering the tools and techniques that you’re already familiar with. To begin with, as mentioned, project management falls under your broader work management strategy, so it’s important to have a robust project management tool. The project management tool you choose to use will depend on the specifics of your company, but there are a few features that you should always look for, such as:

  • Cross-platform functionality to ensure it works on Mac, Windows, smartphones and the web

  • Scalability, so your tool can grow with your company

  • Interactive tasks to monitor progress

  • Cloud-based tools to sync your work on the move

  • To-do lists to manage the granular aspects of a project

Also, consider time-tracking software as part of your work management. This could be integrated into your project management program or a standalone solution. Either way, it will allow you to measure and analyze how workflows and processes affect results, leading to better time management across your organization.

 

The most important tools to consider for work management are collaboration and communication tools. These will allow you to break down the silos, improve knowledge sharing, and increase collaboration across your organization. For a modern digital organization, it’s vital to have the following:

  • A real-time collaborative platform such as a digital whiteboard or online notes where people from any department can work together in real-time.

  • A business chat app that allows employees to communicate quickly and efficiently.

  • Video conferencing software to allow for more in-depth communication across teams.

  • Voice messages have become a really popular way to communicate, incorporate them into your company comms!

Provide your team a unified collaboration tool to improve productivity

While selecting software, it’s also important to think about the methods you might employ as part of your work management program. The agile methodology, for example, allows a team to manage a project by breaking it into several stages for a flexible, high-speed workflow. The Kanban methodology is another project management tool that you may wish to incorporate into your work management. Originally developed by the manufacturing industry, this method tracks tasks within a project visually, moving them from one column to another.

 

Finally, when it comes to work management tools, look for something that brings together everything you need into a single hub. Having dozens of different bits of software can actually lead to more silos rather than fewer, as various teams end up building workflows and processes in different places.

 

 

Best Practices for Work Management

You’ve got your tools in place and you’re ready to go – now you’re left wondering what’s the best way to implement work management. Well, there are a few best practices that will help take your company’s collaboration to the next level.

  1. Make sure to define clear goals and objectives

    A major part of work management is getting your entire organization working together, so you have to make it clear what they’re working towards.

  2. Establish a workflow

    Standardize how projects, processes, and routines operate across the teams in your company to ensure smoother collaboration.

  3. Assign responsibilities and roles

    Make sure that everyone knows why they are there, which will reduce repeat work and keep engagement high. 

  4. Communicate clearly

    Do you want all your team members to collaborate effectively? Lead by example and keep your communication clear.

  5. Monitor and adjust

    Keep track of how your work management is affecting your organization and make changes as necessary.

 

Case Studies: How Work Management Transformed Businesses

Work Management Case Studies

 

Work management can be used across numerous industries to great effect since it is a method that can be tweaked and adjusted according to your exact needs. Co-Director of the Mindful Connection Institute, Carlo Monsanto, for example, uses Spike to manage all the pieces he needs to develop a transformational well-being app.

 

Monsanto works with academics, researchers, and developers all over the world, and to keep collaboration on-track and organized, he must communicate via various mediums to dozens of people. Work management with Spike keeps this streamlined, offering what Monsanto describes as an “all-in-one communication platform that incorporates e-mail, voice, and video, making communication much more efficient, organized, and enjoyable.”

 

 

Make Work Management Work for You

Work management is a high-level, systematic approach that can improve collaboration and communication across an entire organization, leading to improved productivity, efficiency, and employee satisfaction. Work management enables you to:

  • Prioritize projects for better allocation of resources and time across your company

  • Grow cross-functional collaboration in your organization with streamlined communication

  • Breakdown the silos that inevitably creep into growing organizations

  • Boost employee morale and reap all the benefits that come along with it (as well as your own enjoyment at work!)

  • Increase people’s opportunities to grow and learn from others within your organization

  • Improve transparency and visibility within your organization

By using the right tools and following best practices, you can break free from your silos and build a more efficient and productive organization together with work management.

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Sivan Kaspi Sivan is the Director of Marketing at Spike. A firm believer that the right kind of tech actually helps us use it less, she is passionate about tools that improve our lives. She starts off each morning reviewing her Spike feed over a good cup of coffee.

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