So how do you minimize wasted time and money? Here are some tips.

We all want to minimize wasted time and money. As consultants we achieve what we are being paid for by tapping into the resources that the client’s business has available to us where we can. If you are given a team member or two to work with then here are a few tips on how to keep people on track and maximise time and money.

1.Share the ‘big picture’. If you give people one thing to do, then they are likely to do it and then wait to find out what you want next. However, if they see a stream of work instead of an individual task, then they’re more likely to keep going. The job satisfaction is greater and you get more work done on time.

2. Make sure that you properly prioritize the work that is to be done. When given multiple tasks, people will do things that are easier or more fun first. Tell them the priorities associated with the tasks, and insist on them working on higher priority tasks before lower priority tasks. That way they should stay focused on the work you want them to do.

3. Keep the list of tasks in front of each person short. If the list is too long it can cause demotivation. There’s no best number for how many tasks to give one person, but the actual number should depend on how much waiting time there is in between starting a task and getting it completed.

4. Try a “pull management” instead of “push management” approach. In “pull management” you assign a task objective, tell your worker how success will be measured, and then turn your worker loose on achieving the objective, essentially “pulling” the worker towards the objective. In “push management”, you micromanage, keep the employee in the dark as to the true objective, and just give the employee enough task instruction to tell them specifically what to do, “pushing” toward the objective. Push management means that the employee is not independent and will keep coming back to you before they can get on. A pull style means more work up front when you’re defining the objective and the measurement, but the employee will be largely self-sufficient during the performance of the task. Employee productivity is much higher using pull management.

There’s nothing worse for an organization, for a business or for a manager than to have employees who are idle because they don’t have anything to do. It’s a waste of time and money. The meter is running constantly for business organizations, and every hour lost is an hour that you’ll never get back. Intelligent and logical management means preparing and taking time to give clarity. It pays off well in the end.

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