Customer Success Manager - Time management

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ANITA GAZICA
ANITA GAZICA Member Posts: 6 Seeker
edited November 2020 in CS Org Conversations
I would like to hear more about what have you identified as time management issues in your team and the approaches you used to solve it? In addition to this, if you can share how did you help organize priorities for your team in periods of heavy growth that would be great.
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  • Jarren Pinchuck
    Jarren Pinchuck Member Posts: 38 Expert
    edited November 2020
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    Hi Anita,

    Time management is definitely not a CSM-specific problem. Many senior executives suffer from their inability to manage their time correctly.

    I've been coaching my teams for years on how to better think about, and in turn, manage their time. Here is a link to one of the articles I've written on the topic.
    https://medium.com/@jazzapin/eat-that-frog-5fbc0e4d1aa6?sk=0fab0482c488c3efe736374fa076ff0b

    Happy to help if you have more specific questions.

    Jarren
  • Kmoertle
    Kmoertle Member Posts: 8 Seeker
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited November 2020
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    @Jarren Pinchuck.  Great article and I couldn't agree more.  Time management is an issue most people struggle with - regardless of title.
  • Kmoertle
    Kmoertle Member Posts: 8 Seeker
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    edited November 2020
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    @anita As Jarrin mentions, this problem is not unique to CSMs.  It's one of the biggest challenges most professionals face today. Not enough time.  I would argue we have the same challenges at home as well - not enough time to get it all done.

    I see a great deal of this in my work as a Coach.  The reality is, it's not about time but in how we spend our time.  And how we spend our time depends upon what we are prioritizing.  Often times distractions get prioritized over meaningful work. 

    Here are a few fantastic resources that might be helpful for you and your team.  I'm also happy to hop on a quick call to offer a few suggestions if that would be helpful.
     - Time Management TEDTalk 2K16 - YouTube (great 12 minute TedTalk that puts prioritization in perspective)
     - ?Building a StoryBrand with Donald Miller: Nir Eyal-The Secret to Staying Focused at Work on Apple Podcasts - Donald Miller's podcast with Nir Eyal offers a great perspective on managing distractions (which I would argue is the #1 issue with managing time effectively)
     - 3 great books  Good luck, Anita!

    Kelly

    ------------------------------
    Kelly Moertle
    KCM Coaching, LLC
    ------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------
    Original Message:
    Sent: 11-26-2020 19:10
    From: Jarren Pinchuck
    Subject: Customer Success Manager - Time management

    Hi Anita,

    Time management is definitely not a CSM-specific problem. Many senior executives suffer from their inability to manage their time correctly.

    I've been coaching my teams for years on how to better think about, and in turn, manage their time. Here is a link to one of the articles I've written on the topic.
    https://medium.com/@jazzapin/eat-that-frog-5fbc0e4d1aa6?sk=0fab0482c488c3efe736374fa076ff0b

    Happy to help if you have more specific questions.

    Jarren

    ------------------------------
    Jarren Pinchuck
    Global Head of CS and Operations
    ------------------------------

    Original Message:
    Sent: 11-26-2020 10:38
    From: ANITA GAZICA
    Subject: Customer Success Manager - Time management

    I would like to hear more about what have you identified as time management issues in your team and the approaches you used to solve it? In addition to this, if you can share how did you help organize priorities for your team in periods of heavy growth that would be great.


    ------------------------------
    Anita Gazica
    Forming CSM team from scratch
    Head of Customer Success
    Mediatoolkit
    Zagreb, Croatia
    ------------------------------
  • Jarren Pinchuck
    Jarren Pinchuck Member Posts: 38 Expert
    edited November 2020
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    Thanks @Kelly Moertle.
  • ANITA GAZICA
    ANITA GAZICA Member Posts: 6 Seeker
    edited December 2020
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    @kelly @jarren thanks for the valuable resources.
    The issue is that when I share something like this with the team, "they don't" have time to read. So my largest struggle now is to take a part of our team meetings and deliver meaningful workshops that will make them aware of how right focuses today and smart planning can make them more time tomorrow. I did a workshop where they have added all their daily activities into Eisenhowers Matrix and then we identified how task-oriented are they vs. what a goal-oriented approach can bring them. I still feel this hasn't settled as expected, but will resolve it 1:1.

    Thanks once again for sharing.

    Anita  
  • Tim Gilhooly
    Tim Gilhooly Member Posts: 17 Thought Leader
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    edited December 2020
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    Antia,
    A great read is Time Management Magic: How to Get More Done Every Day and Move from Surviving to Thriving
    The book was written by Lee Cockerell, former Senior Operating Executive of Walt Disney Resorts.

    The key takeaway for me is to use the first 10 minutes every day to really "think" about your priorities for the day, write them down, and categorize them as Vital, Critical, Important.  It has really helped me and I think this simple technique can be used in any industry such as Saas, Operations, and in your personal life.
  • Lindsey Kemmerich
    Lindsey Kemmerich Member Posts: 7 Seeker
    Photogenic First Anniversary
    edited December 2020
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    Anita - I've found that time management really is a personal thing, so even if we're having team-wide discussions on the subject, the 1:1s tend to be most effective in finding a method that works for the individual team member.

