How to do More with Less using ManagePro
ManagePro and MProLite have Upcoming New Features - Get them if you Need 'Em
We talk to lots of you, our customers, every day. As we do, there is a repeated theme that is emerging that we would like to take on in this newsletter - it's the theme of having to do more with less, of having less people resources at work, and having more to do.
Although the challenge of "Doing more with Less" gets framed in different ways, there's actually one commonality that can help each of us in finding the solutions that we need; so we don't feel trapped by the work demands and challenges, and the fear of not having enough.
What's the one common aspect about every one of our stories of having to do More with Less?
The one common theme (and a big surprise I'll tell you about later), is that we all bring ourselves to the challenge. We all occupy a certain role in relationship to the problem. We often take one or more of the following roles as an example:
1. Pressing harder, working fast
2. Being depressed and feeling victimized,
3. Being stoic and persevering
In response to the "Do More"
challenge, we take on a role, with beliefs,
assumptions and a predictable action plan.
The role you and I pick up might be defined as a
response to the question, "Who are you in
relationship to the problem?"
The role we assume tends to frame where we look for a solution
We all look for solutions in the "Do More with Less" adventure or journey or crisis, depending on how you frame it... and we typically look outside of ourselves. But, one of the best solution sources is yourself and what you do in context with the situation. Let me give you some hints on how you can use ManagePro to help you at your point of need.
In the "Do More with Less" scenario, the following are often true:
1. There is less time to get things
done, because there's more things to do,
2. There are less people to gather, research and organize information, contacts, leads.
So here's one way to approach the issue. Imagine that you were to modify your relationship, your role, your action plan in dealing with the problem, and you only have time to MODIFY how you handle three things:
2. Time and
Actually for most of us, that's all we need to modify to change the trajectory. Here are some examples of how I modify each using ManagePro:
1. I compress Time by
focusing relentlessly on Priority -
There's not enough time to get everything done, but there's enough time to get the most important thing done. What is it? Get it on my calendar in ManagePro, first thing in the morning... before I get swamped with other stuff.
Carefully guard the amount of time requested for any non-#1 items. Request and set expectations for time on every assignment, every meeting request. How long is that going to take, and when do you expect to have it to me should be part of every conversation in your head and with others. Then I track those most important issues in ManagePro via a series of tasks or todos.
I also continue to prompt the same for everyone who works for me. What's number 1? What's the outcome? What's the game plan for getting there? When do you expect to arrive? I look for it to be in ManagePro, then I know others are practicing the Time compression through Priority setting that will help us all better cope with the "Do More" challenge.
2. I Document to save Time and I expect, require, that everyone else do so as well.
ManagePro is the basic backbone for this huge coping mechanism - I expect to see it documented in ManagePro. I only want one place to look. You should too. But you or others may be saying, "Hey it takes time to document, it slows me down..." It's only true for the moment.
If you looked at the cost for the time spent searching for information, at the cost of making decisions without having current information, at the cost spent rehashing work commitments, expectations, etc, because it is not written down... you would quickly recognize that the short term time savings of not documenting actually creates a mountain of cost going forward. Click here to check out a blog I did on the topic a few months back if you would like more information.
Note: Remember, you can prioritize tasks for display in your calendar by using the right click option of "Show in Calendar." I also regularly use the right click option "Save As"when finishing a todo or progress update to save it as an alternative record on the fly. And also remember to use these basics for keeping information at your finger tips:
1. Clear descriptions of each of your
projects and tasks in the Details - keep everyone clear
2. Current Progress Updates - latest updates at your finger tips
3. Action Items tracked in your Todos - no details slip through the cracks
4. Key documents attached - for no hassle searching
We're always working diligently to improve the product. But then you probably already figured that out. In fact, some of you may feel like "Wow, stop putting all the new stuff in, I don't need it."
Actually all the new stuff is tied into supporting different customers all over the world (we're always getting requests for more features), as we get the opportunity to serve all sorts of businesses and individuals in the US, as well as around the world, from Germany to Sri Lanka.
