A good office relies on a strong diary. With lots of meetings, functions and deadlines to attend to the humble office diary is vital to the success of the business. So how does a business go about setting up a diary management system? Here we discuss that and some diary-related tips that can help your business to thrive. African businesses rely on good relationships and an effective diary management system helps to maintain a high level of relationship management and creates order in the potential chaos of the average office environment.
Africa's emerging economies are due to play a huge role in the future of global business. The sheer possibilities for growth in all sectors means that getting the basics right will help to propel this potential explosion in African business.
Setting up the system is going to require careful planning with regards to what people want the system to be able to do. The sheer number of ways of managing a diary mean that planning is vital to setting up the system so that it works for all of the users.
The real task with diary management is the ongoing maintenance and ensuring that it is up to date. Correct information is vital in business and mistakes can be very expensive, so having all of your people onside and using the system correctly can save a huge problem occurring in the future. Imagine that a meeting with a client has been forgotten? I imagine most clients would not be happy being left waiting as you fail to show up and even less happy when they discover the reason it was missed.
In teams the flow of information is vital, having all members contribute to the system means that everyone knows what is needed and what the deadline of the project is. This continuous flow of information can help to focus your teams on what is urgent and what is not. As African businesses begin to work more globally, the challenge of good communication with external as well as internal partners will become ever more a coveted business skill.
- To keep the system working there needs to be approved ways of using the diary. The number of potential mistakes that can be caused by misunderstanding is unbelieveable. From a customer perspective there is also nothing worse working with a company that on the surface at least is disorganised. So finding a system that all agree on is vital for the system to work.
- For information purposes, it also wise to keep records of previous events. Having a reference of previous meetings with a specific customer or when a deadline for a previous project was may be very useful information in the future so do not delete anything from the past.
- Colour-coding a diary is a very useful way of making it quick to understand what is going on, for instance red for a meeting or blue for a deadline. The use of colour coding means that people can seek out only the information that they need.
- Keep tasks in the diary. This isn’t for everyone and depends how many people use it, but if you can keeping tasks completed and ones that need to be done in the diary means that you save searching all over for information and it is contained in one place.
A diary is of huge importance to a business and its importance is easy to ignore. A well maintained system that everyone knows how to use is vital to the long term sustainability of the business so don’t neglect your diary. For African businesses especially the ability to be organised will mean that your business can be at the forefront of the huge growth potential that Africa has to offer.