There is nothing wrong with the basic idea of “just checking in.” But most of the time, on the project management landscape this phrase usually means: “Hey there — remember me? I’m either your boss, your colleague or your customer, and I’m not getting the information that I need from you. What’s going on!?”
Fortunately, there is an effective way to filter legitimate and necessary check-ins, from the annoying version that people dread both sending and receiving: use a cloud-based collaborative work management (CWM) solution.
Below are the five key reasons why this decision helps enterprises heal and recover from a serious case of just checking in syndrome.
- Communicate While Working
Arguably the biggest cause of unending check-ins is that project team members are too busy to submit regular updates. A CWM solution closes this gap by automatically capturing and sharing status updates. In addition to avoiding interruptions (and agitated “did you get my last message?” follow-ups), this process creates an audit trail for compliance purposes, and helps new team members rapidly get up-to-speed.
- Centralized Document Management
Projects bog down — and the check-ins fly fast and furious — when team members are accessing different versions of the same document. What’s more, some documents are hard to find, while others disappear altogether (“I’m sure the report was on my laptop…I mean, I think I’m sure…or maybe it was my desktop?”)
With a CWM solution all documents are securely stored on a centralized and cloud-based platform, so that team members access and edit the master version (complete with full change history logs to see who did what and when).
- Link Conversations and Tasks
Project team members communicate through multiple channels, including notes, instant messages and emails. However, conventional project management software — or often worse, ad hoc tools like spreadsheets and home-grown databases — fail to capture these conversations. That makes excessive check-ins not just possible, but inevitable.
A CWM solution enables project teams to link social collaboration discussion items to relevant work objects and action items (e.g. expense reports, approval requests, etc.). As a result, everyone can focus on their priority tasks vs. waste time and lose patience with each additional check-in.
- Stay Connected with Customers
- Connect and Continue the Work Journey
Keeping customers engaged, informed, and aware of their action items (e.g. review drafts, gather information, etc.). can be much easier said than done. But too many check-ins can be perceived as pushy. Plus, it also illustrates Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over, and yet expecting a different result.
A CWM solution restores sanity to the situation by making it easy for customers to participate in discussions and stay in the loop. They can also take actions by replying to an email vs. logging into the system, which significantly increases the likelihood that they won’t become the bottleneck.
70 percent of enterprises have staff working remotely, and even those who are co-located in the same office are usually on-the-move as they attend meetings, gather for conference calls, and so on. Trying to keep everyone informed and productive can unleash a torrent of check-ins (and check-ins about check-ins).
The antidote to this is using a CWM solution that is supported by mobile apps, which enable team members to connect and continue to the work journey regardless of where they are, or when they are working.
The Bottom Line
Just checking in syndrome is common, but it’s not incurable. Using a robust, enterprise-grade CWM solution ensures that check-ins are a functional, effective, and occasionally-used tactic to get necessary information. In other words: they actually get people to check-in vs. check out!
Learn more about Clarizen’s award-winning cloud-based CWM solution by scheduling your live guided demo, or launch your fully-fledged 30-day free trial today.