Sunday, January 3, 2016, AM | Leave Comment
Managing multiple projects at the same time is a way of life for most Project Managers. They must possess the skill to manage multiple projects.
Managing multiple projects, while shifting your attention from 1 project to the next, and performing the tasks well are developed skills.
Whether you manage 2 or more projects, your ability to multi-task is critical in meeting project goals, objectives and deadlines and to contributing to the success of every project.
But it’s not easy! Here are five tips to help you out.
Tip 1: Stagger Your Phases
There are various stages or phases that a project goes through to bring it to completion. These typically involve some form of Initiation, Planning, Execution, Control and Closure.
One trick for successfully running multiple projects at the same time is to stagger these phases as much as possible across your projects, so that they don’t all occur at the same time.
For example, you don’t want to have multiple projects in the Planning phase at the same time. This will consume an inordinate amount of our time as a planner and mistakes may be introduced to projects.
Instead, stagger the projects so you have some just starting and others just getting ready to finish up.
You can do this by starting some projects earlier than necessary, or perhaps swapping projects that are in a different phase with someone else on your team.
Tip 2: Avoid Project Overload
Why are you managing lots of projects at the same time? It’s probably because you’re a good Project Manager.
Everyone knows you are capable and competent and your projects end up being successful. This is a compliment that can backfire in the long-run.
There are only so many projects you can manage before you get overloaded. So know when to ask for help or say “no” to a new project if your plate is full.
Tip 3: Try to Use Dedicated Resources on your Projects
Managing multiple projects requires multiple resources. It is usually the case that these resources are not allocated to your project full time.
It is likely that your multiple projects will require resources with similar skills. So, if possible try to get a group of dedicated resources for your projects.
In other words, if you need to split a resource between three projects, try to have it be three projects that you are managing.
Tip 4: Delegate the Details
If you only manage a few projects, you probably know every task, contingency plan, risk, and detail for each project.
But if you’re managing lots of projects you need to delegate these details to someone else on each project team, to keep track of.
To do this, find assign someone in your team who is detail-oriented. Assign them as your ‘go-to’ person if you need to dig into the details at any time.
This will allow you to focus on the bigger picture of moving each project through it’s various phases to completion.
Tip 5: Manage Expectations
A common thing people forget when managing lots of projects is stakeholder expectation management.
You need to keep everyone informed of the status of your projects and up-to-date with what’s happening at all times. It will make your job much easier.
This column is © copyright to www.Method123.com and originally appeared in their weekly project management tip newsletter.
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