No matter how hard you try, you can not control the weather – but you can handle it a little better. Time goes by, whether you like it or not.
On the contrary, when we talk about time management, we are really talking about how we can make the most of the time we have. And, an effective way to do this is to learn how to manage a project over time.
Tips for Becoming a Better Project Manager
This may seem like an impossible feat, but if you try these ten project management tips, this can be done.
Establishing a Project Base
“A reference is the initial scope, timing and cost of a project.These are usually defined and reviewed at the beginning of a project by the project team, although that project stakeholders can also be included, “writes Patrick Icasas for the Project Management Blog.
The project baselines provide “a standard for measuring actual performance.” They also predict the results of the project.
“Baselines are documented (on paper or electronically) and are used to keep the project on track:” They are not necessarily engraved in stone; they can be updated as the scope changes, estimates are re-evaluated and resources become available. “
Once the project is complete, compare the original baseline with the actual schedule, cost, and scope. By comparing the two, you can “determine what can be done to minimize problems in the future.”
You should pay attention to this by working on the project. If changes have been made to the original scope, you must adjust the reference immediately.
Using historical information
Have you ever worked on a project similar to a project you are currently working on? Go back and revisit this project. You want to see what mistakes were made, what you did correctly, and what resources you used.
This can cause you to lose several days of your schedule since you now have a plan to succeed.
Incorporating the Right Tools and Resources
Before diving into a project, make sure you have aligned all the tools and resources needed to complete the project on time. This will obviously vary from one company to another. But this would include assigning work to employees based on their skills. It will also discuss the tools or software you will need to automate the workflow.
Follow the 80/20 rule
Named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, the principle of Pareto, aka the 80/20 rule, “is the idea that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts.”
Although there may be some flaws in this method, the idea is that it can be used as a starting point to determine where your priorities should be targeted.
In the end, you will want to focus on 20% of your activities that matter most. As a result, 80% of your results will come from only 20%. This is not only used to help you determine where you are effective. This also ensures that you will not waste time.
Making meetings meaningful
If you work with a team on a project, do not waste your time asking everyone to share an update. This provides little value and is a waste of time. Instead, your meetings should focus on problem solving and brainstorming.
To ensure the efficiency of your meetings, always set a calendar and keep them short. Do not forget to prepare yourself in advance and give your team items that can be measured.
Do not micromanage, delegate
As a project manager, there is no need to get involved in every part of the project. After all, you have a talented team that you have selected to handle specific tasks. Instead, you must keep an eye on the ball, in which case, direct the project to a successful outcome.
Even if you do not have full time staff, you may want to consider outsourcing and delegating certain tasks. For example, hiring a virtual assistant will handle all your administrative work, such as responding to emails and scheduling your schedule, so that you can stay focused on the project.
It’s easier to see the big picture when you break down the structure of your work. This also allows you to make more accurate estimates since you are working with smaller jobs.
Think of deconstruction as building a house. It is difficult to give a specific date when it will be completed. However, you can probably give a rough estimate on projects like living room painting, installing kitchen cabinets or finishing the plumbing of the bathroom.
Keep in mind that you do not want to break down the project as much as you start to micromanage. One indicator that you went too far is when you start measuring tasks by minutes or exact times.
Creating To-Do Lists
By noting your most important tasks for the day, you will focus on achieving your goals. Otherwise, you will lose time doing tasks that do not really affect the project.
For example, I’m addicted to Feedly. Even if I receive updates about my industry, they do not help me complete an ongoing project.
Avoid making too much commitment
Sometimes it is not easy. However, by saying “no” you will be able to avoid spreading too thin. For example, if you are too busy and do not have time for something, say “no”. If you do not know how to do something or if it’s not in your wheelhouse, say “no”.
Plan for the unforeseen and interruptions
Life does not always go as planned. You could get sick or face a family emergency. Other times, your computer crashes and you can not take a new one until tomorrow. Regardless of the exact situation, you must plan for unforeseen events and interruptions.
The easiest way to do this is to have some flexibility in your schedule. For example, even if I block from 8 am to noon and then 2 pm to 5 pm for work, there are breaks between the two.
In my morning block, for example, there is usually a break of one hour between 10 and 11. Although I usually use this time to pause, reload and check my emails, I can also use it I have to do it.
Reissued with permission. Original here.
Photo via Due.com
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