Efficient projects, SMARTER project work


Today, we present a guest post from blogger Roger Gallager

It evokes the SMARTER principle we first proposed in Green Project Management (C) 2010, CRC Press.

SMARTER is made up of the usual SMART objectives:

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound

and our addition of

Environmentally Responsible.  Now, take it away, Roger:


Can Working Efficiently Save the Planet?

Roger Gallager
“Work harder” has been replaced by “work smarter” in the past few years. Depleting resources have inspired companies and offices to maximize productivity while going green. Efficiency has become a key concern in the office to make most of the limited supply. But, can the steps taken by the companies really help the planet? Here are a few smart ways that can increase productivity while making Mother Nature happy.

Going Paperless

Do you still remember how things were done in the 80s and early 90s? You have to hunt down different people to sign tons of paperwork just to communicate with the other team across the hall. Not only is it very inefficient, offices often produce a large amount of paper trash. With the birth of the Cloud, paperless is no longer just a possibility, but a reality. Companies, such as Google, are now taking huge steps in going paperless.


Cloud applications make office communication easier and real time. No need to worry about burying yourself in paperwork as online applications, such as Google Drive or Zoho, already streamline processes in the office. Now more than ever, it is way easier to talk to the production team or the human resources department without setting your foot out the door. Not only you and your team can get to finish tasks efficiently, you are also helping the planet.

Change Your Schedule

Working 9-5 every single week day can be boring. Your creative process may start early in the day and you just spend the rest of the afternoon daydreaming. Or you may spend the first half of your day waking yourself up and start your tasks later. In both cases, your productivity is cut in half which can be critical for your team. Every one of us has different productivity rhythms. Some are morning larks, while others can work late through the night.


Mix things up with your schedule to refresh yourself. You may ask your boss to give you one day of the week to work at home. By relieving yourself of the usual structured day, you can give your mind a breather and take on tasks from a different angle. In the end, you reduce commute time, increase productivity, and the office gets to save on expenses and resources at least once a week. Studies show that a four-day workweek reduces your office’s carbon footprint.

On The Move

Ever dreamt of working in a restaurant with your laptop while sipping coffee? It may no longer be as impossible as you think. Upgrading to laptops or tablets frees you from your cubicle and enables creative thinking. By going mobile, teams can work in their own personal spaces and engage in creative processes. By taking advantage of paperless workflow and mobile devices, it makes it easier to manage projects as assigning tasks and monitoring are done real time, increasing team productivity.


You also save energy consumption by unplugging from the power source. Appliances, such as desktop computers, still use energy even in hibernate mode, also known as “phantom power”. The unused power contributes to the electricity bill and a huge environmental culprit. Laptops and tablets only require power sources when you’re running out of battery, eliminating constant energy usage.


Being smart on how you and your team work can increase productivity and efficiency. Also, using as little resources as possible saves the company a lot of money while doing their part in helping the planet.