Tag Archives: Collaboration

As Labor Day dawns, empower your team to achieve more

Labor Day
The first Monday in September marks Labor Day – an annual tribute to the success and contributions of American workers. For businesses large and small, the coming of Labor Day represents a clear opportunity to celebrate achievements, re-energize teams and reinforce the promise of an even greater future.

Why not show your appreciation for your team this Labor Day by empowering them to be and achieve more? Spread a mood of optimism and provide ample opportunities for teammates to grow so that everyone can find satisfaction in their work, while at the same time helping to meet the organization’s goals. Here are 3 clever ways to empower your team for success.

1. Help people build their strengths

Assigned Tasks

Aim to designate and delegate tasks with the strengths of your team in mind. Research by Gallup indicates that workers who have the chance to use their strengths every day (rather than focusing on their weaknesses) are 6 times more likely to be engaged in their jobs and 8% more productive. When you design your teammates’ work around their strengths, you enrich their jobs in ways that help them feel good and want to perform better. Try and ‘work in’ people’s strengths by involving them in interdepartmental teams or giving them extra assignments they’ll enjoy. Be careful not to just dump any old chore on a colleague or bury them in meaningless errands because you know they can handle it. Delegate important responsibilities and visible projects, ones where team members can get recognition and satisfaction as well as build their skill sets.  When handing over duties, ask yourself, “Is this task an opportunity for someone to develop their strengths in…?” DropTask supports strengths-based work allocation among team members, helping you clearly define responsibilities for the workers most suited to a task. Be explicit about timings and expectations, and supply any other useful information or resources using notes or attachments. Then simply drag and drop a co-worker’s profile onto a task and let them drive it forward. For added guidance and motivation, you can set the Importance (with a red flag) and Effort (small, medium or large) of tasks too.

2. Reveal the bigger picture

Task Dependencies

Engaging your teammates to work on their strengths is one part of the equation, but if you want to inspire people to even greater heights, then you need to unveil the big picture. Show your colleagues how they contribute to the bigger purpose in the work they do and they’ll open up to more opportunities and challenges. As positive psychologist Robert Emmons says, “Seemingly small tasks can have tremendous meaning if they are framed as connecting to something larger.” In DropTask, projects can be shared with an unlimited number of people, so everyone is working from the same page and toward the same major goals. Invite team members to collaborate on your most high-level projects, and let them combine their individual strengths and expertise for an optimized outcome. DropTask’s captivating visual canvas allows everyone to ‘see’ the status of a project clearly and presents a uniquely beautiful way to communicate with others and grab their attention. Kate Harthan, Operations Director at a leading promotional products company, highlights how valuable it is to have all information available at a glance in DropTask: “It is refreshing to have a visual representation of what is going on in the office that all employees are able to edit. It has helped reduce my boss’s time spent managing employee projects, and it has increased our response times and overall success of follow-up with customers.” As an added bonus, the daily summary email sent out automatically by DropTask each morning gives increased visibility on progress and kick-starts motivation, so day by day, your teammates are fired up to raise their game.

3. Share decision making and goal setting

Permissions and visibility

Foster an alliance with your team members by letting them have input into the decisions and goals that affect them. While it’s not practical in all circumstances, you’ll be surprised at how much turning over some of your power will engage the troop. Involve your people in looking at new ways of understanding their tasks and possibilities for moving forward, without poking your nose into every aspect of their decision making. Encourage them to set their own goals and challenges for their work, even if it isn’t required. On the other hand, if a goal is fixed and non-negotiable, allow team members to determine how they’ll get there. Holding people accountable for results creates a deep sense of responsibility and ownership, as well as focus and determination – with minimal pushing from you. Worried about losing control and things getting out of hand? Member permissions can be set in DropTask, giving you full control over what others can see and edit. This ensures the right people always remain accountable and responsibilities aren’t muddied. For instance, you may decide to give someone the ability to only see and edit the tasks that they’ve been assigned to, or merely grant them read-only access. Advanced settings also allow you to prevent members from deleting tasks and groups that they didn’t create, as well as restrict their ability to invite others to your project without your consent. Combined with DropTask’s other project management capabilities, you can empower your team in all the right ways so they fully understand their goals, the tasks they’re assigned to and can make sound decisions on their given responsibilities.

