Your team doesn't need another task management tool to organise their to-do in. They already know what needs to be done. In fact, they are probably pretty overwhelmed by just looking at their lists. And your managers don't need yet another tool to keep track of. They are already exhausted trying to keep up with all the updates and changes. Everyone is just working hard to reach the bottom of their lists. Everyone is just looking at their lists. Everyone is just working in silos.
This is why teams need meetings to get in sync. That's currently the only way to hear updates from each other's progress, potential bottlenecks and discuss next steps. Or if you are hip, you might do a standup in your Slack. But even with these meetings and stand-ups, people are still not aligned on priorities. They still fail to spot the bottlenecks on time before things get on fire. And because of this, little progress is being made.
This is why most teams fail. Now, you might think it's an organisational issue. Or even a communication issue. Maybe the processes are not mature enough. Or maybe the team is not right?
Most teams believe they shape their tools to fit their processes. But in reality, it's our tools that influence our processes and dictate our work. You've seen this in our personal lives. How social media can change the way we behave or think. Same thing happens at work. Let's have a look at how productivity tools like Trello, Asana, or any other kanban based or to-do list app misleads your team.
Organising tasks vs. prioritising tasks
Kanban board is a great tool to organise your tasks in lists. But is organising tasks in lists the same as prioritising them? How do we prioritise tasks when we don't know their estimates? Every task in these tools look the same. They are all just cards in lists. So regardless if a task takes a day to complete or a month, at a glance, they are no different.
This is why teams came up with hacks like tagging tasks with Priority 1, Priority 2 or Small, Medium, Large. These failed attempts at trying to make these tools do what they weren't designed for is just the proof that they don't work.
Tracking activity vs. Tracking progress
What's the cost of choosing the wrong metrics to track? We focus on the wrong things. In other words, if the tools we use emphasis on the wrong metrics as progress, we set the wrong expectations for our teams. So now, are the number completed tasks an indicator of progress? Or is it just your team's activity?
When there's no order, there's no direction. So everyone pick what they feel like working on. As a result, everyone moves in different directions and as a team, little progress is being made. At a glance, the backlog looks half empty. Everyone has completed something. But in reality, they worked on the wrong things at the wrong time.
Micromanaging vs. Leading with transparency
What do you do when you want to see what your team is currently working on? Drop them a message on Slack? Call a meeting? Scrolling their to-do list is probably the last thing you do. Because how do you know what they are currently working on? Or more importantly, how long they've been working on it?
The lack of transparency in your team's workload is the reason everyone feel stressed. Nobody knows what's next. Nobody can see the connections between the work they are doing now, and the work their colleagues are doing.
A new way of work
Imagine a place where all of your team's tasks, across all projects, are simply visualised on a timeline so you can see what's been done, how long it took them and what's next.
Imagine a place where you can see all your projects tasks, their estimates and milestones are visualised on a timeline so you can prioritise with just drag and drop.
Imagine a place where you can just type your team members name to see what they are currently working on now, their latest status and what's next so you can focus on your own tasks.
A new way of work for remote/mindful teams.
It's a simple place where you can visualise your priorities and stay in-sync with your team without the meetings.