How to Manage Multiple Projects – 5 Things You Need
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
This being the case, it is fair to say that managing multiple projects across different teams, all at once, is exponentially trickier. But it can be done and has been done. We list five things on how to manage effectively multiple projects simultaneously.
Efficient collaboration in multiple projectsBefore starting a project, you should have first identified the members that will constitute each team, based on their skills and availability. Conduct an initial meeting so you can discuss the appropriate courses of action to achieve individual and team goals. If you already have a clear idea of the best path to tackle, you can start assigning tasks.
Remember though that simply doling out assignments can come off as demanding and may result in a less involved team. To boost morale and effectively lead the direction of a project, you can do two things during the meeting:
- Present how you envision to accomplish the project
- Allow for feedback from team members, taking into account their specific viewpoints, e.g., from a design viewpoint, from a developer’s viewpoint
After the planning stages, set time aside for regular meetings for the teams to touch base. This helps everyone visualize how their individual contributions become part of the bigger picture. A meeting also becomes the perfect avenue for conversations, affording team members a clearer picture into how their aspects of the project affect another – for example, the design team being in close and constant contact with end users, with the developers working closely with the design team to improve the end-user experience.
You have to keep in mind, that as you are managing multiple projects, through efficient collaboration you will be able to not only keep yourself on track but this will also greatly help your team
Formulate a clear plan for each project“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” so says an old adage. Another worthy agenda of the initial meeting – and the subsequent ones, for that matter – is to devise a plan of action for each team member. “The devil is in the details” isn’t a cliché for nothing. Ask team members to conduct a task analysis of their assignments. That is, have them split their tasks into stages, and each stage into mini tasks or milestones that take them closer and closer to their final goal.
Next, appoint team leaders or project overseers and equip them with decision-making capabilities to help you manage teams and projects.
After you’ve formulated a definitive plan, next comes the execution. The following items are vital to efficiently execute your plans:
- Resource management
- Strict deadlines
- Single document management
While managing multiple projects it is important to have a clear plan for each project. Without a clear plan all projects can mix into one and you will end up with one big mess without a structure.
Allocate resources appropriately while managing multiple projectsIn anything, project management in particular, it’s essential to identify your must-haves and cut down to the essentials. Planning the deployment of your resources is just as important, as well as keeping track of how each resource is deployed. Your resources are your people, the tools they need to execute their assigned tasks to the best of their abilities, the budget to acquire, maintain and keep their tools in tip-top shape, and, lest it be forgotten, time, which brings us to the next item.
Stick to strict deadlinesDeadlines often evoke a sense of dread in people. Just by its name, it stirs our most primal fear. But setting deadlines and adhering to them is how you effectively manage your teams’ outputs. To do this, create a task tracker where each member inputs their respective task analyses, including the dates they expect to complete them, which they can subsequently update to signify whether the task is on track, overdue or done.
This helps you get a bird’s eye view, as well as a more detailed account, of what’s gone on, what’s going on, and what should be going on for each project you spearhead. This is especially crucial while you are managing multiple projects, so that if you see that a deadline is not achievable you will adjust all projects accordingly rather than just one.
Single document management for all projectsWhether they’re the project plans, resource allocation reports, or the trackers you maintain to keep abreast of everyone’s progress, managing multiple documents in a single hub is crucial to keeping important data from getting lost because of one user’s carelessness. There are a number of document management software offerings in the market, some free, and some that will set you back a pretty penny. Most of these software work across mobile and desktop platforms.
As an example, Comindware Project supports document management, among many other features that streamline the various aspects of project management, and ensures important documents reside within the same platform where actual work is done.