How Do We Use Our Time Effectively?

After finishing up my first project plan, I see why people do it now. It forced my team and I to think about the workflow and expectations between our team and the client. Planning this stuff out is important – without setting a schedule, milestones, and meetings a lot of time would be wasted in corresponding about meeting times and what features we are working on, and time is valuable of course. Work to live, not live to work as they say.

With time in mind, I have some rising concerns about my team’s availability and our work efficiency. We are all running this project with several hobbies, projects, and extracurriculars going on, so it is difficult to find times to meet, and when we do meet, we are all tired. To solve this, I think we’ll have to find a way to work apart from each other effectively.

One thing I believe would help is using a taskboard software – I know one called Trello is free, and I’m already using it for a software development project.

Sample of a Trello taskboard.

We can groom the taskboard together during one initial meeting and we would all work to maintain the board. If we identify project tasks together and put them onto the taskboard, it could help the way we complete project features independently by providing an online way to organize things that need to be done and provide details about tasks to one another in one centralized location. Details may include subtasks that need to occur, who is doing the task, and what status the task is at (in progress, testing, complete, client-approved, etc). If anybody comes up with roadblocks on their task, it should be easy to see what they’ve done so far and where to find what they’re working on without even having to ask.

A taskboard sounds good in theory, but I’m not so sure it will solve all of our problems. It takes maintenance, and may just increase our overhead. We may give it a try. Do you think the taskboard would help, or cause more grief? If anybody has suggestions to help manage our time, please let me know in a comment or a DM!

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