So we have a couple of new things coming out in both ManagePro and MProLite. I'm going to list them below. If they look like they would help you, contact our office next week (we should be releasing this on the 29th) to get a link to update your build or your middleware installation with this interim release.
1. Ability to view the number of hours a person is assigned to each project, and also the number of hours they have accumulated to date against that project by selecting the person in the user drop down list in the Main Workspace or Gantt Timeline view. Previously, if you selected a team member, it would display all the projects assigned to them, but the hours assigned and hours accumulated todate would reflect a total of everyone assigned to that project. We've now built a calculated field option that allows you to create a new column for those numbers defined by the option "Selected User." It's very helpful if you're charged with doing resource allocation.
2. We've made time card displays available in the People tab in MProLite, so by clicking on a person's record for whom you have visibility rights you can view all of their time card entries across various projects.
3. We've added a multi-time card entry option in MProLite. Simply highlight each of the tasks or projects you worked on during the day, then click the Add Time card option and a form pops up to conveniently enter time against each task within one form.
4. We've improved the report feature in MProLite, you can now specify which columns you wish to include in a report, as well as set column widths. We've needed to add this one for a long time.
5. We've put in place "in-place editing" in MProLite. The grid in MProLite now functions like the Main Workspace grid in ManagePro. You click two times slowly on a field (ex. Title or Start Date) to enter edit mode. Once finished, click away to another field in the grid to save your changes. It makes using the program much quicker for many tasks.
6. We've made it easier to focus on the records assigned to the selected user in the drop down menu in the ribbon control by only displaying those records they are assigned to in dark black, and displaying all the other records in the outline hierarchy in light grey for reference.
7. We're also working on the
following options (we'll see if we get them done and
tested by the 29th):
- Ability to shrink the left button column
in MProLite to give more work space area
- Set the bottom Related Data window in
ManagePro to a slide-able (up and down) window
instead of a docking window for easier use
- Add custom report queries for expanded time
report needs when it comes to tracking time by
person by project
Bottom Line: We expect to have this release available by the end of April 29th, check with Jona (email@example.com or ph. (707) 487-3000) at our front office if these upgrades are something you want to take advantage of.
3. Freebees To All of our Customers - Trade You for an Introduction
Most of our revenue goes directly back into product development, not marketing, which is why the product is a market leader, even though we compete with companies that are much larger than us.
But that brings us to a point of need. We need your help to spread the word about what ManagePro does for you, the kind of problems it solves, the way it puts information at your finger tips, saves time, etc.
Here's the deal. We are always appreciative of your help and referrals, and for the next two months would like to put a special push in this area and offer you the following two types of compensation for your time:
1. If you refer us to any customer who purchases a minimum of one new license, whether in your organization or outside, we will credit a free hour of training (a $90 value) for you or a group at your time and convenience. Think about all the new features you would like to know more about and take advantage. Maybe it's a dashboard you've been meaning to set up, or just some questions about how to create different views. Just let us know who you referred and we'll follow-up with you once a purchase is completed.
2. Most of us belong to some type of trade association. We need an introduction to your association and the best way is to help do a presentation based upon what you're accomplishing using ManagePro. For most, it turns out to be a real eye-opener for your peers. If you work with us to set up a presentation at one of your trade association meetings, we will credit you up two hours of free consulting (a $500 value) to help get your database in shape and configured to best present the value it creates for you - and in the process get it working even better for you.
Bottom Line - We need your introduction. We look forward to making this a win-win for you and us in the months of May and June. Be sure to contact Patti in Sales [(707) 487-3000] to take advantage of the free stuff.
Have a strong May, and stay tuned
as we come up with a couple of new developments with respect to MS
Excel coming up over the next
couple of months.
Rodney Brim, Ph.D.
CEO Performance Solutions Technology
PS. Put a todo in ManagePro for yourself to make a referral to another potential user and your trade association, and let's make this happen.
April 2009 Newsletter content:
- How to Do More with Less using ManagePro
- ManagePro & MProLite have Upcoming New Features - Get them if you Need 'Em
- Freebees To All of our Customers - We Need an Introduction