Helping Business Benefit from the 21st Century Productivity Revolution

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The Power of Done Explains How Companies Can Boost Collaborative Efficiency, Increase Accountability and Drive Improved Results

Productivity growth, or doing more work faster, is the true lifeblood of any nation's economy. Unfortunately, though, after years of steady gains, U.S. productivity has slowed since 2004 -- and nobody is quite sure why.

One of the challenges is how to increase productivity in non-automated jobs that require knowledge workers to collaborate and use their judgment and expertise. The sad truth is that even though the average American company now spends between $5,000 and $10,000 per knowledge worker on hardware and software designed to boost productivity, this technology may not be helpful.

Consider the following:

  • Interruptions from email, cell phones, instant messaging, text messaging and blogs now eat up nearly 30 percent of each day.
  • Add in the endless meetings, and 17 of the 45 hours we spend working each week are currently unproductive, according to Microsoft.
  • 54 percent of those surveyed in a 2006 Intel survey indicated that email has a negative impact on stress levels.
  • And nearly half the interactions in the office, says McKinsey, are not central to corporate decision-making.

Ending Unproductive Workplace Connectivity

The key -- and a major theme in The Power of Done -- is how to counter the discontinuity and distraction in the workplace and brunt this surge of unproductive connectivity. Because then -- and only then -- can constructive and efficient collaboration take hold.

In short, the big question that The Power of Done addresses is: How do we get cadres of knowledge workers to productively interact?

Since brainstorming accounts for 5 percent of the work process and getting things accomplished represents the remaining 95 percent, The Power of Done makes the case that companies should deploy next-generation productivity technology that tracks specific work performance -- tasks, assignments, responsibilities, milestones, goals and deadlines -- in real-time. If this information is transparent and accessible 24 X 7 to all team members or project participants, then accountability will be clearly established. And, in the end, it's accountability that drives results and profits in a collaborative organization.

Written by Brent Frei and Mark Mader, two seasoned and accomplished technology executives, The Power of Done argues that IT can help executives, entrepreneurs and managers understand which employees are doing what -- and how well they're doing it. This, in turn, offers a number of core top- and bottom-line benefits:

  • It Helps Root Out the Culture of Lackluster Assertiveness
  • It Helps Eliminate the False Sense of Security That Arises From Being on the Same Page
  • It Helps Unleash the "A" Players in an Organization
  • It Helps Bring Virtual Multicultural Teams Together
  • It Helps Offset the Undertow of an Uncertain Economy

Looking beyond today, The Power of Done helps assess the next stage of the 21st century's technology-enabled productivity revolution.

In addition to discussing real-time tracking of work inside a single organization, the book describes a more efficient and productive future in which each company's network of suppliers and service providers also monitors its tasks, assignments, ownership and deadlines.

Why Individual Productivity Doesn't Work in Today's Enterprise

Finally, The Power of Done explains why the much-publicized notion of individual productivity has no real place in the dynamic and collaborative enterprise work environment of the 21st century.

In fact, the book's authors believe there should be an Individual Productivity Tax (IPT) on those who slow an organization down with inefficiencies. The ultimate metric, on the other hand, should be Net Team Productivity (NTP), which would measure the collective effectiveness of multiple people performing multiple interactions in the workplace.

In the end, say Frei and Mader, next-generation productivity-enhancing technology must scale on the Internet so that any company anywhere in the world can log on to a transparent, real-time Global Work Exchange that will show millions of tasks-in-progress and where they and their owners stand at any particular moment.

Keeping the High-Margin Knowledge-Job Sector Vibrant

The Power of Done makes it clear that digital breakthroughs like this will be necessary to keep the world's high-margin knowledge-job sector vibrant and global productivity growth strong. It's unfortunate, lament Frei and Mader, but without serious and sweeping technological innovation, a viral epidemic of inefficiency will course through companies everywhere and the overall standard of living will decline for millions of people.

About Smartsheet.com
Launched in 2006 and based in Bellevue, Washington, Smartsheet.com is a privately-held Software as a Service (SaaS) provider that gives people a fast, easy way to get things done. Smartsheet makes it easy for teams to manage projects, collaborate with colleagues, share files and more.

How to Obtain a Copy of The Power of Done

Please contact:
Maria Colacurcio at Smartsheet.com
mcola@smartsheet.com or download the book electronically at: http://www.smartsheet.com/productivity

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Steven Gottlieb
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