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Time-Based Management: Definition and Strategies

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Time-Based Management: Definition and Strategies

Achieving More with the Same 24 Hours

Do you ever feel like there's not enough time in the day? As business owners, we all have the same 24 hours – so why do some seem to achieve more than others? The key lies in effective time management.

DALL·E 2024-05-20 15.24.11 - A pop art style image inspired by a scene where a person is sitting cross-legged on top of a large clock, holding a laptop and making a meditation ges

Time management is the art of organising and planning how to divide your time between various activities. When done right, it allows you to work smarter, not harder, to get more done in less time, even under pressure. The most successful business leaders manage their time exceptionally well. By leveraging the right time-management strategies, you, too, can maximise your productivity and make the most of every day...starting now.

In today’s fast-paced business world, time is a critical resource. For UK SME leaders striving to enhance productivity and maintain a competitive edge, time-based management offers a strategic approach to streamline operations and achieve better results. This guide delves into time-based management and how to effectively apply it to your business.

What is Time-Based Management?

Time-Based Management

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Time-based management (TBM) is a strategic approach that prioritises the efficient use of time to improve business performance.

The core idea is to reduce the time it takes to complete various business processes to enhance overall productivity, customer satisfaction, and profitability.

It’s about creating a sense of urgency and continuous improvement within the company.

Key Principles of Time-Based Management

  • Reduction of Lead Time: Minimise the time required to complete tasks from start to finish by optimising processes, improving communication, and leveraging technology.

  • Efficient Workflow: Streamline operations to ensure tasks are completed quickly without compromising quality. Identify and eliminate bottlenecks and redundancies.

  • Continuous Improvement: Foster continuous improvement in processes, products, and services through regular feedback, employee training, delegation and best practice implementation.

  • Customer Focus: Prioritise customer needs by delivering products and services more efficiently, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.


Six Strategies for Implementing Time-Based Management

To effectively implement time-based management in your business, consider the following strategies to streamline operations and improve efficiency:

1. Process Mapping and Analysis

Start by mapping out all your business processes to understand where time is being spent. Identify any inefficiencies or delays. Tools like flowcharts or process maps can be very helpful in visualising these processes.

2. Lean Techniques

Adopt lean management principles, which focus on eliminating waste and optimising processes. Techniques such as 5S (Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardise, Sustain) and Kaizen (continuous improvement) can be effective.

5S Methodology (1)

3. Automation

Implement technology and automation where possible to speed up repetitive tasks. For example, automating your inventory management or customer service can significantly reduce the time spent on these activities.

4. Training and Development

Invest in training your employees to work more efficiently and effectively. This includes time management training, which can help employees prioritise tasks and reduce procrastination.

5. Set Clear Goals and Deadlines

Establish clear, measurable goals and deadlines for tasks and projects. This helps create a sense of urgency and ensures everyone is aligned towards common objectives.

6. Monitor and Review

Regularly monitor the performance of your time-based management strategies. Use key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress and identify areas for further improvement.

Case Study: Rob Watson's Success with Time-Based Management

Testimonial - Rob Watson

Rob Watson, the founder of ph9 Ltd, exemplifies the power of time-based management. Starting his web solutions business from scratch, Rob realised he needed a strategic approach to move his business to the next level. By joining The Alternative Board (TAB), Rob gained clarity and the confidence to streamline his operations. He implemented tools like KPIs and rolling P&L displays to ensure his team focused on key objectives.

With TAB's support, Rob not only improved his business efficiency but also achieved a better work-life balance. He now has the freedom to pursue personal goals, such as going on holidays and planning for a family, while confidently knowing his business remains in good hands.

For more details on Rob's journey and how time-based management transformed his business, you can read his full success story here.


By adopting time-based management, SME leaders like Rob can enhance their business operations and achieve a more balanced work-life dynamic. For more insights and personalised advice on strategic planning and business operations, feel free to get in touch.



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