thin line flat design of power of business essential items and office desk things, organization process for success project development. modern vector illustration concept, isolated on white background.The word productivity has never been as fashionable as it is today and it becomes extremely important when it comes to fierce competition in a market with so many competitors.

But, contrary to what many people think, productivity is not only related to producing larger quantities of products or serving more customers. Productivity today involves efficiency and, in order to achieve it, it is necessary to invest in technological innovations to guarantee the quality of the service and products, optimizing the processes. It is the well-known of doing more, with less and without losing quality. An arduous task, but perfectly achievable if the correct resources were used.


Even before you set goals to increase productivity, you need to know the real working conditions of the company, your workflow, to identify the most overburdened, time-lagging, and employee sectors, and to find bottlenecks in the production process.

Workflow is the sequence of the work process, the process by which each recent activity must go through to get to a conclusion. This process may involve several people and sectors of the same company and, therefore, it is extremely important to establish rules and to create automation mechanisms for tasks that allow time saving and avoid reworking. The leaner the workflow, the better its efficiency.

There are a few ways to assess whether your company's workflow is efficient or not. In order to do so, you can use some simple indicators that will alert you if they start to roll back.

  • Compare what was planned with what was carried out - If the company can accomplish more than 75% of what was planned, the workflow can be considered efficient;
  • Measure the number of hours dedicated to each activity - It is possible to find out the ideal time to perform each task and to identify possibilities to reduce the time without losing quality;
  • Measure rework - can be caused by several factors, but the consequences will always have an impact on productivity. You must identify the reason for the mistakes and adjust the processes to reduce the company’s rework.

There are many tips and techniques that help increase your company's productivity so let's talk about some of them.

Pomodoro Technique

This technique is based on the idea of ​​dividing workflow into small blocks (of 25 minutes, called “pomodoros”) that allow to increase concentration and to give more agility to the brain. The first step in applying this technique is to create a list with pending tasks. You need to use a timer, or alarm clock, set on 25 minutes. Choose one of the tasks from the list and work during the 25 minutes marked on the timer without any interruption (no social networks or messages on the phone). When the alarm rings, stop and take a 5-minute break in which you are told to stand up, walk a little, and have a glass of water, for example. After the 5-minute break, take up work for another pomodoro (25 minutes). And every four pomodoros take a longer break, about 30 minutes, before returning to work. After you finish a task from your list, mark it as “done”.

This technique is interesting to ensure focus on work or study, but mainly can be used as a planning tool, because over time you will be able to identify how many pomodoros you spend to perform a certain task and so you can better plan your use of time.

It is also possible to make adaptations to the method, but it is necessary to maintain the main idea that is the total focus on a single activity during a period and to make intervals between the pomodoros.

Project Management System

Project management is essential for the expansion of the productive capacity of the company and with its use there will be more focus and control in the services offered to clients. Good project management software allows the creation of task lists in an effortless way and the possibility of managing them demonstrates the progress of projects so that all those involved on them can follow and verify their commitment and that of their work team. In addition, it performs task-time measurements, compares planned and performed activities, and provides an up-to-date schedule for managing the company's human resources. The project manager will monitor the project stages and monitor their progress, managing costs, deadlines and difficulties presented by the team. The project management system greatly helps companies keep up-to-date schedules and deliver quality services with more organization and productivity.

ERP Management System

It is a tool that helps companies a lot in business management, being a great differential for small and medium enterprises in overcoming the challenges and obstacles of everyday life. The ERP system allows the complete integration of company activities essential for its proper functioning as stock control, sales system, invoice issuance, tax payments and cash flow control. The business management system still gathers all the information about the company and generates reports on its current and future situation helping the managers in the important decisions.

By following these tips your company will be able to increase productivity and profitability while maintaining the quality of services and products offered. Do not waste time and put these ideas into practice.

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remote working imageProject managers and PMO officers muster a highly technical skill set. However, the soft skills in which they need to be well-versed in order to be recognized as leaders have become one of the toughest areas of excellence for any project-based organization.

The problem has become even more urgent with the digitalization of intellectual work: workers and experts can now be brought into a project remotely across countries, languages and a myriad of different cultural elements. How to turn delocalized networks of diverse people into robust teams is one of the standing challenges for a modern project leader.

