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Why are work teams with proven project management principles at their fingertips, persistently overwhelmed by poorly planned projects and unplanned tasks? Why does today"s average office worker spkết thúc just 46 percent of each day performing their primary job duties? Often, the culprit is ad-hoc requests.

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Because ad-hoc projects often happen outside of standard processes, they can quietly erode team productivity without anyone noticing—& the effects can be disastrous.


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What are ad-hoc projects?

An ad-hoc project is used khổng lồ describe work that has been formed or used for a special và immediate purpose, without previous planning. Mid-project & ad-hoc requests can come from unexpected reports, project và hàng hóa updates, last-minute review, quiông xã emails—even coworkers walking over khổng lồ your desk.

"Ad hoc" is a Latin phrase that literally translates khổng lồ "for this" or "for this situation." In other words, it refers khổng lồ things that are specific, non-generalizable, non-repeatable.

Why trachồng ad-hoc projects?

As long as you"re efficiently executing on projects, what"s the big giảm giá about leaving those ad-hoc projects untracked? Isn"t it more effort than it"s worth khổng lồ log a random ad-hoc project inlớn your system?

There are actually wide-ranging benefits to lớn finally shining a spotlight on all the extra ad-hoc tasks your team completes. Once project managers start logging everything into lớn a comprehensive work management system, they"ll be able to:

Accurately report how each team member spends his or her time

Redirect time and attention away from urgent, unimportant work và toward key strategic initiatives

Justify current headcount and/or lobby for additional positions

Say "no" or "not this week" khổng lồ less important tasks—& easily explain why

Most people have major improvements to make in how they clarify, manage, & renegotiate their total inventory of projects & actions. If you let yourself get caught up in the urgencies of the moment, without feeling comfortable about what you"re not dealing with, the result is frustration & anxiety.

What"s the best way lớn traông xã ad-hoc projects?

The market is glutted with task-tracking systems that make it easy khổng lồ monitor these kinds of unpredictable, unplanned ad-hoc projects. And there are hundreds of project management solutions designed to lớn help teams organize & exedễ thương complex, planned projects.

But there are very few systems lượt thích cqaugusta.com that can integrate both, enabling teams to lớn trachồng comprehensive sầu projects alongside these random "surprise" ad-hoc requests.

A comprehensive sầu work management solution is the best way to lớn go. But even if you don"t have sầu one in place yet, the four core principles that follow will supercharge your team"s productivity, no matter what system you use.

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1. Stop accepting “under-the-table” ad-hoc requests

No more "quichồng favors." No more drive-by ad-hoc requests. Think of tasks the way you think of financial transactions—nothing is allowed to lớn happen off the books. Every single task must be documented & accounted for & submitted with a project request form

2. Standardize your request management processes

Rather than accepting work requests via email, voicgmail, sticky note, hallway conversation, or hastily jotted down meeting notes, start managing the chaos of incoming projects, big & small, by following request management best practices và creating a project intake process.

Steps include:

Creating a centralized request hub

3. Create ad-hoc project blocks

Encourage each team thành viên khổng lồ regularly block out time to tackle ad-hoc work. If those one-off ad-hoc requests can be gathered together and turned inlớn a planned combined task, they won"t feel like a dozen little interruptions.

Managers who have several team members with similar or overlapping job descriptions could even designate a different person each day to lớn be available khổng lồ capture, prioritize, and complete ad-hoc requests, freeing up other team members khổng lồ focus more time on their top priorities.

4. Make every task visible

If all you"ve been tracking so far are larger projects, the managers và executives above you may have the impression that these large projects are all you ever do—& that they seem to lớn take a lot longer than they should.

Once you start logging smaller requests inlớn your work queue, a much truer and more accurate picture of your team"s daily contributions will take shape. Whether you bởi vì this with a work management solution or a burndown chart that"s hanging on the wall (in Agile project management), make sure it catches the attention of the powers that be.

Both you and your boss should have complete visibility inlớn what your team is working on now, where current projects stvà, and how much bandwidth is left over.

Making ad-hoc projects visible

The more you can make plans that reflect what"s really happening with your team—by making invisible work visible, creating a centralized request queue, và blocking out time for clusters of ad-hoc projects—the more flexibility you"ll have to lớn make adjustments & course corrections when things inevitably begin to lớn go awry.