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Improve Your Team’s Operations With the Right Technology

This article was based on episode 261 of The Modern Manager podcast. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Modern Manager Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon, and Stitcher. Members of the Modern Manager community get access to Racheal’s exclusive live workshop, “Multiplying Your Time”. Never miss a worksheet, episode or article: subscribe to Mamie’s newsletter.


If we want to scale our business or expand our team’s impact, we need to empower our people. When working on a small scale, it’s easier in many ways just to do the work ourselves or to keep all the information in our heads. It’s much harder, but more productive in the long run, to put operational systems in place so that others can get work done without your constant input.

Creating that infrastructure takes intention. To guide us through this process is Racheal Allen, a Lean Six Sigma certified consultant, coach, and CEO with over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and C-suite executive. Racheal specializes in helping her clients operationalize their vision by leveraging systems, automation, and delegation strategies. Racheal shares how to slowly build your team’s ability to utilize modern tools to create an autonomous, creative environment in which everyone thrives.


ESTABLISH PROCESSES AND TOOLS TO SOLVE PROBLEMS

What’s the biggest problem your team is facing internally? Are you unsure about how to delegate while maintaining appropriate oversight? Do you know what everyone has on their plate and where projects stand? Is everyone on the team up to date with what’s going on with each client?

The first thing to do is identify your pain points that, if overcome, could make your work more efficient, effective, or enjoyable. Once you know what internal problems you want to address, you can start looking for strategies and tools that solve these problems.


Make Information Accessible

One of the most common challenges that teams face is communication. When we communicate well, we collaborate better. We know what each person is working on, what’s happening with each client or project, and who is available to take on more work. Issues are raised, decisions are shared, and everyone has the information they need to do their work. This means our customers get better service and greater results. Systemizing communications puts everyone on the same page so that you can flow better as an organization.


Save Time and Energy

Using automation technology gives us an important leg up without the extra work. When we automate repetitive tasks, we remove the chance for human error while freeing up time for our team members to do other important work. Nowadays, automation and AI technology can do work faster and easier than our human capabilities. Racheal noted that for some businesses, if you’re not using automation, you’re losing business to your competitors. For example, if you’re still manually responding to online orders or customer support tickets, you risk your customers being frustrated by the delay.

INCORPORATE TECHNOLOGY SLOWLY


The goal is to implement only enough organizational infrastructure that enables the team to be more effective while still allowing people to feel good. Racheal recommends meeting your team where they are. This may look as simple as getting all the information on a project into a shared Google Drive, or beginning with a project management tool if you’re not tracking the work together yet, or incorporating a chat tool that streamlines communication. Set the tone for where you’re headed and bring your team along slowly.


Start With Tech That’s Simple to Use

Technology should be fairly intuitive. Generally, it's best to opt for less sophisticated tools in the beginning. If it’s super complicated with added bells and whistles, chances are your team is not going to want to use it. Over time you can shift to more advanced tools as the additional features become needed.


Regardless of how comfortable you are with a tool, it’s important to help each team member onboard in the way they need. Allow time for your team to fully adapt to and get comfortable with using the technology so that it produces the intended benefits. While the tool won’t ever meet everyone’s needs completely, settle for one that satisfies your biggest needs. Only when your tool is negatively impacting your ability to do work in the way you intended is it time to find a new tool.

INTERNAL INFRASTRUCTURE IS THE FUTURE

Being up to date with technology is especially important for retaining younger staff. Young workers expect such systems in place; they come to the business world with a technology mindset and are poised to solve problems in a way that integrates technology. Source ideas from your own team; if there’s someone who’s particularly good at technology, use them to help identify potential tools and guide others to incorporate said tools into their daily workflow.

Operational systems can be a manager’s best friend if we use them right. Lean into tools that allow for everyone to share information and resources better. Consider what struggles your team has right now and what would help scale your organization or impact to the next level. Guide your team slowly to integrate new processes and technology. Use your most technologically-savvy teammates to mentor others. The Modern Manager’s ability to utilize the right tools for their teams produces a more efficient, collaborative experience for everyone involved.


KEEP UP WITH RACHEAL


Get access to an exclusive “Multiplying Your Time” workshop facilitated live by Racheal when you become a member of the Modern Manager community at themodernmanager.com/join.


This article was based on episode 261 of The Modern Manager podcast. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Modern Manager Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon, and Stitcher. Never miss a worksheet, episode or article: subscribe to Mamie’s newsletter.

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