This Labor Day we’re giving you 1 year free when you upgrade to any 2 year plan from as little as just $1.42/month*. Save big and go long with our limited time offer.

Redeem Offer*Price based on 36 months, when paid upfront. Offer ends Sept 23rd.

Are you doing too much? How shared planning can save time & improve work processes

With team members each using different methods for managing workloads, and with no easy way to view all activities, Hamish More – Director of People & Capability for the New Zealand Fire Service, was after a more streamlined and collaborative solution that the whole team could use.Hamish More, Director of People & Capability for The New Zealand Fire Service

“Before DropTask, there was no consistent approach for planning and managing tasks within my department, and team members were all using various methods. There was a common complaint from our people of “we’re doing too much”, but with no clear overview of all activities, no-one could easily explain – or ‘see’ what was causing all of the busyness. To overcome this problem, I wanted to adopt a shared planning approach and so needed a tool which would give a visible indication of the number of activities we had under way, and allow for the whole team to contribute.

“DropTask appealed to me most because of its unique visual interface and the ability to ‘see’ relationships between tasks.”

While searching for apps and tools to help manage workloads, I looked at a few options, but DropTask appealed to me most because of its unique visual interface and the ability to ‘see’ relationships between tasks. I signed up for the free version of DropTask and within a matter of weeks a large number of the team were using DropTask PRO.The New Zealand Fire Service TeamDropTask is used on a daily basis by the team in a variety of ways – all of which are hugely valuable to us. I primarily use it to track reporting on projects, so I know which reports need approving. In one DropTask project, Cameron Hawke (Project Manager for our Service Resilience & Development Team), has set-up a sequence of groups – one for “drafting”, one for “ready to approve”, and one for “approved”, others also include “closed” and “rejected”. Applying a Kanban-like method of working, we manage the process by moving tasks between these groups. When a task hits the “ready to approve” stage, I’m assigned to that task and I instantly receive a notification (both within the app and via email) of my new task – I then have 5-days to either approve or reject the attached report for that task.

“…they had an “aha” moment when they saw the large visualization of our work.”

I also use DropTask to manage the team’s activities; the visual nature of the app allows me to get a good idea of the amount of work just by glancing at a project and seeing who is assigned to what. I’m then able to present and share this information with other colleagues to illustrate our workloads. If I need to delegate new tasks, or re-assign existing ones, then the drag and drop functionality of the app – which I love – makes it quick and easy to do so.

DropTask Project using iPad AppDropTask has surprised many people in the team; they had an “aha” moment when they saw the large visualization of our work, and started seeing where most of their time was being spent and why they were so busy. Now, by prioritizing our work in DropTask, we’re able to better utilize our time by focusing on what’s important, and spending less time on – or even putting on hold, low priority tasks.

“DropTask has helped introduce efficiencies and effectiveness.”

I would say that DropTask has helped introduce efficiencies and effectiveness around our reporting and has also given me a far better oversight of workloads and status. It has saved me a lot of time by helping to make our work processes much easier and faster.”

Collaborate with your team and see what DropTask can do for you by signing up for free today at www.droptask.com/signup

Already a DropTask user? Share your story with us at contact@droptask.com for your chance to be featured in a future post!

Celebrate teamwork this Labour Day

DropTask Labor Day Sale

As Labor Day celebrates the success and achievements of workers in the United States, there’s no better time to evaluate whether you and your team are doing all that you can to maximise your productivity. What’s more, we’re giving you the option to improve your performance with an extra month of DropTask PRO completely FREE when you sign up to any annual PRO plan!*

Together Everyone Achieves More

Here are 3 powerful reasons why working as a team should be at the forefront of your mind…

1. MotivationMotivation

Knowing that there are other people working towards the same goals as us inspires motivation. Whether we turn to team members for support or to celebrate big achievements – we’re better together. Share your projects with an unlimited number of people so everyone is working from the same page. By inviting your team members to collaborate on projects you can make your team feel inspired, motivated and supported – all whilst getting a better idea of what everyone is up to.