The stepping stone into project leadership is to find support in the use of technological systems designed to support and enhance intensive collaboration, like ITM Platform’s PPM software.

But besides that, if they want to succeed project leaders will have to recognize that external consultants and remote teams have different support needs than the traditional, internal team members.

Invite all your collaborators to ITM Platform and power your projects with a PPM tool with in-built social communication.

Is project leadership the same as traditional business leadership?

“Project members may feel the disorientation that comes with the lack of a stable home”

According to an already classic research paper, “Transformational leadership in a project-based environment: a comparative study of the leadership styles of project managers and line managers”, the project leader can have the same authority and recognition as the leader in a functional organization; however, the nature of project-based work sets barriers for transformational outcomes.

In fact, many project members unbound to a department feel the nausea or disorientation that is related to the lack of a stable home: a permanent work station; a group of colleagues to relate to and build confidence with over time; or even a geographic location and a predictable daily routine. In absence of all these coordinates of professional stability, leaders will find that it is harder to motivate employees, oversee their careers, and make them understand their place and importance in the overall scheme of things.

Similarly, all modern organizations suffer under the inescapable dooms and benefits of technological innovation: nowadays, a team member can be recruited for a short-term engagement from a different country on the other end of the world. Usually, these relationships are based on the demand for readily available and highly qualified talent, which can literally be found anywhere thanks to the existing collaboration hubs. While this trend was barely emerging in the early 2000’s, it has consolidated as a clear business model with a myriad of online platforms, such as freelancer or 99designs for designers, twago or Upwork for web and software development, or even NineSights or kaggle for innovation and big data contests.

While hiring talent from across the globe is easier than ever, this frictionless environment shifts a strenuous pressure into the coordination needs with newcomers. And, paradoxically, at the same time it's becoming increasingly difficult to retain talent and meet the professional expectations of millenials in terms of flexibility, work-life balance and career development. This guide on working with technology that is suited to millennial culture can help your company overcome this challenge.

Obviously, this pressure then translates into new styles of leadership; and it does it at a time in which often support systems for traditional, site-based project teams are still precarious.

In this context, it’s obvious that team management requirements have changed enormously, shifting away from the face to face authority of the office leader to the need to clearly communicate and align expectations to that kind of loosely coordinated network in which team members come and go.

Most often team members will fulfil specialized tasks, but entire projects with important co-dependencies can also be outsourced. In the latter case, that is when projects are tightly packaged before they are outsourced, the external player will have it easy: he or she shall only need to understand project scope, deadlines and budget.

However, outsourcing tasks within projects and externalizing a part of the project team is a much harder practice in the day-to-day of project leaders. If we go back to the initial metaphor, the leader will somehow have to reconstruct a home (or a temporary albeit comfortable shelter) for the external member so their engagement with the project is guaranteed.

1. On-boarding = constructing a home with corporate values

“Combining the collaborative power of Slack with the PPM capabilities of ITM Platform is a great way of keeping all project members on the same page, multiplying team interactions and ensuring that project planning and execution are strictly aligned”

While many full-time freelancers are likely to feel comfortable in loosely coupled teams with brief touching points and interactions, making sure any new node in the network knows how to proceed is a strong organizational priority.

The home cannot be forced upon the external member: whoever prefers a detached, professional collaboration with no soft commitment will eventually have her way; but on the corporate side it should be all about a seductive approach to persuasion that is very strongly related to corporate culture and values, to a strong branding and to the on-boarding. Depending on how this process work, employees and consultants can either feel important contributors to the organizations or a redundant appendix.

Under this light, seemingly secondary pieces of communication have an enormous importance. How you welcome members into the team, make requests for feedback or encourage spontaneous interactions become central elements to the leadership activity. It’s important to stimulate autonomous work while ensuring that there is a record of all vital progress.

For that reason, the integration of collaboration tools and project management technology is particularly relevant in the project leader portfolio. To support that need, we recently designed ITM Platform Teambot, an app for Slack that allows our user base to recall their current projects and tasks, report hours and progress and send contextual comments into the platform without ever leaving Slack’s IRC-type chat interface.


