How a Virtual Assistant Can Help Entrepreneurs With Project and Team Management
As a highly ambitious business professional, it’s not out of the ordinary for you to be running from place to place on a daily basis in order to support the growth of your thriving business. This “always on-the-go” mentality, however, can hinder your ability to keep up with your team, delegate tasks, and ensure goals are being met via weekly team reporting.
Keeping this in mind, tap your VA to become your “task master” to help you keep up with what your team needs from you, while also giving you the visibility you need to make sure the company is operating as it should. Here are a few quick fixes for your VA to keep track of the team — yourself included — as well as what projects are currently in the pipeline:
Delegating to Your Team
Give your VA complete access and visibility into whatever project management tool you’re using.
This could include Basecamp, Asana or Pivotal Tracker, to name a few. This way, they’ll have access to all of your different departments to see what they’re working on. The VA can then report this info back to you using a Slack channel or whatever communication method you’ve set up. We suggest implementing a daily roundup, where your VA will give you a rundown of all the major tasks being worked on in each department and tasks that have recently been finished -- this will also give you (the boss) an opportunity to add any necessary items to the list.
Instruct your VA on how to properly lay out a task.
Before my VA delegates a new task on my behalf, I like to train her to know exactly where a task should go and how it should be laid out for the right person to do the job. Make sure that instructions and anything else they should know are clearly spelled out.
For example, due dates could be important for some projects, but not for others. Make sure they always ask you if a due date is necessary, and if so that it’s logged properly for the person responsible for completing the task. If it’s a tech project, maybe it’s important to always include a website link or screenshot of a bug you found. Seeing that your VA doesn’t skimp on the details will keep your team happy and on the right track when it comes to completing an assignment.
Empower your VA to delegate tasks to your team.
Once your VA has been trained on laying out tasks, they’ll be the best person to manage the job of delegating those tasks to the proper member of your team — after all, they can now quickly put the task together and add it to your project management tool. On a daily basis, the first thing I do when I get to the office is get on a Slack chat with my VA, and she runs through all items that need to be done that day. Once those are discussed, I will determine who on our team would be the best person to spearhead that task and will then relay this info to my VA so she can take charge of assigning it. By taking care of assigning projects first thing, I can rest assured that all outstanding tasks are equally attended to and nothing falls off the team’s radar.
Helping Your Team Delegate to You
Have your VAs report on KPIs.
At YEC, we give our VAs access to all of our key reporting numbers, including sales and how many new prospects are currently in the pipeline. They have a whole template laid out for them to report back metrics on a daily basis.
At the beginning of each day, make your VAs responsible for communicating all these important KPIs of the business with your key stakeholders. Quick tip: Have your VA understand when certain KPIs are above or below average, so they can be called out in red or bolded as applicable. This way, it’s easy for you to notice areas where action needs to be taken immediately — even when your focus is being commanded by competing priorities.
Allow your VA become the point person for your team to delegate important tasks to you.
I’ve found it increasingly difficult to give more of myself to my team as we grow, and you may have found yourself in a similar situation as well. Just as you work with your VA to determine what daily tasks can be delegated to your team, your team should feel equally as empowered to also work with your VA to have tasks assigned to your to-do list.
Once your VA has conferred with your team, have them present these tasks in your daily morning meeting. Decide which of these tasks you will hold yourself accountable for finishing by end-of-day, and which you’d like to table for later. Make sure your VA sees that you finished what you committed to by checking in at some point during the afternoon, and again before close of business.
Lastly, don’t forget to delegate outstanding items on the list that can be handled by your VA or another member of your team. Delegation is difficult — but it is also a cornerstone of being a great team leader.
This post is part of a series created by Ryan Paugh, co-founder of YEC, in which we explore outsourcing topics and offer advice on what we’ve found works best.