Product Design: Working vs. Coordinating

In most product design workstreams, product managers and project managers prefer to use different management tools. There are many disagreements about spreadsheets or complex project management tools. As a result, we need to focus on finding common solutions that enable productivity across our teams.

I am passionate about work management to create “flow” in helping product design teams increase efficiency. As a starting point, I want to start with a McKinsey study that looked at how people spend their day at work. The study examined how much time people spend working versus coordinating.

To summarize, work is getting things moving forward or creating materials to produce results. Coordination is “work about work” or internal communication to get your team working together. Ideally, you want to spend more time working rather than coordinating.

Surprisingly, the study found that most people only spend 40 percent of the day working. The other 60 percent is coordination, which is an absolute killer in productivity. As someone who likes to build stuff, I don’t want to waste my day politicking or get lost in emails.

It’s difficult to keep track of every email or chat message to keep track of assigned tasks. Furthermore, it’s even more challenging to tie these communications back to the goals of your content workstream. As a product manager, I’m focused on creating solutions that link content and communications together. This is key to being able to work with flow instead of coordinating all day.

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About the Video:

About the speaker
Alex Hood Asana, Product VP Member

Alex Hood is the VP of Product at Asana – leading the company’s product management, design & UX research. Prior to joining Asana, Alex led product teams at Intuit / Quickbooks, TubeMogul (now Adobe Advertising Cloud) and Nasdaq.