Combining the collaborative power of Slack with the PPM capabilities of ITM Platform is a great way of keeping all project members on the same page, multiplying team interactions and ensuring that project planning and execution are strictly aligned.

2. Self-management and discipline

“Sustained clarity into the processes, expectations and requirements are of particular importance for remote workers and external consultants.”

Much more than regular employees, who can embed their practices into the dynamics of the organization and rely on daily interactions to regulate inter-dependencies, remote workers and consultants need to self-manage their time and be very disciplined. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t need to follow external leadership: on the contrary, even the most disciplined professionals will be extremely frustrated in the absence of proper project leadership that doesn’t communicate a clear focus.

Although it obviously benefits from the magnetism of charismatic authority, project leadership doesn’t have to be very personal. Sustained clarity into the processes, expectations and requirements are of particular importance for remote workers and external consultants.

3. Strong processes embedded in top-value technology

“The technological backbone is a fundamental pillar of project management processes. Your ITM Platform environment will be the organizational home to your project activities”

Project management instruments, methodologies and templates are the core of a strong policy of validated processes that work throughout the entire organization. A fundamental pillar of those processes is the technological backbone that keeps track of the everyday progresses.

In project management contexts with remote team members, it’s vital to have a tool that covers that backbone and connects communicational needs with planning and execution:

  • Financial management: keeping track of all the costs incurred by the resources allocated to a given project
  • Time tracking: Control whether team members, particularly new ones, are as productive as planned, identify deviations and bottlenecks and assess their cause
  • Planning: Plan projects in the same environment your team members use to report their efforts. Your ITM Platform environment will be the organizational home to your project activities.
  • Communication: Direct messages between members, contextual messages related to any given task or project. The objective is to empower teams for conversations that are permanently relevant because they stored where the work actually happens.

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Although an essential part of project management is to plan all possible scenarios and be prepared for any eventuality, it is always possible that a problem or circumstance we did not originally plan for can appear. Therefore, although we cannot anticipate all circumstances, we can anticipate how to react to an unforeseen situation. Here are some tips:



Show leadership

It is very easy to say but very difficult to implement. When things go wrong it is most common that the team lose their nerve and do not know what to do or freeze and do nothing.

When this happens, a leader who reassures the team is necessary, reflects and works together to find the best solution to the problem.

It is not about blame but understanding the problem and finding the solution.

Avoid the temptation to increase resources

1A simple way to solve problems in project management is simply to increase resources for them. However, this is the least desirable solution.

Firstly, you must exhaust all avenues based on the optimal management of available resources. That is precisely project management: getting the best results desired by the project managers and especially by customers whilst making the best use of resources therefore achieving optimum utilization.

On the other hand, increasing resources does not necessarily improve the result. It is necessary to guide them properly. That is if, you finally decide to increase the resources used; project management will be critical in deciding how to use them.

Another aspect to consider is that new resources take time to produce the expected results. This time lag should also be considered since it is possible that despite increased resources, the results are not achieved within the desired timeframe.

However, a reorganization of resources assigned can probably be faster but not easier. Again, the project manager must be able to articulate the resources available to solve the problems that arise.

Show problems as they are

Do not be tempted to minimize problems. If a problem has a certain magnitude, show it as it is.

The only way to find an effective solution to a problem is to know it properly. The members of your team have a right to know what they are facing to adapt their effort and attitude to the needs of the company and the project.

In addition, trust is something that costs a lot to get but very little to lose. If later it is shown that you have not been completely honest with the circumstances, this can take its toll the teams’ confidence they have in you as a leader. Therefore, sincerity should always come first.

Check everything you do

Any project completed from best to worst has hits and misses. And you can learn from both.

It is easy and tempting to indulge in the completed project in the event it went well or forget where you’ve gone wrong. Neither of these attitude brings long- term benefit.

The most useful attitude is, regardless of how well a project has turned out, analyze the successes and mistakes made in it to learn from the experience and to apply it in future projects.

Successes should be recognized and rewarded in some way. However, although it should indicate the mistakes to avoid their repetition, they should not be accompanied by punishment. This only confuses the working environment for future projects.

This principle of continuous improvement (Kaizen) makes it possible to avoid backsliding on errors and instead repeat the successes. Perfection is not a goal to reach but a goal to pursue.

