Managing multiple projects is a skill that is not easy to master. The project manager has to shift attention from one project to the next making sure that all the tasks are executed well and that the clients’ requirements are fully met.
If you have handled a project, you may already know how to evaluate the requirements, determine the scope, allocate resources, and communicate and collaborate with the team members. However, only those that have managed multiple projects know the challenge, the difficulty, and the anxiety involved in the task.
Learning how to manage multiple projects effectively is not different from learning how to juggle without dropping the ball. It requires patience, practice, and above all, the know-how of the right techniques to ensure that all project objectives, goals, and deadlines are met.
Here are 6 tips that only project manager ‘geeks’ know about handling multiple projects effectively.
Make a Separate Plan for the Project
Project planning is essential for the success of any project. Project Managers tend to use Excel or create Gantt Charts with project planning tools like Redbooth. If you don’t plan the projects separately, you won’t be able to see through that the projects complete successfully. Consider performing a detailed analysis of each project and then allocate the resources appropriately. This will ensure efficient utilization of the project resources. In addition, it will also help in avoiding cost overruns and project delays during the execution stage of the project.
Use Apps to Schedule Tasks for Multiple Projects
Another important advice to successfully manage multiple projects is to use the software apps to schedule and monitor activities. While spreadsheets, notebooks, and journals can be used to manage the resources, keeping them up-to-date is a full-time job.
The project manager can better manage the resources using applications such as the Resource Guru that save time and effort in scheduling tasks and activities. There are many other resource schedule apps that the project managers can use to better manage the activities. The apps can also help gain greater visibility over the resource and time constraints that can help in efficient management of the project.
Give Control to the Team Members in Executing the Assigned Tasks
The project manager should ask the team members to carry out an analysis of their tasks and if possible, split them into mini-tasks or goals. Having the team divide the assigned tasks related to each project into smaller activities can help in measuring the progress of the individual team members.
Apart from giving the team members leeway in planning the assigned activities, the project manager should also provide them decision-making capability relating to their own tasks. This will make the task of the manager easier in managing individual team members and the assigned tasks.
Prioritize the Projects
Not all projects are alike. Some of the projects entail greater payback as compared to the others. The project manager should know how to prioritize the projects according to their benefit to the company. Projects with a higher payback should be given more importance over less lucrative ones.
Set Deadlines and Stick to Them
Deadlines usually evoke a sense of fear among the team. The name itself stirs dread in the mind of most people. However, setting deadlines for each project and making sure that they are adhered by the team is crucial for successful completion of the projects.
Project managers can make use of task tracker app to gain improved visibility over the project performance. They can use the tracker app to view the dates that each project task is expected to be completed and know where the deadlines relating to different projects are being met. This is crucial when managing multiple projects as the manager can make appropriate changes in the project planning in case the team members are not able to finish a task within a deadline.
Make Use of Online Conference Calls Apps to Manage Multiple Teams
By using online conference call, the project manager will save a lot of time and effort involved in managing multiple teams. Conference call software such as Zoom (which is integrated with Redbooth), ooVoo, Rondee, and TalkShoe allow making free conference calls. The online conference call software allows the team manager to conduct meetings using the smartphone. Some of the apps also provide enhanced collaboration features such as screen sharing, moderating the meetings, and even send text messages during the video chats.
The team can use the conference call app to share sticky points and brainstorm to address the issue. The individual team members can also update the project manager about their work progress and inform about unexpected events that could result in cost overruns or project delays. The project manager can also conduct a session using the conference call to recognize extraordinary achievements by a team member and to motivate others to up their game as well.
In the past, people who spent most of their time working on a PC were referred to as geeks. Fast forward to today; being is a geek is an ideal trait that is particularly important for a project manager.
To successfully manage the projects, a project manager needs to know how to use the applications to schedule tasks, assign resources, conduct conference calls and manage other aspects of the projects. These tools can prove invaluable in overseeing multiple projects and ensure that each one of them is completed within the time and cost, and quality constraints. Apart from that, the manager should know how to prioritize the projects, set deadlines, and offer more control to the team members that results in successful completion of multiple projects.
The Article was provided by the folks @ Redbooth, experts in project management and based in Redwood, California. Sign Up @ Redbooth for an easy-to-use but complete project management solution for small businesses, agencies and all types of teams.