Project Management is not for the faint of heart. Even expert project managers can get bogged down in the minutia of task management. Below are three strategies to increase the odds that multiple tasks in a large project can be tracked effectively.
1. Create a Comprehensive To-Do list. Whether you use project management software, a Word document, or old school pen & paper, your project To Do list needs to be a comprehensive document which includes all aspects of the project: strategies, priorities, objectives, goals, tasks, stakeholders, and perhaps most important of all, the timeline. Log everything, including reminders to follow up on tasks that have been delayed or deferred in favor of focusing on other things. Update as needed as the project progresses.
2. Set your Strategy. To determine how to move forward, use the POAA Strategy: Prioritize, Organize, Automate & Adjust.
- Prioritize. Determine which tasks will have the greatest impact on success and prioritize those above other, less important, tasks. Then break these tasks down into manageable pieces and assign a timeline. Finally, allocate priorities to project participants based on participant preferences, talent, and training.
- Organize. When managing projects, I like to use ‘Clumping.’ Grouping similar tasks together is known as clumping. Clumping tasks that naturally fall together not only reduces the amount of time needed for your brain to switch between dissimilar tasks but can also reduce the time needed to complete a specific type of task. Take a deep look at all of the tasks in your project plan and organize them like with like.
- Automate. Use templates when possible. Establish a library of templates that project participants can access and update as needed. This reduces the amount of time needed to re-enter repetitive data and frees participants to work on what matters most.
- Adjust. Be flexible in adjusting goals and expectations when unexpected issues crop up, (and they will crop up.) Be sure to communicate new developments and edits to the timeline to all stakeholders. Hold regular review meetings to ensure that everyone is on the same page with regards to changing project objectives, timelines, and tasks.
3. Finally, consider using Project Management software. Project Management software enables collaboration among many participants across many platforms, can streamline project deployment, and can help ensure that important items don’t get lost in the complexity of the project itself. There are many types of project management & task tracking software. Below are 3 of the more highly rated ones.
- Trello helps teams move forward in their own unique ways.
- HighQ helps you to plan, organize, track, and complete work more efficiently and intelligently via agile project management and productivity tools.
- Asana organizes individual and team tasks in one task manage software place.
If you need help with project management, contact Lisa Mark, C.P.O. to find out if she is a good fit for your organizing or productivity needs.