Smart goals smooth way to success

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 June, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 June, 2008, 12:00am

By mastering the techniques of effective organising, middle managers will be able to enhance their productivity, says Noel Lee, senior manager of regional product development of Global Payments Asia-Pacific.

'More importantly, it helps make life easier for themselves and the people they work with,' she added.

Ms Lee recommended that middle managers should set 'Smart' goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) before they get down to organising a project. 'Then they should identify what resources are available and what else they need to achieve the objectives,' she said. A good understanding of the expertise of each team member is crucial for middle managers to make sure jobs are allocated to the right individuals.

It was important to communicate clearly the objectives, expected deliverables and timelines to each team member so that they understood their areas of responsibility, she said. To drive the momentum and enhance team spirit, managers should provide instant acknowledgment to team members for a job well done and the effort made.

Prioritising multiple projects was one of the toughest aspects of effective organising, she said. 'I tackle this by consulting with my team members and the management to get their agreement on the priorities. This will ensure all stakeholders have a good understanding of the work and are happy and comfortable in working towards the goals together.'

To adequately make use of the company's resources, middle managers should have a thorough understanding of the strengths and working style of individual team members. 'When I develop a project plan, I assign each task to the individual whom I believe is the best one for the job. I maintain good communication with them throughout the project,' Ms Lee said. 'It is important to fully utilise the expertise of different people so that we all work efficiently and deliver the best results.'

Ms Lee establishes regular progress reviews with team members and makes use of the opportunity to motivate them. 'They will do a better job when they have ownership of the project and feel good,' she said.

Global Payments Asia-Pacific is a joint venture established by Global Payments Inc and HSBC in July 2006. This pan-Asia operation, based in Hong Kong, employs more than 400 staff. It has sales offices in 10 countries and territories. The company provides one-stop-shop services in merchant card acceptance and transaction processing that support its customers' regional businesses and sales expansion.

Ms Lee worked in the banking and card payment industry before she joined Global Payments Asia-Pacific in September 2006. 'I am responsible for developing new payment solutions to add to our broad product sets and driving implementation of the new products across our Asia-Pacific markets,' she said. 'As the champion of new product development projects, I manage all aspects of the process from identifying the needs of our merchant clients, developing the product strategies and detailed product requirements, to managing our local teams in product launches.'

Experience is important for a product expert and project manager. 'At the same time, be proactive and encourage people to share their thoughts,' Ms Lee said. 'Besides being well-organised, it is also important to have fresh thinking and new insights for great results.'

Keys to effective organising

Be focused, result-oriented and know what you want to achieve

Set clear and attainable criteria for managing progress towards measurable goals

Break a complex project into small and manageable tasks

Be proactive, take ownership and drive action

Adopt positive thinking and build a 'can do' attitude and confidence in the team