We had a great training series February 2-4th, and we wanted to share with you some of the content that represented significant forward movement for many of the participants. See if you can use some of the recap content to help you bridge your own gaps in getting more value from ManagePro and MProWeb.
3 Step Work Concept:
Both ManagePro and MProWeb are based upon a 3 step approach to work. Don't use the approach, and you greatly miss the value that either tool has to offer. Many people jump directly into step 2, bypass 1, and put off number 3. Interestingly, the most common reason for not doing all 3 steps is the "lack of time" and yet not doing all 3 steps seems directly related to making more mistakes and ultimately slowing the work process down. The three steps are:
1. Spend a few minutes at the start of each day to Prioritize, check-in, investigate, Plan... then
2. Act, communicate, decide, get busy doing, being aware throughout the day that nothing is really complete until you've
3. Documented what happened, defined next steps, measured results, or updated the status and % complete.
Many users create a database design that is actually difficult to work with. Goals, projects, action steps and tasks get jumbled together. It doesn't take much disarray to create a layout that's a lot more difficult than it needs to be.
Here's a couple of standards that you should adhere to for best results (also check out our database design papers at www.managepro.com/reviews.htm ).
1. Make the first top level goal your strategic scorecard heading. Underneath it, list your top strategic initiatives (what initiatives, what emphasis, is being resourced to drive growth) and only include what you will measure via the scorecard capability. If you aren't measuring it, start today, or don't include the initiative in your strategic scorecard.
2. The 2nd top level goal should be defined as either: A) Operations or Departments, or B) Projects - if your company organizes it's work around projects. Either model should allow the user to get to the major projects or objectives they are working on within a couple of clicks. Action plans and tasks to complete those projects should always be indented underneath those project titles to create a logical outline flow.
Litmus test: Can any user open up the database and easily locate the projects and tasks they need to work on?
On any given day, its hard to work on more than 3 to 6 #1 priorities. If you filter your database, are there lots of #1 items with your name assigned to them? Lots of items that are #1 and either without a due date or due imminently? Not good. The second biggest contributor to a difficult database to work with, after disarray and jumbled presentation, is too many #1s. It immediately reduces the ability of the program to help you prioritize and plan your day, much less execute what's important. If this is the case, spend the time to regularly and actively prioritize. Typically most people only assign a priority of 1 to what needs to be done within the next 1 to 5 days, or if working on long term goals, only the top three objectives to prioritize.
When you get stuck, can't get the program to do what you want - what do you do? There's a couple of great help options in both programs. In MProWeb click the Help link and then scroll down the topics which are listed alphabetically. In ManagePro, click on the Help pull down menu, then click Contents, then Index, then type the concept word you are looking for help on.
Tech Q&A and the New Features links in the ManagePro splash page are also great tools for answering most of the questions we get inquiries about. Check them out.
But the biggest help most people need, and the biggest help most people ignore or don't appreciate, is this -
The majority of users get the most value from the software when they treat it like learning to play the piano. If you want to learn, you need a teacher to show up regularly (to teach you and help you stay accountable to your goal) and you need to practice... consistently if you want results.
Whether its learning to play the piano, or put to use a powerful, multi-featured software, be sure to resource your learning curve. One person approximated the investments this way.
"You spend 10% on hardware, 20% on software, and 70% on training and coaching." Does that match your experience?