A manager’s everyday job is extremely dynamic and falls under a very broad umbrella.
And a vast aspect of a manager’s everyday work is focused on supporting their team and keeping them on the right track.
From reporting back on their team, to keeping them motivated and then getting their ‘actual’ work done, it seems like a lot.
And most managers find a way to manage all these details in their head. That’s why they often get lost in a sea of papers, regular phone calls, and daily supervision.
That’s when they resort to technology solutions to make team management simpler.
Tools are Helping Hands
The modern way of working is full of new technology designed to enable your teams to work better. They enable your team to reach their full potential and stay focused on their work.
And while tools do not need a manager, your team still needs support that only you can offer.
Team management tools are only a manager’s helping hand.
They help you stay organised and on track, and are built to take some load off your shoulders. Provided, you choose wisely.
Not every tool will work seamlessly for your team because of the diversity in each team member’s thoughts and work. You need to be up to date with how your team works and what their problems are in order to pick the right tool for them.
Picking the Right Team Management Tool
For most managers, choosing the right tool can be a very overwhelming task. But with the right approach, you can easily compare tools and solutions and find the right one for your team.
Here are some things you need to ask yourself before you narrow down your choices.
Who is the tool built for?
In your search for the right management tool, you’ll find a lot of tools that market themselves as ‘one-for-all’. But very few tools available today can actually be a perfect fit for every team.
The best way to find a solution for your team is to look for industry-specific tools. This is because tools built for marketing teams might not cater to finance teams the same way. And in some cases, they might not even solve some problems faced by finance teams.
If a team management tool isn’t built or marketed for your specific industry, it is likely to not fit well into your team.
What are your team’s problems?
Anybody who is looking for a team management tool has already acknowledged that need for it. And has a set of problems they are trying to solve with the help of the tool.
But you need to be clear in your thoughts too. Your problem cannot be vague – like ‘my team doesn’t want to work’. You need to dig deeper and find out why your team cannot get their work done and what are the hurdles they face everyday that limits them in their tasks.
Once you have your problem narrowed down, it is easier to look for a tool that would provide you with the right solution. For instance, if your problem is missed deadlines, you need a tool that will clearly define the tasks, due date, and the priority of the task.
Another good way of finding your problem is listing down the ‘must have’s’ and the ‘nice to have’s’ for your team. This is an efficient metric in figuring out what your team really needs.
Can the tool be customised for your team?
Customization means different things for different teams. At the very least, it means a solution that can modify itself for your team. A tool that understands your team’s behaviour and can easily integrate into their daily work.
But at the same time, you do not want a tool that is so customizable that you have to practically build it yourself. This puts more pressure on teams and slows down the implementation and adaptation of the tool. Not to forget, a highly customizable tool needs more training and time to configure.
Enable your team to adapt tools easily
Every time someone offers you a new team management tool, they ensure that it will make your teams move faster, increase profits, and a number of other promises that make you buy it.
But what nobody talks about is the difficulty your team faces in adapting the tool.
Will they be welcoming? Will there be any resistance? Nobody talks about it.
It is a manager’s responsibility to equip their teams with the right resources and training required to adapt the tool. You cannot introduce a new tool and expect your team to just get on board with it.
However, if you choose a simpler and easy to understand solution (that also solves your problems), your team will have a much easier time adapting to it and might actually enjoy using the tool to get their work done.