Thanks to the barrage of reality shows like Hoarding: Buried Alive, Extreme Clutter, and My Hoarder Mum and Me, the concept of hoarding is becoming increasingly mainstream. Wikipedia says it’s the “excessive acquisition of and inability to discard large quantities of objects that would seemingly qualify as useless or without value.”
Most of us can easily spot this problem taking hold in houses (if you can’t see the floor, you know there’s a problem). But what if we were hoarding something at work — would we even recognize it?
I read a LinkedIn post the other day where a man asked other project managers: “What applications do you use for project management?” His colleagues mentioned a number of great solutions, but one man’s post in particular caught my eye (we’ll call him Leopold for simplicity’s sake). Paraphrased:
“I use Audionote and Dragon dictation for note taking during meetings. I use Scrumboard for keeping track of tasks and sub-tasks, to organize it all I use Mindjet (mindmanager). All the files from these apps are kept in Dropbox and synced with my laptop. For security I use the Sophos…”
For those of you who are counting, Leopold is using six different programs to manage his projects. Working with six different programs and constantly migrating data between them doesn’t sound like fun to me. If I were to offer Leopold advice, I’d tell him this:
1. Don’t be afraid to explore your resources
I’m not sure if Leopold knows it, but Mindjet (and virtually all other project management software) offers task and sub-task tracking in addition to its higher-level monitoring capabilities. If Leopold were to leverage this feature, his tasks would tie in directly with his larger plan to streamline task assignment. Don’t be like Leopold — make sure that you’re leveraging the capabilities you already pay for instead of searching for a separate program to duplicate them.
2. Look for ways to simplify
A quick search would reveal to Leopold that virtually all project management solutions offer document and resource management. This sort of storage offers better organization and makes resources more readily available to team members than storage in an external program like Dropbox.
Similarly, the permission capabilities from some solutions also allow built-in security to protect against both internal and external breaches.
Rather than addressing each need with a different app, Leopold could find one piece of software to manage what he was using four to do (Mindjet, Dropbox, Scrumboard and Sophos). This would keep him from paying for so many different solutions and increase efficiency by streamlining operations.
3. Some extras are okay
Though some of Leopold’s applications are redundant and unnecessary, his use of Audionote and Dragon Dictation is completely justified. These two programs offer capabilities that are not characteristic of typical project management software. If Leopold needs to record something, he can do so with another program and enter any relevant items into his main PM solution to keep important data centralized.
If Leopold did these things, he would see a decrease in stress, an increase in efficiency, and maybe even more free time. He might also sleep more soundly knowing that his friends aren’t signing him up to appear on the next episode of App Hoarders.
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