Principles for Effective Organization

Friday, November 8, 2013

Many employers treat personal organization as a personal thing. However, most employees don’t have an effective organizational process to follow, and as a result, may find themselves overwhelmed with work. At Software Advice, we decided to put our employees through training on how to get organized and how to get stuff done more effectively.


Bad-Ass Execution Principles

Our Bad-Ass Execution (BAE) Principles are adapted from David Allen’s quintessential text on organization, Getting Things Done, to reflect the use of online project management tools and the way we do business. We also draw upon principles of agile work, since momentum is key to moving business forward.

  • Get it all out of your head. Get everything you need to keep track of out of your head and documented in one central location. Writing things down helps you to remember them, and keeping them in one place helps you to stay organized. We recommend using an online to-do application or project management tool, since handwritten notes are easily lost.Divide projects into steps. Large projects can be overwhelming. Breaking them up into manageable chunks can help you devote attention to the next actionable task at hand, and ensures that you’re always making progress on the project as a whole.
  • Deliver early and often. Delivering something valuable right away allows you to get feedback early in the life of a project, so you can adapt your approach accordingly. This will prevent you from investing too much time and energy in the wrong direction.
  • Plan for small “wins.” Seek small, positive accomplishments at the beginning of a new project. These immediate gains will build confidence, establish authority, and set high expectations for your team.
  • Be resourceful. When employees have a question, we encourage them to “Google it.” While it’s okay to ask for help if you need it, managers should only be asked questions that aren’t easily answered with an Internet search. This not only saves managers valuable time, but it builds problem-solving skills and demonstrates individual initiative on the part of employees.
About the Author
Don Fornes is CEO at Software Advice, a trusted resource for software buyers. Based in Austin, Texas, he founded Software Advice in 2005 after previously holding positions as a software analyst at an investment firm and as a corporate development executive at a pioneering CRM software company. He blogs at A Million Little Wins. You can follow him on Twitter @dfornes and on Google+.
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