Seeing a project through from concept to completion can be quite challenging and stressful, even for versed managers. Therefore, handling multiple projects at the same time, as it’s often required in different businesses and industries, is all the more demanding. It’s definitely not easy to stay focused on all the moving pieces and keep them working like a well-oiled machine.
While some are struggling to stay on top of the tasks, resources, and deadlines that a project entails, others seem to have cracked the code, being able to juggle multiple activities with greater ease. In the end, that’s what project managers are – jugglers who have to keep multiple balls in the air and perform a fine balancing act in order to reach their objectives.
So, how does one do that without being crushed by the workload or getting lost in the complexities of project management? It’s all about using the right strategies and developing a process that can help you stay organized and manage simultaneous workstreams successfully from start to finish.
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Set Clear Goals And Responsibilities
When running more than one project at once you have to be very careful about how you schedule time and responsibilities for you and all the people involved in the development of the project. Delays and setbacks are often inevitable, but you don’t want to make them the norm by constantly trying to fix things along the way instead of focusing on advancing your work.
One of the key elements in ensuring a smooth and hassle-free project management process is building a solid plan, with clearly defined goals and responsibilities from the get-go for each and every project you take on. From the very beginning, there are several elements that all team members have to be aware of, such as the end goal of the project, specific objectives at each stage, the strategies and techniques employed to achieve these objectives, timetable, and individual responsibilities. So, when you begin the process, everyone knows what, how, and when they have to do their part.
Get Your Priorities In Order
In project management, starting with the easiest tasks and working your way towards the most difficult ones is never a good strategy. Your job is not to check items off a list and make sure everyone is busy doing some sort of work. You have to be able to identify the tasks that are truly urgent in each project you’re managing and address them in the order of their importance.
For that, you have to continuously correlate the projects you’re running with the company’s overall objective. That will help you identify the activities that bring the most value to the business and focus your team’s time and efforts on what truly matters.
Effective communication and collaboration are crucial for the success of any project. This aspect becomes even more important when you have to handle multiple teams across different projects. The only way to make sure all the parts of the project machinery are interconnected and work towards the same goal is to ensure and encourage proper communication and collaboration.
While each team member has to focus on individual tasks, they should also have easy and fast access to information on what others are doing and stay up to date with the project’s progress. That can be achieved by employing adequate communication and collaboration tools that can bring everyone together under the same umbrella.
Stay Flexible And Adapt As You Go
Although proper planning and setting clear objectives can go a long way in ensuring the smooth running of your projects, there’s no guarantee that things will always go as you intended. If there’s one thing that you can be sure of is that change is inevitable. Priorities may shift, and new obstacles may arise, forcing you to change your strategy and your approach along the way, so you have to stay flexible and be ready to make compromises.
When this happens, it’s good to have a change protocol in place and use only one tool or platform to communicate with your team members and let them know about these alterations. That way, you’ll know everyone is on the same page and up to date with the latest developments.
Track Your Progress
Time is of the essence in project management, especially if you have multiple projects on your to-do list at the same time. It’s hard enough to stay on top of deadlines on one project, but when there are numerous processes that you have to keep an eye on, it’s significantly more difficult to get things right.
Using project tracking tools like Timesheet Portal software provides a simple and effective way to stay on track and monitor your progress. Using the project version of the software will help you get a clear view of each stage of the process, identify potential issues and make the necessary changes in due time.
Build On Previous Workflows
Flexibility is a great advantage when running various projects simultaneously, but that doesn’t mean you have to change everything and start from scratch every time you take on a new project.
Versed project managers know how to lessen their workload by taking advantage of the workflows they’ve successfully used in previous projects, or project stages. If you think that a certain plan or strategy has worked well for you in the past and could be applied in one of the projects you’re about to start, feel free to employ the same template, so you can speed up the process. Obviously, some tweaks might be necessary in order to make the pieces fit together, but you’re still going to save a lot of time and effort by re-using workflows.
As a project manager, dealing with numerous projects at the same time is often the norm. It’s a job that can easily get exhausting and overwhelming, but in time, with the right strategies and a lot of practice, you’ll notice that it gets easier to stay on top of your workload and successfully deliver project after project.