It involves the entire company

Making changes is necessary to include all those involved in the project. From the director of the company to the substitutes and trainees, all of them are important in the project and should feel that their work is valued.

Similarly, changes and analysis of successes and failures should be made at all levels in order to achieve global changes with scope.

At ITM platform we know the business world perfectly, because leaders in different sectors use our project management software.

Try it out and discover what it can do for you 


Top 5 most read blogs on ITM Platform:

The Monte Carlo Method in Project Management

Extra Extra Extra!

Three disastrous project management failures

The project in the face of adversity: what should a project manager do?

What is the Virtual Sock Management or Periodical Online Management?


Juan Delgado

Blogger ITM Platform






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A project involves devoting effort, capital and human resources to achieve the satisfactory results expected. Early detection of the project not being carried out as well as desired is essential, it is imperative to take steps to improve the measures and its development in order to avoid any unnecessary costs.

In order to improve the management efficiency and detecting problems earlier, or even before they occur, it is essential to have a specialized project management software. Thus, in a simple and economical manner, improving the efficiency of your work an reducing your costs.

There are signs that allow for early detection if a project is not developing properly. In this article we discuss some of them.

1.- Spending too much time solving problems

1Obviously, one of the most fundamental tasks of the project manager is to resolve project issues as they arise.

However, the best project managers are not the ones that solves problems, but who best avoids problems.

Anticipation is an essential characteristic of a project Manager and is related to their ability to predict the risks that may occur during the execution of a project, the impact the risks can have on it, and their occurrence.

Stopping the progress of a project because there has been a problem which needs the project manager to provide a solution. This leads to a delay in the delivery of the project and requires additional effort. This can be avoided if the project has been redirected so that the problem is avoided or there is a quicker solution to the problem which has been planned prior to implementing the project, avoiding improvisation at the time of submission.

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2.- Customers constantly ask for results

A customer who fully trusts you asks not for project results, but trusts that you perform the management of the project in the most appropriate way.

However, since the customer is primarily interested in the project achieving the expected results, it is reasonable for him to ask to be adequately informed of the development and implementation of the project.

Therefore, planning should include checkpoints at which the customer is informed of the results achieved so far, so he can see for himself that project management is still appropriate.

You can also use cloud resources for sharing real-time updates on the progress of the project. This way, the customers can see for themselves at any time how the project is developing.

If you do not use these resources, you can resort to more traditional methods, such as making periodic meetings. In this case you must be careful with the frequency and duration of the meetings, seeking to improve the efficiency and utilization of both your teams work time and your customer’s time.

Transparency generates trust between the project manager and the customer that will be beneficial for both parties.

3.- Workers spend too many hours

If the project is properly planned, employees should only be actively working in the allocated work time that has been planned prior to the implantation of the project, neither more nor less.

If less time than expected is used to execute the tasks, this could mean that the quantity or complexity is insufficient, therefore you should review the relevant work of each of the team members or assign any member of that team to another project.

However, if the opposite happens, it means that workers are overworked. This has negative consequences in both the short and long term.

In the short term, this will mean that tasks cannot be developed at the satisfactory level required.

In the long run, the employees will most likely end up burned out from being overworked, which will decrease productivity and, above all, creativity.

If there is a specific need, you can and should ask the team members to make an extra effort, but this should not be the norm. If so, project planning has been inadequate and must be reviewed.

It should also influence the work methodologies. It is possible that the workload is correct but the way to do it is not optimal.

4.- Too many changes to the project

If customers constantly demand more changes and this prevents you from staying on course for the project, it means that there is a planning problem.

In these cases, the most convenient way to deal with this would be to meet with the customers and talk to them about what they believe the purpose and scope for the project is. Once everything is clarified, the project should go ahead.

Proceeding aimlessly with the project, is a waste of resources and effort and will in turn decrease confidence that employees have in you.

Rethinking the project with the customers will allow you to plan it properly and find the solution together that is most satisfactory.

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Top 5 most read blogs on ITM Platform:

The Monte Carlo Method in Project Management

Extra Extra Extra!

Three disastrous project management failures

The project in the face of adversity: what should a project manager do?

What is the Virtual Sock Management or Periodical Online Management?


Nicholas Taylor 

ITM Platform


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