One of the main skills you must possess if you want to learn how to become an executive assistant is the skill of effective human resource management and multitasking.
Successful executive assistants are pro-human resource managers who also have the perfect ability to juggle several tasks simultaneously.
As an executive assistant, you will need to make critical decisions and contributions in your workspace, and this will require a lot of initiative.
Executive assistants have an important voice in office operations and policy and can often contribute to the strategic direction of a company for years to come.
In this article, you will understand the role of an Executive Assistant and how this profession can use efficiently Agile methodology. We have a special solution for Executive Assistants. Find out how GitScrum is the right project management tool for Executive Assistants!
Who is an Executive Assistant?
An executive assistant, also known as a personal assistant, is a person responsible for providing various types of administrative assistance and support services to high-level executives, especially those high level in politics, business, or other organizations.
They are advisors to these individuals who are often well-known public figures with great influence in their communities.
Generally, an executive assistant is seen as the face of an organization because you rarely get to the executive without going through them.
The job of an executive assistant can be compared to that of a secretary, however, executive assistants have additional responsibilities that can affect the success or profitability of the organization they are working for.
Sometimes they can have the role of representing their boss or even the organization at an official meeting or appointment.
What do executive assistants do?
If you need to become a successful executive assistant, you will need to learn some of the tasks executive assistants perform to prepare for them.
Below are some of the administrative roles you will perform as an executive assistant. They include:
- Accept and make official phone calls
- Setting appointments for the executive
- visitor screening
- making travel plans
- Preparing weekly and monthly reports
- Recording meeting minutes and performing basic accounting tasks
- Assemble a folder with all the above documentation for the Executive (travel checklist) because, even at the time of computerization, having the physical paper makes it much easier;
The Executive, in the role of the Scrum Client, may include additional items in this checklist, if necessary.
Using a spreadsheet, or even the checklist, all of the above items are correlated as a Kanban board and ticked as they are carried out so that the Executive can be sure that a token has been prepared and a follow-up of all items that can contribute to the success of the trip.
There are still many other task options for those who want to start acting as virtual assistants.
Important roles for executive assistants
There are, however, many questions that may arise at this beginning, such as what services to provide, how to position yourself, and how to get the first customers. To help those just starting, there is a developed method that includes 3 steps for executive assistants:
1. Encourage self-knowledge: the first step is to know what you can offer in the form of a service, so think “what do I know how to do that can help other people or companies?” Here it can be anything from administrative support tasks, to filling out spreadsheets, doing research, or acting as an after-sales service.
Although apparently simple, this is the most challenging step, after all, they don’t teach us to value what we know how to do to the point of offering this skill in the form of service.
After defining what can be offered, other points of self-knowledge should be explored, such as production capacity, resilience, empathy with the customer, responsibility with deadlines, among others.
These are points usually charged within companies and that, when we work autonomously, need to be developed to define the best dynamics for virtual work.
2. Define the customer niche: now that you know what you can sell and what activities are within your scope of work, you need to understand who needs this service the most.
The question to ask is “who needs help with the tasks you can do?” This step is very important for you to design adequate and assertive communication to prospective clients, in addition to becoming more specialized, increasing the value of your work.
3. Selling: For many, after deciding what to do, this is the hardest part. But with all the previous steps lined up, much of the path is minimized. If you know what to sell and to whom, you can simply devise a strategy to show the customer that they need your service and that, as a virtual assistant, you can offer them several advantages.
4. Organizational Skills: Organizational skills are one of the top executive assistant’s key strengths. High-level assistants lead with many tasks and large quantities of information.
If assistants have no consistent system work, they can easily fail, miss deadlines, or lose track of important details.
A well-organized assistant can find answers quickly and keeps operations flowing smoothly. These individuals are more efficient, and appear more resilient.
5. Multitasking operations: Skilled assistants must be multitaskers, ready to pivot at a moment’s notice when an urgent need arises.
Then, they must continue the previous task when the issue is over. Often, this shift may happen many times during the day.
6. Time Management
Assistants’ duties tend to be time-sensitive. Staying focused and completing tasks on time is crucial for job success.
They need a good sense of which jobs to prioritize, and how much time to spend on each endeavor.
When a task takes longer than expected, good assistants know when to reach out for help or delegate the job to a teammate.
What are the advantages of agile methods for executive assistants?
An agile methodology must be implemented without neglecting any point. In addition, everyone involved must be engaged so that the approach adopted brings the expected results.
In this way, executive assistant is able to significantly improve customer service, and the main benefits are:
- error reduction, as dividing a large task into smaller parts allows the activity as a whole to be done with greater efficiency and excellence;
- team organization, since agile methods are responsible for making project
- management more decentralized, giving greater operational autonomy to employees;
- customer satisfaction, provided by the most optimized organization and management of activities.
How to implement agile methods in a company?
The first step for agile methods implementation in the company is to know the business’ shortcomings. In practice, internal processes that are flawed, inefficient or unnecessary should be identified.
After that, some agile methodology must be adopted to solve the problem encountered, so that the results of the application can be measured.
It is noteworthy that the adoption of agile methods for an executive assistant is something that does not happen overnight.
In other words, it is necessary to show the results to managers several times, so that they are convinced about the effectiveness of the agile methodology, encouraging other employees to do the same. Using GitScrum’s Task Efforts will enable your company to set smart moves into assertive tasks.
It is, therefore, a process that involves a change in the company’s organizational culture.
Agile methods promote speed, adaptability and quality of the product delivered to the customer.
Furthermore, it is an indispensable component to promote the digital transformation of the business, increasing its competitiveness and adding value to the solutions and services sold to the customer.
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