May 26th, 2022
Efficiency & Time Management
Written by: Dino DeAntoni, Director of Technology
Time management is crucial to what we do. Our approach to custom software development leverages our efficiency to drive results for our customers. Spend an afternoon in our office and you are likely to hear our Chief Delivery Officer, Craig Vosper, barking the phrase “just do it!” As cliché as it sounds, managing one’s time and responsibilities comes down to a mindset. As leaders, it is our job to empower our teams to make the most of the time they have and continue treating time like the scarce resource it is.
This practice can be difficult for people to embrace, but once they realize its benefits, they can fully assimilate to the Clientek culture. Struggling with time management is not solely a result of laziness. Based on my experience it typically stems from fear. Fear of being wrong or not having our thoughts perfectly organized before a discussion. We aim to ensure that everyone in or organization is comfortable with being ridiculous without the fear of repercussions. After all, the worst that could happen is that someone learns something.
Below are a handful of examples of how we maximize efficiencies within our teams:
Your team says they need help working past a technical issue but there are only 15 minutes left in standup. Maximize those 15 minutes and get to work! Start by asking questions to gain a better understanding of the blocker and begin working towards a solution. All too often we respond with “ok I’ll set something up”, or “I’ll look at it later”. Instead of creating an unnecessary gap, do it right now. Take the time that you already have allocated to start driving a solution. If a solution cannot be identified and requires another meeting for follow-up, schedule it right then before standup is over.
In grooming, we refine our understanding of the stories within a sprint. When we provide feedback on a story the person controlling the backlog may say “sounds good, I’ll correct that after the meeting”. Instead, our teams should immediately make the necessary adjustments. Why wait to do something that we can do right now? As Craig would say, “just do it!”
Whether we are talking about business processes or technical designs, it is easy to fall into the habit of just using our words. Words alone leave too much room for interpretation and misunderstanding. Use that same amount of time to sketch as you talk. Have you ever met a geek that doesn’t like to draw? Embrace the pen, embrace being wrong, and start perfecting your understanding visually. That way we’re not left trying to reconstruct our discussion hours later with nothing more than recollection.
Often people wait for the perfect opportunity to schedule a meeting. They send an email to the other person/people asking when they are available and waste valuable time awaiting a response. Don’t wait. Just schedule the meeting. The person/people on the other end will advise a different time if the proposed timeslot is unavailable. You don’t need to have all your questions perfected before scheduling a discussion, you will find time to do that work ahead of the meeting. Plus, having something on the calendar provides the much-needed incentive.
The underlying message is that there is no better time than right now. Do the things that need to be done! If you have a meeting, ensure you walk away with something completed. Make them productive. Failure to do so will just eat up time and perpetuate the boring monotony of everyday discussions. If for no other reason, listen to Craig and “just do it!”