A common question I am frequently asked is “How can I manage my projects more effectively and quickly?” The following article will focus on how Organization and Proper Tools can help manage a project.
3 Tips for Getting Organized as a Project Manager
My first response to the question above is, “Organize!” Specifically, organize your work around three areas to maximize your time and efficiency.
- First, share project plans easily. In many organizations there’s no way for people to access different documents easily. Allowing people to access plans real-time helps you manage your projects.
- Second, manage teams online. Provide a mechanism for team members to go online so that you can manage and assign tasks, and where they can actually complete and report on their status.
- Third, track progress daily. I submit (and check) progress throughout the day.
If these mechanisms are in place and accessible to team members, as they complete items you can report progress to your executives, shareholders and stakeholders. Everyone can see what’s happening in real-time.
Those are the three best ways to manage your projects. Now, let’s look at the six tools you must have in order to manage your projects better.
6 Project Management Tools to Increase Effectiveness
- First, you must have a dashboard to be able to assess the health of your project. At a glance you can see if it is on track, off track, and where there are red, yellow or green statuses. Your team members need to be able to see the status of the project also.
- Second, you must have a project planning tool in place to be able to plan tasks, resources, timelines and milestones.
- Third, you must have an intelligent reporting tool. Not only do you need to see reports of your project, but so do your team members. If they have work contingent upon someone else completing theirs, they need to know if something is going to be late so they can plan accordingly. Executives and stakeholders also need to see project reports.
- Fourth is a tool to manage your teams and your resources. It’s important to manage team work load so that people are not overloaded or so that projects do not overlap. You need to be able to see how you have your resources allocated.
- Fifth, you need a tool to track results of task, people, resources, assets and budget.
- Sixth, you need a way to collaborate online. Team members are, if they are in the same building, on different floors. If they are in the same city they may be in different buildings. People from around the globe are working together on projects. An online environment is critical for teams today to be able to access documents, collaborate, communicate and get feedback in real-time.
By applying this combination of getting organized and utilizing the proper tools, you will find that you will be able to manage your projects more effectively!
If you found these tips from Jennifer Bridges, PMP (formerly, Jennifer Whitt) of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in her self-paced, downloadable courses at PDUs2Go.com.
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