Each year around November, I get barraged with phone calls from customers, who need a course in efficiency before the year ends. They usually have not had time before that, and at the same time they need to spend the last money on the education budget.
I really understand the dilemma: When do you have surplus time for development activities? The end of the year is seldom a good time point, since December for many companies is equal to end of year activities.
So when is it a good time?
Some companies experience less pressure in May-August.Maybe you could utilise this in the planning of development activities, e.g. implementation and new processes and business systems? Maybe you have other less busy periods in your organisation? The point is that we could avoid a lot of the busyness and stress, if we were better at carrying out specific tasks in the periods, where we have the time, rather than waiting for the last minute at the turn of the year.
Work out an annual cycle of work
In many jobs and departments there are tasks that return at regular intervals, e.g. yearly, monthly and weekly.By working out an annual cycle of work, you can create a visual overview of future tasks incl. periods with peak time and more quiet periods. The cycle should frame the planning of regular tasks such as development activities and at the same time ensure that both managers and employees always have an overview of targets and planes for the coming period.
- When do you have your peak periods?
- The more quiet periods?
- Which development tasks are in the pipeline, and when is it best possible to implement them?
- How would the work cycle look like for the rest of the year?
- And for 2018?