Projects are business undertakings agreed upon between two organizations. They exchange goods and/or services for monetary compensation. Taking on projects is how businesses generate revenue. As they grow, corporates can reinvest revenue to expand internal capabilities. Their goal is to introduce a growing number of revenue streams that can be handled simultaneously. So, the question is how to manage multiple projects?
Businesses take on more than one project at a time to maximize resources and income. The task of managing these multiple projects and keeping them organized is tasked to project managers. In larger organizations, funding is not an issue. Hiring several professionals to tackle different parts of projects helps keep business activities transparent and moving. What happens if you can’t hire multiple people to manage multiple projects? The management strategy needs to change.
Effective management is only as good as the results they produce without causing adverse side effects within their organization. Introducing better strategies to handle multiple projects simultaneously helps keep costs down without new hires and optimizes corporate culture and performance.
Strategies for Managing Multiple Projects
Understanding what is essential to the business should take priority. The projects themselves need to be tackled according to what needs to be executed first. The tasks within the project need to be prioritized as well. Teams should always be working to execute the activities and projects that are critical to the business first.
When looking at multitasking, the time blocking technique helps optimize productivity and maximize output from all projects tackled. Time blocking allocates a specific time to address a task and execute the same during the designated block. This helps employees organize their days and saves time on wondering what the next activity should be. Additionally, it helps make time for activities within various projects that need to be executed within the same day. Time management is the key to juggling multiple projects successfully.
Draw Focus, Maximize Productivity
Implementing organizational structures like time blocks minimizes room to procrastinate. With allocated time frames to tackle specific activities, every minute of the day can almost be accounted for. More importantly, equipping workspaces for concentrated hours is the key.
Ensure the workspace is comfortable and well-lit. Don’t be afraid to enforce social media bans during work hours and introduce designated time every few hours to freshen up and take a break. Avoid loud noises and music, but allow every employee room for customization. Every person is different, and the key to enabling maximum productivity in one employee may not be the same for another.
Reviews Must Be Constant
Ensure the planning for all projects is comprehensive. To-Do Lists and schedules need to be clear and concise. This gives you a clear understanding of what has been accomplished and what still needs to be done. Be sure to take off completed tasks when they are done. The appearance of less to do is always helpful with encouraging employees to conclude the final set of tasks for a successful project. Additionally, ensure reports are produced as often as needed. Introducing project management software saves time on manual data compilation.
One of the main reasons managing multiple projects simultaneously is difficult is the weight sitting on a few employees. Ensure work is distributed evenly across the team, highlighting their strengths. Tasks should be delegated on the basis of execution ability, and a verification process must be in place to ensure only the activities required are completed. Additionally, new team members must be thoroughly briefed before beginning a task. This information relay is critical to completing their activity correctly and avoiding rework.
Introduce Better Planning
A project management software can change the way you tackle your organizational skills. Milestones and work phases can be easily mapped onto a unified platform for all teams to access. When key deliverables, project management software tends to cluster and predict windows of time when workloads become more intensive.
This lets your business know activities need to be shifted or resources need to increase to cope with the extra activity requirements. Perhaps incentive for the end of a busy period would work to introduce increased productivity.
Watch Progress As It Happens
If strong monitoring measures are not in place, it becomes easy for an organization to start lagging. Ensure timelines are kept, and activities are executed without fail. A manager with access to project management software can virtually keep tabs on all team members. Therefore, if a task is taking too much time to complete, discuss how to tackle it more effectively with other team members’ help.
Introducing wiggle room is always helpful with timelines. There can be unprecedented mishaps that occur during the project that need additional time to rectify. Creating a buffer within timelines helps offer a more transparent understanding of when a project can be completed and what happens if an activity is conducted incorrectly. Having a plan is excellent, but having a plan B with a plan A is even better.
Build on Organization
Understand what your organization needs for clear communication between teams and stakeholders. Introduce new systems, tools, and methodologies to tackle individual activities and projects more efficiently and effectively. Introducing software may be a helpful start.
Expectations Must Be Managed
When discussing timeframes and resources required for project execution with your client, be frank about what to expect. If timeframes are too short and resources are spread too thin, completing the project will be time-consuming, and managing multiple avenues like this isn’t easy.
Commitments need to be as close to accurate as possible. While rescheduling is not ideal, it may be required to accommodate manageable workloads and not compromise quality. Don’t be afraid to ask for more time.
Strategies for successfully managing multiple projects at the workplace are easier to do with a strong organizational foundation. Manually keeping track of projects and tasks can be exhausting and leaves a large margin for error. Mitigate these concerns by introducing a program management software to optimize planning and reporting capabilities.
Transparency is critical to successful project completion, and project management software further enables transparency with enhanced communication capabilities—both necessary for efficient juggling of projects to successful completion. That’s it, folks! I hope this answered your question, “How to manage multiple projects?”. You can check out popular project management courses that we offer at Invensis Learning while you are here.