Working on several different projects at once is what most project managers do.
- Working on several different projects at once: Have a place in which to “host” all projects
- Working on several different projects at once: Establish goals, plans, responsibilities, and expectations at the very beginning
- Working on several different projects at once: Prioritize the work that will have the greatest impact
- Working on several different projects at once: Be flexible when priorities change
- Working on several different projects at once: Manage and clearly communicate expectations
- Working on several different projects at once: Adjust project schedules to maximize team productivity
- Working on several different projects at once: Delegate work, but maintain visibility
However, keeping track of all the bits and pieces can get tricky, especially without a good process for managing multiple projects, and even more without a good Project management software. In fact, it’s hard to know what work to prioritize, how to help the team and how to guarantee that everything gets done on time.
Working on several different projects at once: Have a place in which to “host” all projects
After spending weeks planning and approving projects (you may like to read this article about Project Manajement), the team or teams are finally ready to get started. However, if all the plans are spread throughout different documents and spreadsheets, emails and reports, the work doesn’t really begin in the best way.
In fact, this way, you’re very likely to miss key information or the team ends up duplicating work because they didn’t know someone else was already working on it.
Working on several different projects at once: Establish goals, plans, responsibilities, and expectations at the very beginning
Without having a standard workflow or project planning process that drives the entire project lifecycle, chances are each project will be handled differently
Therefore, the end results are prone to be inconsistent, time is wasted setting up a new process each time, and the work is more likely to fail.
To overcome this problem, the project manager needs to make sure the team’s plan, process, and responsibilities are clear from the start.
At the project level, this translates into making sure to clearly outline goals, each phase of work that needs to be completed, when each is planned, and who will be responsible for it.
You also need to include time for feedback, an element that can easily be overlooked when you’re in a hurry to complete a project, but is still important.
Working on several different projects at once: Prioritize the work that will have the greatest impact
While it might be tempting to do away with the easier projects first, this is not always the best solution.
Instead, you need to prioritize them based on what will have the greatest impact on the organization’s goals.
For example, the team might be committed to five product launches at the same time.
While they are all the same size in terms of effort and work required to complete, one of them would have the potential to have a much greater impact on new customer revenue than the other four.
A second, however, would have the greatest impact on customer retention.
Because the company places a higher priority on retention, in this case it is the second project that is prioritized.
Working on several different projects at once: Be flexible when priorities change
Determining team priorities and getting aligned with the work is critical, but so is being flexible enough to allow for changes when needed.
And this is where a central document, or project management software like Twproject, that holds all project information and updates comes in handy. When priorities change, you can quickly identify what needs to be rescheduled.
Speaking of which, let me remind you that you can try Twproject for free by clicking here!
Working on several different projects at once: Manage and clearly communicate expectations
Teams that suffer from communication problems do so because they lack visibility into their own work and the work of other project stakeholders.
accomplishing is missing, there is a lack of context to understand why deadlines are changing, whether priorities remain the same, and how the project is progressing.
When a project manager manages communication, they need to offer the team and other stakeholders the whole context behind the work.
Working on several different projects at once: Adjust project schedules to maximize team productivity
Even the most thoroughly planned project can find itself derailed if it’s not carefully planned with the full scope of the team’s work in mind in the short, medium and long term.
For example, you want to launch three different web updates at the same time, they could end up conflicting with each other or dragging on longer than expected because the team is trying to do too much at once.
Here are some helpful tips in this case:
- Spread start dates for similar projects: especially if you have the same group working on multiple projects, it can be beneficial to spread out the start and completion dates for each project so that people can focus on one first and then move on to the next.
- Pay attention to dependencies: schedule the dependent project after the scheduled completion date of the first one.
- Tick off duplicate tasks: if you need to do the same work in two different projects, make sure this is done in time to keep both projects on track.
Working on several different projects at once: Delegate work, but maintain visibility
No manager wants to be a micromanager, though losing track of tasks and feeling unaware of the work your team is doing can make it nearly impossible to be an effective leader.
Still, by sharing a single source with your team, you will have a way to keep track of all the work everyone is doing.
When all of the team’s work lies in one centrally shared place, you can get information at a glance regarding every single aspect of your projects.
As a project manager, managing multiple projects simultaneously is a common scenario often.
Today, when managing multiple projects, technology is an essential aid in getting a holistic overview.