Being a product director can be challenging task. As the middle man between product ownership and product delivery, you ‘drive the boat’ for the programs you direct.
You ensure that all strategic capabilities are aligned with the program objective. Executing on this task requires you to optimize your workflow as much as possible in order to stay efficient.
However, some directors may try to lessen the load by divvying up the work and leaning more on the program managers to handle some of their workload. That method can only work up to a point.
If you’re a program director looking to optimize your workflow, one effective strategy would be utilizing the cloud and its various applications to supplement or automate some of the daily tasks. Here are a few cloud applications that can improve your workflow.
Cloud for Communications
Being a program director often requires you to stay connected to all the program managers in order to insure that your programs maintain alignment with the organization’s core objectives.
Whether it’s in meetings or during proposals, there will be many times when you need to have an efficient means of contacting your program managers.
With traditional communication systems, keeping in touch may be difficult due to your office having poor reception, or traditional landlines. This limits you and your program managers to only being able to communicate in person or in your respective offices.
That style of communication simply isn’t going to cut it when you need a quick update on a program’s key performance indicators to use in a presentation you have in 5 minutes. An easy fix for this is implementing a cloud communications solution. Unified cloud communications platforms like 8×8’s for example, give program managers the flexibility to use a variety of communications tools from virtual conference calls, to instant messaging, without the need for hundreds of wires or the limitations of using traditional landlines.
This allows you to quickly get that last minute info you need for your presentation, no matter where you are in the world.
Cloud for Automated Reporting
For reports, presentations and meetings, program directors regularly need updates on the their program’s KPIs. Often times, there may be KPIs that haven’t been reported on or updated by the various teams.
Managing this manually in high speed environments can be cumbersome and inefficient, resulting in missed reporting dates and an inaccurate understanding of program performance. Using the cloud to automate reporting allows you to stay up to date on KPIs at all times.
It also decreases the amount of calls you need to make to program managers, who in turn have to contact the different team leads just to get updates on specific stats.
Ultimately, using the cloud allows you to spend less time on program quality management and more time brokering relationships with stakeholders. An example of a cloud software solution for automated reporting is an online registration software, which uses the cloud to send automated reports to relevant stakeholders.
Cloud for Stakeholder Relationship Management
As program director, you will most likely be in charge of managing stakeholder relationships. Depending on the industry and type of organization you work for, there can be anywhere from three to a few hundred active stakeholders that you have to manage, not to mention prospective stakeholders.
Similar to how sales teams use the cloud for traditional customer relationship management (CRM) tasks, using the cloud based CRM for managing stakeholder relationships will make the process much more efficient. Manually tracking the satisfaction level of each stakeholder while simultaneously prospecting for new ones can be a daunting task.
You wouldn’t want an an easily avoidable mistake to ruin your relationship with a stakeholder. Let the CRM keep track of everything for you so you can focus on the more important functions of a program manager.
If you’re unsure of what type of CRM software would work best for managing stakeholder relationships, try out some free ones, like insightly, before purchasing one.
Program directors have one of the toughest roles at any organization. The work you do is one of the biggest indicators of whether or not a program will succeed.
With such a full slate, it is crucial that you’re as efficient and effective with your time as possible. So integrating cloud applications into your workflow is highly recommended.