    A few other suggestions that might be worth experimenting with:
    - Time-tracking exercise - we did this for a quarter as part of OKRs. The team grumbles a bit at first, but a benefit of time-tracking vs. listing out tasks is they can see the order of magnitude. There were definitely some a-ha moments when team members saw just how much time they were spending on low-value activities. We were able to contrast that with their aspirations for professional development and show how those activities were holding them back. This was a good tipping point. Otherwise, it's easy to acknowledge that it's a problem/nuisance, but the trigger to change isn't there.
    --> Added bonus is you have hard data to make a case for opening up new roles/expanding team capacity. We had team members mark tasks as "not my job" which helped me clear up job descriptions and was cathartic for them.
    Give them permission to focus on the big stuff - I've observed how the higher up in the organization a person is, the more likely they were to block time for uninterrupted work, thinking, strategic projects, you name it.  More junior team members didn't feel they had the same right to do that. As a leadership team, we're working to empower them to do this at all levels. We've encouraged time-blocking on calendars for lower value activities and continue to clarify what it means to be "responsive" vs. "reactive". There's an app called reclaim.ai which is fantastic and I've found to be a real life-saver while working from home. You set up your defined activities/habits, preferred duration, and time of day (how "on" do you need to be to do this task) and it auto-reschedules the activities as new calendar invites come in so you can defend your time. The automation helps immensely for sticking to boundaries. It's been free since wfh, but does look like they'll be charging again in 2021.
  • Kmoertle
    Kmoertle Member Posts: 8 Seeker
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited December 2020
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    @Lindsey Kemmerich Such an excellent point.  Time management is such a personal thing and until the individual can identify what's getting in their way and be motivated enough to make the change, it won't matter how much someone teaches them.   Your suggestions are spot on.
     - calendaring time for the priority items works as long as the individual honors the time they've scheduled.  Eliminating the distractions during this time is key (and easier said than done for most of us especially when it's a task that might be difficult or not-of-particular interest to the individual).
     - I too have done the tracking time exercise and it is an eye-opener.  I've had teams write down how their time should be spent if they were spending time on the right priorities.  I then have them map out where their time is actually being spent so that they can see the delta between the two.  And then we talk about what's getting in the way of them spending time where it should be spent (i.e. prioritizing) and putting a plan in place to address the challenges.

    @ANITA GAZICA  The questions I would ask the team - to address the 'personal' side of time management - would be:
     - how is spending time on the lower priority items helping you?  (i.e. I can quickly check things off my list, keep my email inbox clean, etc.)  And what is it costing you? (i.e. missed deadlines, no-time for professional development, more stress trying to keep up, more hours worked, etc.).  Let them answer.
     - what would you gain by managing your time better?
     - if you were to change just one thing in how you manage your time, what one thing would give you the biggest bang for your buck?  What do you need to do to commit to this change?
  • Kimberly Bara
    Kimberly Bara Member Posts: 5 Seeker
    edited December 2020
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    Great article, Jarren. Thank you for sharing.  While I am in the job search process, I find I have so many tasks that could be better managed.  I appreciate the tip to use Trello.  Signed up today!
  • Jarren Pinchuck
    Jarren Pinchuck Member Posts: 38 Expert
    edited December 2020
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    @ANITA GAZICA again, that is not unique to your situation or Customer Success.

    Your team may complain about "not having enough time" but they are deep in the trenches so they won't actively look for a solution. This is why you're the head of the department. Part of your role is to coach and mentor your team. You sit with a higher perspective which means you can spot challenges and come up with solutions to solve them.

    The article I shared came off the back of a presentation I'd put together and used for many teams. Even though I made it engaging, the team would still go back to their same habits. So it was then up to me to push a little and follow-up. The team's efficiency will reflect on you. 
    So just as you'd help out with churn reporting or QBR strategies for your team, time management is just as important.

    Good luck, feel free to message if you need help.
  • Tom Mollerus
    Tom Mollerus Member Posts: 3 Navigator
    edited December 2020
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    On my team, we encourage everyone to use some sort of task management service, such as Google Keep or Asana-- the choice is theirs, as long as they prioritize their tasks every morning and work on the highest priority items first.
  • Bethany Wynns
    Bethany Wynns Member Posts: 1 Navigator
    edited December 2020
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    @Kimberly Bara Trello can be a great tool for your job search! I coached job seekers in a previous role, and we used Trello to organize and map out their whole process. It was a great way to visualize where you are with each application, leave notes/feedback for how interviews went so you could spot trends, and prioritize your outreach efforts for your top job picks.
  • James Conant
    James Conant Member Posts: 37 Expert
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    edited December 2020
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    Time studies are very effective in determining where they spend their time, and can also reveal gaps in roles within and between depts. I also look at my best performers and ask them to share their best practices.