Need to get things done more efficiently in 2021? In this interview with Asana Certified Pro Bryan Bennett, we learn the real benefit of project management tools.
In line with the topic we covered in Episode 207, I brought on a leading Asana project management, Bryan Bennett, from Project Kickstart.
Bryan shares that people have enormous potential and have ideas for things they can do but what keeps them back is a lack of focus. And that's what project management helps solve. It is all about unlocking the potential for people.
Why should we consider a more sophisticated system in managing work?
One of the things that project management tools contribute is freeing up resources by reducing the amount of time spent talking about logistics and more time on strategizing about the work. It’s all about resource savings, time management, eliminating bottlenecks and making the process to completion as fast and efficient as possible.
In entrepreneurship, businesses fail because of execution, not because the idea wasn't good. Execution takes deliberate planning so having a system in place that's intentional is essential. It’s a key to any entrepreneur who's overburdened and who wears too many hats. You need a system to help you weigh out what's most important, what's most urgent and what you can delegate.
When you have the right system in place, you will be able to do the right things at the right times — not just do the right things in whatever order they fall into place.
How do we get started?
If you understand the basic structure of tasks and projects, you can set up a structure that makes sense across several different projects, across several different teams. Having that structure is going to be crucial so you're not just operating off an endless list that doesn't help you figure out what your priorities are.
If you are going with Asana, you can start with the free tool called the Asana Academy. Learn the free stuff first. ClickUp, Trello — they also have great youTube videos to start off from.
Do not get too caught up in the perfect structure, find something that works and iterate over time. No matter what tool you're using, if you follow a framework that helps you build and optimize any process, then you're going to build scale.
What is the difference between a project management tool and your regular to-do list?
The difference is that you learn from yourself and improve your process each time you go through iteration. And from that learning, you’ll be able to launch a template with a single click of a button.
Anything you do repeatedly in your company, you need to standardize. When we standardize a process, even if it's not the most efficient way yet, we don't have to think through it every time. We're avoiding decision fatigue, meaning you don't have to rethink the process.
Using tools, you can look for opportunities to reduce steps, so you are reducing waste.
Once you have optimized things, take anything that is already standardized — those which you know that the process works — and set it up natively, get a third party, or add automation. There are lots of parts of your business that don't need your human touch and which could save you time if you automate. This is what’s going to allow you to scale. If you have a repository of these repeated processes in your company, this is going to allow you, as a solopreneur, to do 180% of what you could not have done if you did not have a structure.
Taking this advice from Bryan, start small and try this with one of your goals. See if you can plan out your entire 12 weeks (this quarter), or better yet, your entire goal across the year with a project management tool. Set yourself due dates, track your progress and let it help you be accountable for the things that you want to do.
Let it help you define procedures for things that you do over and over again in your business. Let it help you delegate tasks by inviting virtual assistants and other tradespeople that you can use and coordinate these using these tools.
This will be a big lift for you.
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