Service providers need an efficient interaction with clients to get work done and minimize stress. But both service providers and their clients have many competing priorities that make productive interactions hard to sustain.
One of the greatest challenges is getting on and staying on the same sheet of music. Any lack of clarity about what needs to be done and who is going to do it, wastes time and effort and builds stress.
TASKey has developed a simple way to create an agreed action plan and to politely follow-up so tasks get done with a minimum of fuss. A simple Plan-on-a-Page template is used to quickly develop an action plan that is acceptable to all stakeholders. Then during implementation, the plan is updated to incorporate changes and show progress.
Online software (called Me2Team) makes it easy to fill in the simple plan-on-a-page template for each task. Both service providers and clients work together to develop and implement an agreed action plan. The core of the action plan is a list of To Do’s that details the agreed workflow.
Ideally all stakeholders would use the software, but this is often an unrealistic expectation. The more realistic expectation is that the service provider and some team members would directly use the software (because they have the most to gain). But other team members and clients would use outputs from the software (but they would not be required to login or access it). So from the client‘s point of view, the service provider is better organised and there is little perceived change needed to what they are already doing.
Me2Team facilitates the structured involvement of clients by making it easy to email a PDF copy of the agreed plan of action to relevant clients. So the client has an understandable record of the agreed workflow, where they fit, and what they personally need to do, when and with whom.
An explicit way to assign particular To Do’s is to send an instant To Do email that focuses on a particular To Do in the workflow. The client can automatically add this To Do and its detail to their calendar (such as Outlook or Google calendar). When the To Do is complete, the client can reply to the email and the service provider can login and tick off the To Do as complete. This automatically shows a complete tick against the To Do in the plan workflow. The service provider can then email the latest copy of the task plan to relevant stakeholders to show progress.
Another benefit is that the software maintains a list of all the To Do’s assigned to each client. This reduces confusion and reduces the number of communications required, because all outstanding To Do’s can be discussed at the same time. So the key parts of the process are:
• Plan-on-a-Page action plans to agree To Do’s and show progress and changes.
• To Do emails to assign and remind non users of Me2Team about specific To Do’s
• Consolidated lists of assigned To Do’s, so communications are more productive.
In summary, the client is politely driven to successfully complete their To Do’s in task workflows. The client only has to use emails and never has to learn or access Me2Team software.
By keeping control of simple and complex agendas, the service provider can get work done in a way that minimizes the disruptions to their workflow. This saves them time and effort, creates an audit trail, and reduces the stress of chasing and reminding clients of what they need to do and why.
More information is available at www.me2team.com.