When being the leader of a team and managing multiple projects at a time the last thing you want is things getting messy or even worst: providing bad quality service or products to your clients due to bad organization. So, if you are involved in this position and you’re looking for new ideas on how to improve your management, then you are in the right place!
Here we show you seven tips to keep in mind to manage multiple projects effectively according to our experience.
1. Don’t Multi-Tasks
It’s normal that sometimes you feel in need of resolve as many tasks as you can because that’s the only way that you feel “productive”. Well, according to a research by the Standford University, multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time.
When you work in too many things at once your brain actually gives less attention to each task and it can results in falling efficiency and chances of errors too. So, instead of getting crazy with all your clients’ projects, try to focus on solving one task at a time, and it brings us to the next tip.
2. Urgent vs. Important
Prioritizing tasks can be complicated when you know that all your clients are important. However, as we’ve already said, trying to solve everything at once can be a disaster. So let’s identify which tasks are urgent and which ones are important.
Urgent is something that we have to do for sure and can’t wait too much. On the other hand, important is something that has to be done but can wait for a little. Then identify which ones you can resolve by yourself and those tasks that you can delegate to another member of your team. This way you can save time and your clients will be happy!
If you need extra help to identify which task is priority, you can use the Eisenhower Matrix:
3. Consider using software
Having a good tool to manage your projects can be very helpful to increase your efficiency. Project management software helps with the scheduling of tasks and subtasks and increases transparency into how other team members are performing.
There are many options in the market, for example, Asana, which is a tool designed to improve team collaboration and work management. You can create projects, assign work to teammates, specify deadlines, and communicate about tasks directly in Asana. It also includes reporting tools, file attachments, calendars, and more.
Another great tool is Trello, a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process.
4. Plan Ahead
One of the best things you can do is to spend some hours each morning carefully evaluating what you need to accomplish that day or plan your weekly projects every Monday. Do you have an agenda? If not, you can start there. Believe it or not, writing a list of all the things to do in your agenda can give you the whole picture, then use your project management software to assign to your team urgent and important tasks with their deadlines.
Don’t forget to follow up on each task or project to make sure that everything is in the right way.
5. Set the right expectations
Be honest with your clients. When you’re working on a new project, make sure that your client knows what to expect, and exactly what will be done, talk about the process behind the project, the steps that should be taken, the parties involved, requirements and timeframes.
Make realistic expectations. Consider at what stage of the project will be necessary to have feedback of your client to move forward.
6. Communication is key
In case you’re managing multiple projects, you’ll need to make sure that all your team and the parties involved understand the project’s goals and the different tasks that have to be done. Communication is key! You should be accessible to your team in case they have questions or if they’re struggling with a specific task.
Let your team know they can give suggestions and their opinion about something. Manage too many projects at once can be overwhelming and your team can help you to have a different perspective of the problem and give you creative solutions.
7. Manage your time better
Sometimes it seems that time is never enough and at the end of the day you realize you didn’t complete any task of your list. Between calls, emails, facebook and friends chat you can lose too much time. It’s ok, it can happen to anyone. But at this time you need to deliver 3 projects and you need to save time. So what can you do?
Well, first stay focus on the important things, being busy isn’t the same as being effective. Think about those tasks that represent a quick win and make it your priority.
Plan how long you want to spend on specific activities. You can use a tool like Hubstaff to track your time and monitor your employee activities during work hours.
In summary, don’t collapse with all your projects. Everything is in how you organize your time, and the ability to identify those urgent and important tasks and delegate it to someone else. Manage multiple projects is hard work when you do it by yourself, so trust on your team, they are able to solve any problems if you give them the right tools and clearly state the goals.