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Becoming more efficient. Ideas and tips. Ideas and tips. Setting priorities Keeping people informed Thinking ahead Knowing what to do Holding effective meetings Speaking the language. Setting priorities. Urgent Must be done quickly Not urgent Can wait until… Important

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ideas and tips
Ideas and tips
  • Setting priorities
  • Keeping people informed
  • Thinking ahead
  • Knowing what to do
  • Holding effective meetings
  • Speaking the language
setting priorities
Setting priorities
  • Urgent
    • Must be done quickly
  • Not urgent
    • Can wait until…
  • Important
    • Project will grind to a halt without it
  • Not important
    • It doesn’t really matter, but…
keeping people informed
Keeping people informed
  • Routing slips
  • Distribution lists
  • Who else is involved or might be affected?
keeping people informed7
Keeping people informed
  • Routing slips
    • Paper ¼ A4 size
    • 15 cm x 10.5 cm
    • Attach to document or letter
    • Gives instructions on what to do
keeping people informed8
Keeping people informed

Example of routing slip

keeping people informed9
Keeping people informed
  • Distribution lists
    • For each type of document or letter
    • List of people/organizations to send it to
    • Have standard lists
keeping people informed10
Keeping people informed
  • Example: Distribution list for Inception Report
    • PIU (X copies)
    • Project partners
    • Central Liaison Office
    • Office file
    • Office staff (circulate)
    • World Bank
    • Nippon Koei
    • Ministry of Jehad and Agriculture
    • Etc…
keeping people informed11
Keeping people informed
  • Distribution lists
    • Create standard distribution lists for different documents and types of correspondence
    • If in doubt, include an address on the list
    • Use your Address Book in Outlook
    • To create a distribution list in Outlook
      • Tools > Address Book > File > New Entry > New Distribution List
keeping people informed12
Keeping people informed
  • Who else might be involved?
    • Think of others who might be involved…
      • or who might be affected by an activity
    • Give them information voluntarily
      • Don’t wait to be asked
      • If they don’t know, they won’t ask you!
      • Send them a copy of document
      • Send then a CC of email
    • Better to give too much information than too little
thinking ahead
Thinking ahead
  • Check the project timelines and deadlines
    • When are reports due?
    • When are budgets due?
    • When are consultants available?
thinking ahead14
Thinking ahead
  • Plan for events
    • Plan backwards from the deadline
    • Make a checklist of things to do
    • Leave plenty of time
    • Send invitations out in good time
    • Impossible to travel from Sari to Teheran at 1 day’s notice!
thinking ahead15
Thinking ahead
  • Example
    • Conference scheduled for 7 July
    • Visa requirements?
    • Travel arrangements?
    • Logistics?
    • Participants?
    • Presentations?
    • Accommodation?
    • Etc…
knowing what to do
Knowing what to do
  • Job descriptions
  • Mentoring
  • Partnering
  • To-do lists
  • Procedures
knowing what to do17
Knowing what to do
  • Job descriptions
    • If you don’t have a job description, ask your boss for one
    • “Excuse me, boss, what do you want me to do?”
    • If you’re the boss, give each of your staff a job description
    • Does not have to be long and formal: half a page
knowing what to do18
Knowing what to do

Example of job description

knowing what to do19
Knowing what to do
  • Mentoring
    • Many new staff do not have experience or qualifications in job
    • They must learn from scratch
    • You must help them learn their job
    • Appoint mentors – someone to help new staff member learn their job
knowing what to do20
Knowing what to do
  • Partnering
    • What happens if Ahmad…
      • Is ill?
      • Goes on holiday?
      • Gets another job?
      • Dies?
    • Have at least 1 other person (Babak?) who can do Ahmad’s job
    • Ahmad and Babak can…
      • Fill in for each other
      • Support each other in emergency
knowing what to do21
Knowing what to do

Example of to-do list

  • Make a to-do list
  • Handwritten or using Outlook
  • Check and update it every day
  • Be realistic
  • Coordinate with your boss
knowing what to do22
Knowing what to do
  • Design procedures for
    • Handling incoming and outgoing correspondence
    • Archiving documents
    • Procuring goods and services
    • Gathering and analysing monitoring information
    • Holding meetings
    • Providing transport
    • Hiring new staff
    • Reporting progress to Ministry and World Bank
    • Etc…
knowing what to do23
Knowing what to do






Human resources


Information management




knowing what to do24
Knowing what to do
  • Designing procedures
    • Boss must ensure staff know procedures
    • Staff are responsible for performing procedures
    • Staff must tell boss is procedures are unclear
  • Once procedure is designed, follow it!
    • Be consistent
    • If it doesn’t work, redesign the procedure
effective meetings
Effective meetings
  • Prepare an agenda
  • Facilitator
    • Leads meeting
    • Steers discussion
    • Ensures discussion is relevant
  • Rapporteur
    • Writes minutes
  • Translator
    • Interprets
  • Be clear on decisions and conclusions
  • Write and circulate minutes
holding effective meetings27
Holding effective meetings
  • 6 golden rules for effective meetings
    • Run your meetings as you would like others to run their meetings
    • Be prepared
    • Stick to a schedule
    • Stay on topic
    • Don't hold unnecessary meetings
    • Wrap up properly
holding effective meetings28
Holding effective meetings
  • Run your meetings as you would like others to run their meetings
    • Learn from others’ mistakes
  • Be prepared
    • Ensure that other participants can be prepared
    • Provide necessary information beforehand
    • Circulate agenda beforehand
holding effective meetings29
Holding effective meetings
  • Stick to a schedule
    • Hold routine meetings (once a week?)
    • Decide how long the meeting will take
    • Start and finish on time
  • Stay on topic
    • Don’t let discussion stray off track
    • Facilitate lightly but firmly
holding effective meetings30
Holding effective meetings
  • Don't hold unnecessary meetings
    • Nothing on the agenda? Is this meeting necessary?
    • Hold frequent, short meetings (not frequent long meetings!)
  • Wrap up properly
    • Give clear statement of next steps
    • Say who is responsible
holding effective meetings31
Holding effective meetings
  • More on effective meetings
speaking the language
Speaking the language
  • Iranians: فارسی
  • World Bank and foreign consultants: English
speaking the language33
Speaking the language
  • Use translation software
    • Parstranslator (English ► Farsi)
  • To translate individual words
    • Search Google for “Farsi English translation”
speaking the language34
Speaking the language
  • Create a Farsi-English glossary of technical words
  • Example:
    • Diversion dam سد انحرافي
    • Reservoir dam سد مخزني
    • Secondary irrigation canals 2 کانالهاي درجه
  • Collect these words and post them on the AILWMP website for all to use