Managing Multiple Projects

By Pavan Kumar

Managing any project can be tricky. Your job as the manager is to ensure that each moving task is working towards a common goal, and lessen, if not completely eliminate, unnecessary processes that merely might be waste resources and time. Delegation is a necessity.  To be an effective manager, you need to understand the project inside out from the perspectives of your team members because this is how you gain their respect and loyalty.

No company can thrive with just one project in hand and wait till they complete it successfully. Nor can appoint project managers independently for each project. Understanding “how to manage multiple projects” necessitates the formulation of a definitive action plan for each project along with contingencies, as well as continuous tracking of the progress. Managing multiple projects can be a bit like a juggling act for the project manager. While managing multiple projects it is important to have a clear plan for each project.  Without a clear plan all projects can mix into one and you will end up with one big mess without a structure.

Here are some tips to manage effectively multiple projects simultaneously.

The Planning stage:

Before starting a project, you should first identify the members that will constitute each team based on their skills and availability. Conduct an initial meeting so you can discuss the appropriate courses of action to achieve individual and team goals. If you already have a clear idea of the best path to tackle, you can start assigning tasks.

To boost morale and effectively lead the direction of a project:

          a.  Formulate a clear plan for each project

To devise a plan of action for each team member. Ask team members to conduct a task analysis of their assignments like, have them split their tasks into stages and each stage into mini-tasks or milestones that will move them closer to their final goal.

          b.  Appoint team leaders or project overseers:

After appointing key people to move the project, equip them with decision-making capabilities to help you manage teams and projects.

Project Plan –Road map for the projects

Chalking all projects in a project management software would help both the project managers and his team as a reference guide to the project goal, deliverables, and timelines. The project management software will highlight tasks by breaking work into manageable pieces. When the project is of greater dimension, tasks can be broken into subtasks to accommodate the bifurcations in the completion of the task. The software gives clarity to the owner of the task along with the responsibility.

Project management carries out project integration, schedule management, manages cost, risk and procurement to have a success-oriented project plan.

Gear up deadlines

Deadlines are the yardstick of timeliness and success of a project. While handling multiple projects, a methodical project manager must know his position on other commitments before committing a deadline.

The execution

Juggling multiple projects is a delicate balancing act with expertise that comes with experience. Prudence in resource management, task delegation, deadline enforcement and administration work towards the seamless execution of each plan are some of the vital parameters needed for the execution of the project successfully. The project manager with his expertise has to use skills to clear roadblocks, create milestones to mark specific points along a project timeline. These will facilitate sharing progress with the team and stakeholders.

The following items are vital to execute the plans efficiently: Versatile use of the computer, Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive to any task can be of great help for the team. PulseHRM’s project management software can help the project manager view files on individual tasks or at the project level to know where work stands. The PulseHRM software, with its multilevel reporting capabilities can help the project manager know what’s happening across all the projects.

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