Quite naturally, many of the conversations I have been engaged in since the start of the year have focused on new goals, projects and priorities for the year ahead and how best to manage them when life is already busy.

My son, Mike, was speaking with me about this recently and I thought you might find this shortened version of my follow-up mail to him useful. Let me know what you think – I’m always interested in how people hack their productivity challenges…

The best productivity App in the world is an appitite for success, never a tool

Proactively managing multiple project participations and client engagements, competing priorities and crashing deadlines with associated multiple communication channels, both individually and as a team, is a serious business challenge.

It is a business challenge that cannot be easily hacked with an app – no matter how hot or cool or hyped it is.

Too many people and, by extension, businesses, get lulled into what I call the ‘Tool Trap’. Their thinking is Tool centric. They implement something and it quickly follows a predictable cycle. This applies equally to free ‘App for that’ solutions and very expensive CRM / ERM solutions.

The all too usual implementation cycle of tool centric thinking is:

Excitement > Frustration > Incentivising use >

Performance Managing use > Mandating use under pain of penalty.

I work with clients who have bought top drawer solutions from providers like Salesforce.com who will admit to this cycle.

The fact remains that far too many Project Management, CRM, ERM implementations fail to meet their declared business objectives – even when top drawer suppliers and great implementation consultants are engaged by successful client companies.

It may seem like a small thing – getting people to use a particular app or tool – BUT it carries massive productivity risks.

The only rational way to approach the collaborative workload productivity challenge is to put tools where they belong – at the end of the decision. The only enduring approach is

Purpose >Process > Tool

Let me know your take on this in the comments area below the sign up box …….

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