Every project is an opportunity to learn, to figure out problems and challenges, to invent and reinvent. – David Rockwell
Most project managers start off their careers by managing smaller and less important projects. As they progress, the scope of their job becomes larger and projects become more complex. At some point, they start managing multiple projects, but their approach doesn’t change. They are used to being in charge of everything and take care of all project-related work.
When it comes to managing multiple projects, it’s simply impossible to achieve this. In multi-project management, micromanagement is a sure shot recipe for failure. You cannot take the lead role in every process and task. It is important to let go of certain tasks and stop watching every employee’s move. There are a couple of reasons why micromanagement in multiple projects doesn’t reap any fruitful results:
The solution for this issue is to:
Smaller projects that are less complex give you the freedom to start and keep track without having a project plan. You can keep all the information in your head, set goals and chart out a roadmap to accomplish the end goals. But, this is not the case with large and complex projects. As your responsibilities grow, so does the information and scale of projects and it’s impossible to stay on course while relying solely on your experience and knowledge.
When multi-managing projects, make sure that you create a single plan for each and every one of them. This might seem strange, but having multiple plans means that you will have to jump from one to another constantly to check schedules and your next steps.
Learn how to create a master plan where all of your projects will be included. This is where all of your project’s timeliness and their schedules will be displayed. At a greater scale of things, you will always be able to see which projects are performing on time and which ones require more of your attention.
Although your projects will start with a plan, it doesn’t mean that it will be foolproof. In fact, they rarely are, even for smaller projects. As much as a plan can keep you on track and schedule, it can also mislead you into thinking that you are doing well. If you fail to update the projects, you are most likely to end up with a failed project.
There are a couple of reasons why not updating project plans is a mistake, even concerning smaller updates:
Even though the actual goal of your project plan doesn’t change, the steps you need to take towards achieving the goal always change. Make sure to be punctual and update all of your projects whenever necessary to ensure that you are always on top of each one of them.
Not having a simple project management software for single projects is bad, not to mention when managing multiple projects. Even those simple project management tools can make a manager’s job much easier and help them keep track of everything, while always having all the required information. A project management software can help you:
A project management software can give you great help and, overall, make your job much easier. We’ve mentioned this already, but we can’t stress enough just how important it is to get all the help you can when multitasking.
Everyone will tell you that communication methods and planning are some of the most critical components for planning and executing multiple projects. When you are running multiple projects at the same time, you will instantly add multiple communication channels that you have to take care of on a regular basis.
By missing just one message, an important piece of information, or leaving someone out of the loop can seriously delay your project and create execution problems. Additionally, you need to have the information stored somewhere in case you forget some of the important things that you’ve discussed. This can also create further delays and do-overs.
The solution is to implement a good communication platform. All comprehensive project management tools have communication channels that can be separated for different projects. Additionally, besides communicating with people working on projects, you can also quickly provide information to stakeholders through this kind of platform and update them on the progress you’ve made.
These are the biggest and most common mistakes people make when managing multiple projects. Make sure to avoid them and the whole process will be smoother for you, and you will be able to avoid failing your projects like a lot of people do.
David Miller is a technical writer currently associated with ProProfs Project. He enjoys writing about emerging project management products and its latest trends. He lives in Detroit, Michigan with his wife. In his spare time, David loves exploring the city, listening to Metal music and riding
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