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Summit: Workplace Productivity Tools

Monday, April 6, 2009 by Slaughter Development

Last Monday, attendees of the Indianapolis Productivity Summit spent the first afternoon session talking specifically about Workplace Productivity Tools.

One of the most important elements of modern organizations is the production, maintenance and lifecycle of documents. This ranges from the informal diagrams on a whiteboard or a post-it note to the detailed, legalistic language in a contract, a client proposal or a warning label. Document creation, editing and review requires tremendous amounts of time and energy. Studying the nature of documents can help companies and individuals focus their efforts more effectively, as each work has a distinct purpose and role.

The group also debated the value of meetings. With a focus on productivity, Slaughter Development advocates that all meetings should have one of two objectives: brainstorm ideas or make decisions. This approach better ensures that everyone involved is a true stakeholder with a genuine interest in the outcome. No routine meeting should be used for a routine announcement.

However, many participants pointed out that difficult information should be relayed personally. No one should be fired by email. Bad news is out of the ordinary, and anything which is unusual cannot be made more efficient. Furthermore, if information is difficult it probably requires discussion which will result in individual action. Therefore, using a meeting to announce layoffs is not actually a mere announcement. It is an opportunity to discuss the challenging situation and encourage stakeholders to submit ideas and make personal decisions. The two-sided logic for meeting agenda still stands.

The group also reviewed some specific tools to assist in communication, workflow and coordination. This included a quick demonstration of EtherPad, a collaborative, real-time text editor, as well as Basalmiq Mockups, a service for rapid prototyping of user interfaces. Both tools stress informality and rapid results. These concepts are far more important than the systems presented. The best results emerge when people can propose, debate and discard ideas as quickly as possible.

Many more topics were covered in this session on Workplace Productivity Tools. If your organization needs to focus on more effective ways to work or wants to identify the right systems for current and future tasks, reach out to Slaughter Development today.

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Like this post? Here are some related entries from The Methodology Blog you might enjoy:

Summit Retrospective - On Monday, March 30, Slaughter Development hosted the Indianapolis Productivity Summit. Each of the four 90 minute session drew more than 30 attendees for an interactive discussion on ways to work smarter.
Read on »
Summit: Managing Email Productivity - The first event at the Indianapolis Productivity Summit on Monday was Managing Email Productivity. For ninety minutes, the group reviewed the challenges of email: the biggest threat to getting any work done. Read on »
How and Why to Meet - As part of The Happiness Project, author Gretchen Rubin has put together a list of tips for running good meetings. But are these simple suggestions enough to positively influence workplace productivity? Read on »
Want to learn more? Register now for the 2011 Productivity Series

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