4 Strategies for Juggling Multiple Projects
For all of us career Project Managers out there, we're kind of used to that feeling that we're being pulled in dozens of directions all at the same time.
Who am I kidding?! I don't think anyone ever gets used to that feeling. It can be incredibly stressful to keep multiple projects afloat at the same time, and keeping your sanity can feel impossible! Here are a few ways to make your life easier.
- Prioritize. You've probably heard this one before, but prioritization can be your best friend when it comes to managing multiple projects at the same time. We're a big advocate of setting monthly, weekly, and daily goals for yourself. In the project management world, things are constantly changing, so prioritization is a constantly evolving task. When something new lands on your lap, having a written plan for the day can show you at a glance which tasks must be completed that day and which tasks can wait.
- Delegate. Wondering how you can delegate tasks when you don't have any direct reports? This is where your powers of influence come into play. Does having an Operations Procedure benefit your shift foreman? Ask him/her to write the first draft or provide input to the document. People love to know their voice is being heard, and generally want the project to be successful. Don't be afraid to ask for help with tasks to free up some of your time.
- Communicate. There are all kinds of statistics out there about how up to 90% of a Project Manager's time is spent communicating. And I think all of you can probably relate! How many times have you had to re-forward that email to that one guy who didn't read it correctly the first time? One of the best ways to free up your time is to over-communicate critical project details. This may mean sending out weekly status updates to the stakeholders even if they haven't asked for them. Or, maybe you save all the project documents to a shared computer drive where project team members can access it without having to bother you. The easier it is for interested parties to find information for themselves, the less they'll be bothering you.
- Efficiency Solutions. There are countless efficiency solutions out there that can benefit Project Managers. Do you have a written planner/notebook that you take with you to all meetings? Do you have a to-do list you keep updated (electronic or on paper)? Do you have a formal strategy for tracking your project schedule? What about a way to automate cost analysis and reports? Project Management consulting companies can help provide custom ideas and solutions for your organization and your particular situation. Wondering how you can benefit from some of these things? Feel free to shoot us a message. We'd love to help. :-)