2. Improved Efficiency

Improve Efficiency

Dave Liddell, President of SKYE Business Solutions, speaks about the importance of teamwork in an organization: “It is proven through research that when employees feel ‘included’ as part of a team and part of a work family, they will be more productive and more efficient.” Combining the individual strengths of team members can help push a project forward, and clearly defined responsibilities ensure that work is accounted for and completed by the team member who is most suited to the task.

3. Optimized Solutions

Fresh pair of eyes

When you work with others you can gain otherwise unseen perspectives on a problem. This means that others can spot things you might have missed, or even identify a different approach that you may not have thought of. This is incredibly valuable when problem solving but is also a great asset when generating new ideas or beginning new projects.  With more people working towards the same goal, you can be safe in the knowledge that you have covered all bases. So start a conversation with your team today and get those ideas flowing!


Engage your team and celebrate Labor Day this weekend by upgrading to DropTask PRO and claiming an extra month of PRO for FREE.* To redeem, simply hit the button below:Redeem Offer*Offer valid when purchasing any annual DropTask PRO subscription and expires at midnight on Monday 7th September 2015. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

 

From recruitment to the monthly school newsletter, for HR Specialist Jeffrey Loosli, DropTask manages it all…

school-blog-headerJeffrey Loosli is a Human Resources Specialist for the Blaine County School District #61. With over 500 full-time employees and an additional 300 part-time volunteers and coaches, trying to keep track of everything that needs to be completed – from the recruitment process to the monthly payroll, is a huge undertaking.

loosli-head“Before we discovered DropTask, things were often missed or dropped because one person did not communicate what needed to be done with others. We therefore required a tool that would allow us to organize tasks and thoughts and share these with one another to keep everyone in the department working from the same page – so nothing was missed.

We considered some of the other top apps and read the reviews before coming back with two potentials to use – DropTask being one of them. After trialing the free version of DropTask with my colleagues, we instantly fell in love and purchased DropTask PRO for our department.school-ext

We now use DropTask to keep track of all of the daily and monthly tasks we need to get done. For example, we have a project called ‘Newsletter’ and we create a task for each topic that will feature in the newsletter on a specified month of the year.

“After trialing the free version of DropTask with my colleagues, we instantly fell in love…”

We also use the daily summary email DropTask sends out and each morning we are reminded of what tasks we need to work on next, and what’s coming up on the horizon – meaning no tasks are forgotten.

school-newsletter

“We now use DropTask to keep track of all of the daily and monthly tasks we need to get done.”

Using DropTask, we have successfully managed and completed the hiring process of 8 new coaches for the school. I effortlessly invited all of the colleagues from my department to the project, where I had created every task that needed to be completed and the deadlines for each one. Using drag and drop, I was able to delegate tasks to team members, and with the ability to add subtasks, it meant all aspects of a task were covered – from signing the contracts for the new coaches to printing the contracts out. I even took a day off, and with DropTask’s real-time collaboration, everyone in the department was able to see what had been done and what still had to be done, so there were no hold-ups in progressing with the project.

DropTask has allowed us to manage things that were normally done on paper (that often got lost in the shuffle), or tasks that were left in limbo because the employee took the day off. Now we can see the progress and know exactly what needs to get done.

“DropTask is leaps and bounds above a simple to-do list that has colors on it.”

My team really enjoy using DropTask and are constantly amazed at what new ideas the DropTask team are coming up with. I have downloaded the app on my smart phone so I can continually monitor, change, and add to tasks even when I’m out of the office. DropTask works great in all types of situations and I even use it for personal items at home – from paying monthly bills, to changing furnaces filters and even watering the plants.

We simply love the visuals of DropTask because you can instantly see where things are in relation to each other. It’s so easy to group common things together, and it allows you to follow the same process each time. When trying to organize and manage tasks, DropTask is leaps and bounds above a simple to-do list that has colors on it.”

