Managing a project isn’t easy. In fact, when you consider that in a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, only 2.5% of companies said that they successfully completed 100% of their projects, you’re doing well to even complete a project in full and on time!
But what happens when you’re given a number of different projects to oversee? It is understandable that you may find this a daunting challenge, but hopefully this blog post will show you how to manage multiple projects simultaneously in a more efficient way.
Decide which project is most important
Although it is tempting to attribute the same level of importance to each of your projects, in reality you will need to prioritise the most important ones to your organisation.
Once you know the projects you need to focus on, you can then allocate your resources and then create a timeline of important deadlines for when specific parts of your projects need to be completed.
Ensure that you are communicating effectively
Anyone who has managed multiple projects before will know how critical it is to maintain a good line of communication with all stakeholders. This is laid bare in the fact that according to one report 57% of projects fail due to breakdown in communications.
So how do you improve communication with your team? With the rise of the digital workspace, your team members can now be based anywhere and work at many different times of the day.
To help overcome these challenges, ensure that you schedule regular conference calls to keep up to date with progress and to identify any problems before they escalate out of control.
Avoid distractions, (most of the time!)
When it comes to managing multiple projects simultaneously, time is a precious commodity that you need to use wisely. It can also be costly, with one report suggesting that wasted time costs UK businesses £80 billion per annum.
On a basic level, the key to time management is planning what you have to do, when you have to do it and not to get distracted. Sticking to this can be tricky, especially when there are so many distractions in the workplace. However, there are certain things you can do to minimise disruption to your productivity:
- Don’t reply to emails as soon as you receive them - Set short 10 minute slots throughout the day in order to respond to them.
- Avoid social media – The ultimate distraction for most people. Keep these checks to a minimum by keeping your phone out of reach or by using software such as StaFocusd, which limits the amount of time you can spend on certain websites.
- Meetings – An average office worker spends around 16 hours in meetings each week with around a quarter of this time being usually wasted. For this reason, you should only go to meetings that are relevant to you. Think of what you could have achieved productively in those 4 wasted hours?!
However, don’t discount distractions completely. Used in moderation, distractions can actually be good for creative thinking.
Use project management software
As projects become increasingly complex, it is becoming harder to track their progress and to work effectively with all of the stakeholders that are involved.
Online project management software allows you to oversee all of the projects that you are managing and bring all of your team members together to collaborate in one place.
The main features you should look for include:
- Cloud hosted – Use a tool that can be accessed by anyone via only a web browser and internet connection, so that you and your team members can collaborate wherever you’re based.
- Secure – Ensure that the software has been security tested to the satisfaction of UK Government departments, local authorities and major enterprises.
- Scalable – It should offer you the flexibility to increase and decrease the number of users, depending on your projects’ requirements.
- First class support – Support to help you get the most out of the software should be provided in the form of on-site training, FAQ pages and help desk.
Discover the other features that you should look for in a collaboration tool with our free guide: