How to Optimize Productivity With Software for Business Growth in 2023

Byon March 01#business-tips
How to Optimise Productivity With Software for Business Growth in 2023

Whether your business is one person or a hundred strong, your day-to-day operations are going to be dependent on countless different tools and apps. 

From basic things like instant messaging and task management to complex AI-powered sales suites, businesses just like yours are required to navigate an ever-growing and ever-evolving tech landscape, making it hard to streamline their tools and extract maximum value.

If you’ve had reservations about how well your tech stack is enabling your business goals, or you’re looking to onboard new tools and want to make sure you’re making the right choices, here’s some of the best ways to optimise productivity with software in 2023.

Firstly, Consider Your Users

First and foremost, make sure you’re accommodating for the needs of the people who are actually using your software on a daily basis.

A lot of tech companies tend to market their tools as so simple a child can use them. Despite this, it’s critical to determine just how tech-savvy individual teams and employees are, and to ensure you have the infrastructure in place to provide the ongoing training and support they need to use software effectively. 

A tool is only as good as its user, and this is the best place to start if you’re concerned about how productive your software is. 

One of the best things any organization can do to ensure their employees are making the most of their tools is to develop a culture of constant training and development. This means encouraging the experts in your team to stay in close contact with people who are having trouble using software to its full potential.

Different companies will have different needs for their tech stacks, but simple steps like starting a “tech support” Slack chat, or encouraging tech-savvy employees to share top tips on a regular basis, can have a surprisingly big effect on your tech’s overall productivity.

Think About Metrics First, Software Second

Bringing new tools into your tech stack to measure the productivity of your employees can open up some tremendous opportunities for growth, but these decisions need to be aligned with a view to measuring the right metrics.

The absolute worst thing you can do is take an approach to measuring productivity that’s too low-resolution, like introducing employee monitoring software. 

Studies by the Harvard Business Review have shown this Big Brother approach has a tendency to backfire, with monitored employees being “substantially more likely to take unapproved breaks, disregard instructions, damage workplace property, steal office equipment, and purposefully work at a slow pace”. Besides that, many of these tools will only tell management whether or not an employee is wiggling their mouse in a given timeframe.

Though this is an extreme example, it’s unfortunately common for businesses to acquire new software hoping to increase employee productivity, before they have a specific idea of what exactly they’re hoping to achieve with it.

By starting out with specific questions, for example “how long does it take for an account manager to onboard a client?” or “how long does our dev cycle take from planning & analysis to testing?” you’ll be able to zoom-in on the metrics that matter, and make tech stack decisions that are more likely to provide a real, tangible boost to productivity.

Don’t Get Caught Up in New Product Hype

It’s easy for business leaders to get caught up in the hype of some new product with innovative new features. While it’s important not to fall behind the curve, it’s equally important to avoid dismissing older tools outright just because they’re not the next big thing.

In many cases, optimizing your software for productivity has much more to do with your team’s ability to use them for maximum efficiency, rather than having a tool with a whole host of new features designed to help productivity.

Let’s say, for example, there’s a weekly report with multiple contributors that usually takes between one and two hours to complete. If the analytics platform and the software used to compile the data has a lot of templates, shortcuts, and other features which aren’t being used to their full potential, this could be a huge opportunity for saving time and making your relationship with your tech stack more productive.

If you’re able to shave just a few minutes off routine processes with carefully applied training and internal communication, this can ensure a much greater time-saving in the long run, and unlock a higher degree of efficiency from the resources you already have.

Constantly Search for Ways to Consolidate

It’s easy to only think of consolidation when two teams are merging or in the run-up to an acquisition. However, making a habit of looking for consolidation opportunities for disparate tools can be a great way to extract more productivity from your software.

With enough tools in use at your organization, it’s almost certain that there’ll be redundancies you can eliminate by bringing two or more functions into one manageable place.

Sometimes these opportunities for greater consolidation can be hiding in places you wouldn’t expect. For example, prospecting platforms like Outbase often offer features enabling marketers to “define audiences and run proven engagement strategies”, and for sales teams to see detailed analyses of “which type of prospects are converting”.

Where these functionalities are siloed into separate tools, separate skillsets, and separate spheres of communication, it will not only get in the way of your attempts to optimize productivity, but will also accrue masses of technical debt and wind up being more costly to the organization in the long run.

If you know there are a lot of disparate and highly customized tech solutions at your business, it’s time to start looking for new ways to bring them together and manage multiple functions from a smaller number of touchpoints.

Final Thoughts…

Making your tech stack work for you and ensuring maximum productivity is never easy, but it will only become a bigger obstacle as your operation grows and brings more types of tech into the fold. 

Take a proactive approach, and you’ll be able to steer clear of internalized technical debt, help your staff develop their skills, and enjoy an all-around more productive tech stack.

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