SharePoint Consulting: The Key to Overcoming Common Time-Wasters
Our Sharepoint consulting engagements give us a lot of insight into the obstacles that prevent employees from being as productive as they could be. This list contains the Seven Deadly Sins of Productivity that wecome across during our SharePoint consulting engagements.
SharePoint is a powerful tool for overcoming time-wasters. If some of these sins seem a little too familiar to you, perhaps your SharePoint implementation isn’t being used to its full potential.
The Seven Deadly Sins of Productivity
1. Poor access to information
Employees who spend a lot of time sifting through massive data piles looking for the data they need probably aren’t spending a lot of time doing actual productive work. The information your company has should be an asset, not a hindrance.
Unfortunately, manual reporting techniques and departmental data silos can cause data to pile up to the point where it provides more headaches than insights.
2. Constant interruptions
It doesn’t matter if they come in the form of an email, phone call, instant message, fax, or carrier pigeon. Interruptions are annoying, and they keep you from being productive. A 2004 study found that it takes the average office worker 25 minutes to return to a task after an interruption.
Of course, it’s important that employees communicate with one another for knowledge sharing and collaboration purposes. Empowering them to communicate in a centralized location like SharePoint on their own schedule is a great way to keep employees focused on their tasks.
3. Shared file servers
Shared file servers exist for a reason, but when employees start treating them as a place to dump files randomly, they start to lose some of their value as business tools. Using a sharing system that actually keeps content organized and easy to find can put hours back into your employees’ day.
Trying to do everything at once is a great way to not get very much done at all. Some multitasking is unavoidable, but everyone works better when they’re focusing on the core tasks of their job.
The best way to avoid biting off more than you can chew is to delegate tasks to people you can trust to do them right. A collaboration tool like SharePoint can help make sure one person isn’t taking on too many tasks at a time.
5. Paper forms
Here’s a dirty little secret: many businesses still use paper forms to capture data, especially in industries that require field work. These forms take a long time to fill out, and often lead to data inaccuracies that can exacerbate data management issues. If your business still relies heavily on paper forms, ditch them now and watch your employees’ productivity skyrocket.
Using spreadsheet software like Excel as a database can work fine when you only have a small amount of data. However, as your business grows, you may find that your database quickly outgrows the capabilities of Excel.
You’ll be left with huge Excel files that take an eternity to load, and a mess of tabs and equations that keeps you from processing data in a timely manner.
Meetings have become frequent targets of Dilbert-esque office humor, and with good reason: they’re often a complete waste of time for everyone involved. With modern collaboration tools such as SharePoint, it’s no longer necessary to have a meeting just for the sake of having a meeting.
Collaborating online can help make sure that face-to-face meetings are saved for the situations when they’re actually necessary.
For more on increasing productivity and getting the most from SharePoint, read our post on calculating SharePoint ROI!