 Get your team started today by signing up for free at www.droptask.com/signup

Already a DropTask user? Share your story with us at contact@droptask.com for your chance to be featured in a future post!

Working with remote teams – A breeze for HP Project Manager, Mark Pohlmann

HP

As project manager at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Mark Pohlmann is required to manage large IT projects with expert teams located all around the world, as well as with consultants working on site. Upon discovering DropTask in 2013, Mark decided to select it as the collaborative tool he and his team would need in order to keep track on the progress of ever-changing priorities determined through regular team meetings.  Earlier this year, Mark took some time to explain the fundamental role that DropTask plays in managing his team in order to deliver timely results.

“My job is to manage multiple large-scale IT projects on a daily basis, with several teams working remotely across various sites around the world.  I need to be informed of what’s happening on each project (via a status report), and need to share this information with both my team and my management so we can establish new deadlines, progress, and any issues that could potentially arise. Prior to DropTask, collecting this information from the field and assembling the status report required a lot of time and effort, so I began to search for a cloud-based tool which would be accessible to everyone. A representation of the work that needed to be done was vital, as well as the ability to assign this work to team members, collect updates, and more precisely – let individual team members update each other of their status. This would then assist me in generating a report for management.

hp-droptask-markpohlmann

Many task management tools don’t allow strong ‘group’ management. For some, a task can belong to a group – and that’s it. A group cannot belong to a group, and without nested grouping you create the sort of limit which doesn’t work when trying to represent the complexity of a project. With DropTask, I was able to place groups within groups, which allowed me to represent the project as it is. I was also able to find various common properties you’d expect such as due date, status, and subtasks, but in addition to this I was able to helpfully set the ‘urgency’ and ‘importance’ for each task – which isn’t that common to find.

Each time a project is set up, team members update the properties that belonging to each task (including due date and status), to reflect what they have done. From there I can further control the attributes of each task and change their priorities based on the discussions we have. The team also benefit from receiving the daily summary email that’s sent out by DropTask each morning, as this gives them increased visibility on our progress.

HP Status Report

Weekly Project Status Report, Phase #1. This illustrates how DropTask is used within our weekly project status report deck. Consultants are updating DropTask and the current status is extracted and presented with some comments to the Management.

Depending on the project, at the end of each week and month I export all task related information into a CSV file to update corporate reports and dashboards. I save a huge amount of time since all of the information I need to update is right there. In addition to this, I can screen capture the DropTask project representation to create a unique slide for status reporting. Again, this saves me a lot of time since DropTask is designing a picture for me to view project status.  This makes collaboration so much easier as people can report what they want during the day, resulting in fewer phone calls, less paperwork (with information the team need to hand to me), and no to-do ‘lists’.  Our corporate dashboards are updated easily, and the time saved for both myself and my team can be better spent working on deliverables for our customers.

There are plenty of task management tools out there, but to fully understand many of these you’re required to spend hours ‘learning’ how things work. This is no good because we don’t have the time to do this. DropTask is intuitive, made for humans, and is simple to use. Within a couple of minutes you’ve understood what you need to do and can begin to work.  As well as this, all task management tools are “list based” and aren’t necessarily fun to use, with poor and unattractive “visual” reports. DropTask, on the other hand, gives me a unique project status report which is visually beautiful and this is perfect for when I report to senior management who like to “pin” these reports up on their wall.”

Get your team started today by signing up for free at www.droptask.com/signup

Already a DropTask user? Share your story with us at contact@droptask.com for your chance to be featured in a future post!

Come together with DropTask PRO for teams

Here at DropTask HQ we understand how important teamwork is, and we know from our own experiences that problems can be solved much more quickly and efficiently when we work together instead of battling for a solution on our own.

That’s why for this week only we’re giving away an extra 2 MONTHS FREE for your whole team when you upgrade to ANY of our annual PRO team plans!*

Offer expires at midnight on 24th April 2015


Unlock your team’s potential

DropTask PRO opens the door to features that allow you to raise your game and reach the goals you’ve set for yourself and your team. You’ll be armed with the tools to successfully plan, manage and take action so you can streamline your workflow and keep everything in one place.

