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Process Improvement and School Principal Workflow

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Greg Carroll is a elementary school principal in New Zealand. Despite this position of authority and respect in his community, he still spends much of his day focused on effectiveness and efficiency.

Most of us would rather never visit the principal’s office. But according to one of Carroll’s blog posts, this is the place where he spends most of his productive time:

I have been doing quite a bit of thinking recently about managing workflow.  All school leaders have an infinite amount of work to do.  There is always the tension between the important and the urgent.

Process Improvement and School Principal Workflow

© Flickr user ftmeade

He then lists a dozen techniques that help him to stay focused. Many of these are based around technology, but a few ideas are much more fundamental.

For example, Principal Carroll has his email configured to “only check once an hour to reduce distractions.”  He also reports, “I TRY to keep my desk as clear as possible.” And although he lists software gadgets and fancy, hi-tech toys, Greg Carroll has a notebook: “A good old spiral bound analogue notebook.  And I use this to keep all the business cards, notes, scribbles, etc that I need to keep track of.  Lots of stuff glued in.”

Although many of his suggestions are full of technical jargon, the most powerful ideas for improving workflow require consciously thinking about work. The Methodology Blog has covered this before, but from a employee productivity revelations for freelance software developer instead of an elementary school principal. We have shown how a clean workspace can actually increase productivity.

We have reviewed how clear diagrams written on old-fashioned paper can improve organizational productivity and make complex ideas into a business map. To become more effective and more satisfied at the office, we should emulate this elementary school administrator: evaluate, document and improve the tools and procedures by which we conduct our work.

AccelaWork helps organizations overcome tactical challenges. And while we respect the work of our friends down under, most of our efforts are focused here in the Midwest. If you are buried in email, mired in bureaucracy, constantly “reinventing the wheel” or just generally feeling overwhelmed, reach out to our Indianapolis consultants today. We can assess the challenges in your workplace and help you develop and execute a plan to transform your business.

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