Friday March 7, 2014
Research conducted in MIT's Human Dynamics Laboratory showed that 50 percent of team performance is attributed to the way teams communicate.
Reporting the findings in HBR's The New Science of Building Great Teams, the study's lead author, Alex "Sandy" Pentland, said the research team wanted to find the "it factor" in team performance. The laboratory identified group dynamics that characterize high-performing teams.
As Pentland said, "...we found that the best predictors of productivity were a team's energy and engagement outside formal meetings." The researchers' vision is that teams can be taught how to strengthen the energy, creativity, and shared commitment to far surpass other teams.
At Glip, the new team collaboration platform launched this year has taken this research to heart. The communication in Glip stems from continuous text and video chat among other team activities, like task management right in the activity stream.
Co-founder Claudio Pinkus says the voracious communication patterns that excel in Glip are generated by creative agencies and teams who require real-time participation.
What I like about Glip? You don't have to think about how it works, which is the statement Pinkus had said that drove my curiosity.
See the profile, Glip for Greater Team Collaboration.
Image copyright Lester Lefkowitz/Getty Images
Monday March 3, 2014
Time is the greatest advantage you can have that enables you to accomplish many things.
But, one of the hard lessons to learn is that to create more time in your day, you have to become organized.
Over the last several weeks, I created a 30-Day Recipe Wiki Challenge. If you've missed why you would want to create a recipe wiki, you can read: 10 Reasons to Create a Recipe Wiki. And by the way, you can learn to build a wiki for other purposes using this same approach.
Through this 30-day challenge, I found more time to do other things because I forced myself to become organized. Efficiency in your professional and personal life is worth the extra time to get and stay organized. You will be amazed at the results when you free up more time.
Lesson 4 is available now: Adding Wiki Recipe Pages
If you have any questions throughout this challenge in creating your own recipe wiki, you may email me. I would be glad to help you.
Image copyright Alistair Berg/Getty Images 2014
Friday February 28, 2014
Do we always make the most of our time at work? It's TGIF time, so perhaps we can use these three software design techniques to improve our productivity, even on Friday afternoon. So when the weekend comes around, we can make the most of our personal time.
Kanban boards - Visual tools like Kanban boards help teams see the workflow at a glance and manage tasks by process stages of completion, like Due Today, In Process, or Done.
Read about: Kanban Board Tools for Project Collaboration
Time tracking - Several ways we can track time on projects and tasks is by using a timer. The concept of using a timer is similar to interval training, that is accomplished by working in short bursts and then taking a break (sounds like my approach!).
Read about: Time tracking apps
Viewable metrics - Are you able to see how much time is spent per step in your sales process? I found a new tool useful to see where your time is producing the most value.
Read about: Stride's Sales Tracking App
What can we do to improve productivity? Share your insights and tips in the comments or in an email.
Image copyright Tom and Steve/Getty Images
Wednesday February 26, 2014
In the HBR article, The Third Wave of Virtual Work, authors Tammy Johns and Lynda Gratton write about the evolving virtual work models of freelancers, corporate colleagues, and coworkers. The authors advise to focus on a more holistic approach to collaboration, especially the investment in intuitive technology,
"The surest route to greater innovation and efficiency is to invest in intuitive collaboration technology that becomes part of the regular flow of work."
Another source of research (IDC) shows a remote workforce that is anticipated to grow as much as 37 percent of the total workforce by 2015. With that said, collaboration tools will continue to grow in importance to accommodate teams in the field or working from home.
In my review of TeamGantt, we can see a simple yet effective project scheduling tool fulfilling collaborative needs to share files and send messages to one another. The TeamGantt cofounders, Nathan Gilmore and John Correlli are skillful in bringing a fresh newer social experiences to project scheduling, which may be the single most important software to keep remote or field based teams in sync.
Read the review of TeamGantt to be inspired with a simple new approach to collaborative work that may revolve around your project schedule.
Also, you may interested to see other project apps that are modernizing the classic Gantt chart. Read a quick review of project management apps that can help add interactive Gantt charting functionality for your team's work process.
More web apps like TeamGantt will surely help virtual teams manage project schedules in simpler ways with a focus on social collaboration. We are at a crossroad where simplicity meets complexity -- or could we say, where the beauty in simplifying software meets the beast?
Image copyright Tim Feebken/Getty Images