Ten tips for managing workplace projects

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Image from Flickr creative commons via innovate360

Making the best use of your working day can be a genuinely stressful business at times. It’s important to remember that more and more of us are working increasingly long and hard hours, partly because we have more work on our plates. One of the most intriguing and often overlooked trends of the last couple of decades is the increasing move towards self-management in the workplace. Bureaucratic elements of work, rather than being abolished entirely, have been delegated to ordinary workers as the layers of middle management have eroded. This means that it’s important to know how to make the best use of your time when carrying out project management jobs, as there are likely to be times when you have several tasks to juggle at once. Here are a few tips you might want to bear in mind.

1)      As an article from eHow.com points out, scheduling is crucial when trying to manage a prospect. It helps everyone in the team to know what they have to do and when each task has to be completed by. Without a clear, in-depth schedule the whole job could soon start to fall apart.

2)      How you plan your project will depend on whether or not it has a definite end date. Some clients will have a specific deadline in mind, and you’ll then need to ensure that you and your team meet it. There may be a degree of leeway, but it might be worth setting your own, earlier deadline to ensure that everything is done when it needs to be.

3)      It’s also a good idea to calculate how long the project is likely to take you to complete before you commit yourself to anything. Look back to see whether you’ve completed any comparable project, as this should give you an idea of how long your latest endeavour is likely to take. However, you may be able to identify some areas in which you can make improvements.

4)      Consider whether certain tasks are dependent on one another. If there are any that fall into this category, then perhaps you could consider ways to integrate them more effectively. This should help you to speed up the delivery of the project as a whole.

5)      You should avoid the temptation to micromanage each member of the team and how they spend their time. This is only likely to damage morale and alienate members of your team. Encourage them to use their initiative, where practicable.

6)      According to the Houston Chronicle, it’s a good idea drawing up a to-do list before you start work. Consider shuffling around different tasks according to how long you expect them to take.

7)      Make sure that this to-do list is circulated to all of those who need to see it. Other project and line managers should have a copy so that they know what’s expected of them.

8)      Consider sub-dividing workers into different teams so that they can specialise on individual areas of the project. This sub-division of labour should help to make things that bit more efficient, with everyone’s skills being used to maximum effect.

9)      Think about each individual employee’s capabilities and skills when allocating workloads. It makes sense to allow the most able to do most of the legwork, although you should avoid overburdening them.

10)  Ensure that you liaise with other members of your team regularly. Don’t just set them tasks and leave them to it. You need to make sure that everything is on track, or else you may fail to meet deadlines.