Managing More Than One Project

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and two key focuses are Career Discussions and General Education. A very valuable and lesser known skill when you start a business or when you get out into the professional world, is the ability to multi-task or manage multiple projects at once. The following contributed post discusses this and is entitled, Managing More Than One Project.

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As a project manager, you are going to face numerous challenges throughout your career. Often, managing one project can be challenging and stressful enough. However, when you add even more projects to the mix, the stresses and strains only multiply. Managing a number of different projects at the same time can most definitely be a challenge. However, if you follow the advice provided below, you should find it a lot easier.

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Embrace project management training – There is only one place to begin, and this is with project management training. Project management courses today are designed to equip you with all of the knowledge, strategies, and technologies required to deal with any challenge that comes your way, from remote team management to handling numerous projects at once. It does not matter how long you have been in this career, a refresher course could be just the thing you need to be able to manage multiple projects at once.

Keep distractions to a minimum – It is vital to keep distractions to a minimum at all times, but this is even more so the case when you are managing numerous projects at once. You can use tools like this calendar for HR professionals to assist. There are lots of things that can get in the way of your working day. This includes ad hoc tasks, non-strategic meetings, idle conversation, and emails that are not related to the projects you are working on. Ask yourself: is this task something that is contributing to the bigger picture/meeting the project objectives? If not, it is likely that you are simply wasting your time. To cut down on these sorts of activities, you should make sure you only have meetings when essential, use a centralised scheduling process, and schedule breaks throughout the working day.

Improve communication – Communication is critical to the success of any project, and it is even more pivotal when you are working on more than one project at the same time. You must have a robust communication channel and strategy in place for all team members. Efficient communication regarding new developments, changes, and such like, are a necessity, as they are likely to impact the implementation of the project. A group collaboration tool will come in very useful here, but you need to make sure that everyone is using the software appropriately and effectively. It is a good idea to get your team members to provide a status update of every task they are working on per day. This will ensure that everyone is aware of the project status and that all team members are on the same page. It also makes it easy for you to have an overview of each project so you know exactly where each project is.

Hopefully, you now feel more prepared for managing numerous projects at once. While this can seem incredibly daunting, there is no need to stress. Follow the advice that has been given, and you should find it a lot easier to keep on top of everything.

The Fine Line Between Project Success And Failure

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success. No matter what kind of project you’re working on, it’s important to understand how to push it through to completion successfully. Many individuals’ projects end in failure. The following contributed post discusses how to successfully finish a project and is entitled, The Fine Line Between Project Success And Failure.

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Knowing what determines project success or failure is important. It provides you with direction; you know what you will be judged on and, therefore, what you will be aiming for. With that in mind, in this post, we are going to assess the factors that are relevant to project success or failure in further detail.

The success of the business project manager tends to be based on how they achieve three key goals. These are as follows:

  1. The project being completed on time
  2. The project being completed within the cost budget that was approved
  3. Good performance – This means that the project delivers the intended benefits and satisfies the specification that was provided

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In order to achieve these objectives, there are a number of factors that are required:

• Quick and fair conflict resolution
• Effective project management training
• Well-motivated team members
• Good project communications
• Appropriate regard for the health and safety of all people that are connected with the project, this is especially the case for the likes of new healthcare projects, for example, saliva drug test advancements or testing for various diseases
• A suitable organisation structure
• A sound quality culture throughout the business
• Technical competence
• Firm control of changes to the project
• Availability of resources, including sufficient funds
• Strong support for the project
• The correct project strategy
• Clear project definition

In some cases, one of the three primary objectives mentioned above may have special importance over the others. For example, it could be critical that the project is completed on time – this could be even more important than performance or budget.

It is important to recognise that this will result in a trade-off decision. If there is more emphasis placed on one or two of the main objectives, then it is going to come at the expense of the other objective(s).

You also need to understand the relationship between quality and cost, as well as the relationship between time and cost. Let’s deal with the former first. Most would agree that quality cannot be attained without added cost. However, there is an even greater reason why you cannot compromise or downgrade quality in order to save money. This is evident when you accept that a product must be fit for the purpose for which it was intended – this is the definition of quality. Downgrading quality simply isn’t an option, as no project manager should ever think about a result that is not fit for purpose.

There is also a vital and direct relationship between time and money. Cost estimates are almost guaranteed to be overspent if a project runs late. Every day that a project exists, be it a non-working or working day, it costs money.

All in all, if your project is to be a success, you need to achieve the three primary objectives mentioned above – deliver it on time, deliver it on budget, and deliver it to the specification provided by the client. You also need to understand how these objectives impact one and other if you are to succeed.