Now that so many people have switched from working in an office setting to working from home, the need for effective collaboration is bigger than ever. At CQL, we identified three best practices that help us collaborate effectively, even when we don’t get to see each other face-to-face in the office.
Just like math teachers require students to show their work instead of simply giving a final result, we find it very helpful to transparently track the progress of our work along the way, rather than working in a silo until the work is done.
At CQL, we use Jira to track every step of our work. This powerful and reliable project management tool allows our teams to collaborate, control, and complete tasks through one platform.
In Jira, every task has a name, a brief summary, an estimate, an assignee (person responsible for the next step), and a status indicating whether a task is in development, awaiting approval, in testing, or has been completed. Each of us juggles multiple tasks on any given day.
The average work day requires plenty of jumping around between projects. When our team members switch between tasks, we take the following steps, which proactively prepare for the chance that we may not return to the task right away. After all, everyone likes to know where they left off with their work.
Follow These Simple Steps to Keep Tabs on Your Progress
1. Leave a comment with what was completed and what are the next steps
If the task is not complete yet, then be sure to leave a comment. This is very helpful for “future me” or for another team member picking up the task later. For example, if the task is to troubleshoot an issue, and you document what potential causes you tried and eliminated, you or a team member will be able to easily pick up where you left off and prevent duplicating efforts.
2. Commit code/upload changes
Even unfinished code is worth committing and pushing to a remote code repository, particularly if you want to be prepared for unexpected events, such as computer failure. This also allows your coworkers to glance at the direction you’re taking if they’re curious. Senior developers on our team can use this information to help junior developers adjust course, which could stop them from going too far down the wrong path.
3. Log the time spent and update the remaining estimate
As a digital services company, we track how we spend our time directly on work tickets. Our team is very committed to accurate time tracking, which is why we emphasize how important it is to enter your time spent on a ticket as soon as you’re done. This information is still fresh in your mind, which is why it’s the best time to log the hours we spent. This also allows you to look back at a task and know how much time to plan to spend when you return.
Transparently Tracking Progress Benefits You and the Client
Following these practices helps us prepare for the unexpected. It also helps clients and everyone on our team stay up-to-date with budget utilization and scheduling without having to keep asking about status of X, Y, or Z. For our team, it is a discipline worth cultivating.
Interested in pursuing a website, platform, or custom software project with CQL and our talented project management and development teams? Contact us today for more information on how we can help serve you, and move your projects forward with transparent tracking.