Engage

Unite your team and bring them together when you collaborate in real-time. With everyone working from the same page you can be sure that no one will be left in the dark and your whole team will know exactly what needs to be done.

Manage

Ensuring that your project runs smoothly and establishing accountability is a top priority.

So whether you’re assigning tasks to others or checking-in with a team member for an update; easily manage and track the overall progress of your project while remaining focused on your goals and the bigger picture.

Motivate

Gone are the days when managing and organizing to-dos was a chore!

DropTask’s use of color, shape and space adds an element of fun and enjoyment to the process for you and your team. With features such as cover images and project themes, PRO allows your team to interact with their projects thus making the way they work more intuitive and flexible than ever before.


CLAIM OUR SPECIAL OFFER – Get 2 months free when you subscribe to any annual PRO team plan, for this week only.*

* Offer valid on annual PRO Team subscriptions only and expires at midnight on 24th April 2015. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Get the most out of your team effort!

I’m sure you’ll agree that when it comes to collaboration and working with others, communication is key.

A team with various responsibilities, projects, and priorities to handle can be difficult to manage if you’re not always on the same page as each other, and it can be made worse when you throw an increased workload into the mix.

But requesting an update on progress or delegating a new task can be counter productive if your message is lost in a sea of emails, which is why DropTask is a really great tool for driving team effort.

Collaboration

Collaboration

In August 2013, we introduced our new Request Update feature. With its self-explanatory function in mind, we wanted to design it to help you monitor progress on a task that you’re overseeing, and get you one step closer to the finishing post.

We felt that this feature – designed specifically for collaboration – would further improve the way DropTask is already supporting and promoting teamwork, and judging by your feedback, it’s done just that.

Within each project is the option to invite friends, family members, colleagues or acquaintances to share a space with. Whether you’re managing a project, overseeing a team’s effort or simply looking to improve the way you work with others – gaining access to a shared project means you can create unlimited tasks, assign people to them, and even categorise the to-dos by organising them within groups.

CollaborationEverything in one shared place not only makes it easier for everyone to ask questions, send files, and update progress, but it also allows you and your team keep up to date with deadlines and provides you with the confidence that your day to day schedule is being maintained and managed well.

The overall impact of using DropTask to improve team effort at home, in the work place or within academic institutions has been seen by thousands of people worldwide.  We receive a tremendous amount of support and feedback from our users who tell us how DropTask has boosted their productivity, and allowed them to work with others like never before.

So, if you find yourself juggling your workload across various different mediums whilst collaboratively working towards one common goal, try inviting a few people to work with on DropTask. You’ll soon notice how straightforward and manageable teamwork can really be.

New Feature – Request an update!

DropTask is great for collaboration and task delegation, so our new Update Requests feature has been designed to support you with managing and monitoring task progress on any shared projects you may have.

The first thing you’ll notice is a new category in the left side menu of the application, called ‘Update Requests’. This is where you’ll find yourself looking if you’ve received or sent a request for an update on a task.

Update Requests

Sending a request is very straight forward – simply click the task and a button will appear in the task sidebar. You’ll have the additional option to add a comment if you wish, otherwise you can go straight ahead and click ‘Request Update’.

If you receive an update request, you’ll get notified through the application, and a visual indicator will appear in the left side panel. To provide an update and remove the notification, you’ll need to provide a comment in the task sidebar. Once you’ve done this, the person who has requested an update will receive a notification in the ‘Received’ section in the left side menu, along with your comment.

Request Update

When you start using this feature you’ll notice that it becomes very useful when you’re working with others and want to avoid any tasks becoming overdue, and it’s equally as useful if you’re just looking for a casual update to make sure things are running smoothly.

You can find a step by step support article for this feature here. As always, we endeavour to support you with the best possible features for task management and productivity, so if you have any feedback then please don’t hesitate to get in touch!