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Article

Your Business Moves Fast, but Are You Getting Anywhere?

by Stephen Danos

A business man works on his mobile device while walking down a set of stairs.

In order to gain a competitive advantage in today’s business world, companies need to make speed a habit and accelerate workflows, all while avoiding the Red Queen Effect: working faster and harder to stay in the same place.

As pressure to innovate grows, companies need to continuously improve on their products and processes, taking in to account internal observations and customer feedback. This means being proactive and, like experienced chess players, thinking several steps ahead to compete without sacrificing quality.

The combination of a clear foundational vision, organizational alignment, and emphasis on speed allows business leaders to build successful, cross-functional teams. Once these are firmly in place, businesses can run faster and smarter.

The Importance of Purposeful Speed

A woman uses a smartphone on a city sidewalk.

Accelerating workflows and programs is a common goal among companies of all sizes. Decision-making (and asking yourself questions that speed it up), shorter yet productive meetings, and using the right tools for work execution all play big roles in organizational speed.

Working fast to simply work fast isn’t enough to keep both leaders and individual contributors motivated. Purposeful speed can be effectively driven by accountability, clear communication, and productive collaboration.

One way to achieve faster outcomes is to use automation tools to take care of repetitive tasks, such as status reports.

If a manager wants to check in with the status of specific project dependencies, she can set up Smartsheet automated actions to be delivered — via email, Slack channel, Hangouts chat, and others — that alert her to at-risk tasks. Adopting a work execution platform that caters to this need is one step toward reducing time spent chasing down status updates.

To accelerate speed to action on a larger scale, leaders can rely on packaged business solutions, such as Smartsheet Accelerators for IT PMO, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Professional Services.


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Create a Clear, Foundational Vision

No matter the industry, successful companies benefit from clarity around core values and strategic vision. Having a solid foundation in place anchors the workflows and actions of individual contributors to the company’s strategic plan, long and short term goals, and customer needs.

Business leaders set the tone culture and work ethic for their entire organization. So how can leaders ensure that all of their company’s departments stay informed? Through Smartsheet dashboards and portals, teams can gain insight into key performance indicators (KPIs), data, and information in order to support major initiatives.


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Portals are centralized information hubs that can be configured so that all teams have access to important dashboards, key metrics, request forms, and organizational values at all times. For example, a portal can include sections and corresponding quick links for Product, Sales, Finance, Marketing, IT, and Human Resources, and other departments.

Align Your Organization

As organizations grow, they become more complex. Important information can get lost in the daily digital shuffle of emails and documents. However, teams and departments that are aligned with senior leadership’s vision and values can achieve organizational goals even faster.

Executives who demonstrate their company values every day motivate and inspire employees to follow suit. While creating visibility around this idea seems like an unattainable goal, it doesn’t have to be. Organizations just need the right collaboration and work execution tools that encourage inter-departmental visibility and transparency.


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Leaders require a scalable work execution platform that simplifies organizational complexity through integrations with mainstay cloud-based software solutions (Google Suite, Microsoft 365), structured work platforms (Salesforce, Jira), apps for collaboration and communication (Slack, Workplace by Facebook, Hangouts Chat, Skype for Business), identity management platforms (Okta), and many more.

Smartsheet works to securely align with many popular applications that teams use every day to overcome silos and collaborate to get work done.

Are you interested in learning from companies that use Smartsheet to work faster and smarter? Consider coming to the Greater Seattle Area for Smartsheet ENGAGE’18, our annual customer conference.