Whether you’re an entrepreneur, project manager, or freelancer, managing multiple projects at once can be a stressful balancing act. In a multi-project environment, you will constantly have to keep track of competing deadlines, objectives, and priorities. The Rebel’s Guide to PM 2020 Project Management Survey found that most project managers are leading 2-5 projects at any one time. So, if you are a project manager – you are likely to be managing multiple projects at some point during your career.
Managing your team’s workload effectively while ensuring that organisational goals are met is difficult without prior knowledge of project management methodologies and planning processes. This blog aims to offer some tips and best practices for managing multiple projects.
Tips for managing multiple projects
1. First, become skilled at managing a single project
If you’re new to project management, you should understand that you can’t leap right into managing numerous projects without first learning how to manage one. The project management process begins with the project kick-off meeting. The project sponsor presents all of the project’s objectives and needs. Then, per the project starter, you must fulfil those requirements and construct your statement of work. The complete scope of work, including expenses, dates, and expected deliverables, must be defined in your statement of work. Learn how to operate a single project first, and then you’ll be able to handle several projects with ease.
2. Effective planning
Whether you’re working on a single project or a series of projects, you’ll need to create a new project plan for each one. You’ll only be able to maintain track of project activities and provide your team with a defined work scope if you do so. You and your team members will have a clear view of the job scope and will always stay on target if you have a transparent plan. Furthermore, you will be able to transfer from one project to another without wasting time.
We have previously written about effective project planning. You can read it here.
Prioritisation of projects is key. An important project to a stakeholder may or may not be necessarily important to the whole company. Giving projects priority may be difficult for a decision-maker, often a multi-project manager or senior management.
We’ve put up a list of four actions that will make prioritising a breeze.
– Establish a goal — Knowing what to address first will be easier if you have a clearly defined end-point.
– Take a systematic approach – Think about which tasks take the most time or rely on others. You may then methodically organise your projects as a result of this.
– Assign resources — When prioritising your initiatives, consider how much resourcing is necessary.
– Hold priority meetings — As a team, decide which initiatives should be prioritised.
4. Work on your productivity
Being busy does not always imply being productive. As a result, try to avoid distractions like replying to chat messages, conversing with coworkers, or checking alerts. To save time, automate your e-mail answers, and don’t let minor distractions get in the way of your job priorities.
We wrote about how to be more productive at work – read here.
Learn how to say No. You’ll be overworked if you don’t learn to say No. You already have too much on your plate; handling many projects is hard enough. Saying No is good for you and your company. Be honest, kind, and firm. Distracting yourself at work will clear your thoughts and help you stay focused.
5. Have regular meetings
Because 90% of project management is about communication, regular meetings are critical. The discussion should include all stakeholders, and if any decision-makers are unable to attend, the meeting should be rescheduled. A top project manager prepares an agenda at least 24 hours before the meeting and distributes the PowerPoint presentation beforehand. As a result, everyone has a clear understanding of the project and its goals. Remember to focus on the meeting rather than the presentation slides. Furthermore, each session should focus on a single issue.
6. Be agile
Projects evolve. Project management changes are usually unavoidable, especially if you’re working on many projects simultaneously. You will lose control over your work if you don’t have a change control mechanism in place, and projects will fail. After you’ve assessed the problem, you’ll need to decide your next course of action to resolve it. You may need to incorporate adjustments to your task scope, budget, or timeline. Keep in mind that an issue may not necessitate any action at all. Nonetheless, when working on numerous projects, changes are inevitable. As a result, if you are well-informed, you should have no problem finding them.
You may need to delegate responsibility to other team members at times. Because you won’t be able to perform everything on your own, you’ll need to create trust among your team and distribute work correctly. However, delegating tasks to others does not absolve you of responsibility for the outcome. It is your responsibility to keep an eye on the work in progress and control it. Remember that delegation does not imply micromanagement. As a result, communicate with your team so that you can grasp what they’re up to. It makes your life easier to know that you have open lines of communication to keep things on track.
8. Use the right tool
Project managers with much experience can attest to the value of having everything in one place. When responsibilities are dispersed around multiple tools, a team is less likely to have a clear sense of the extent of work. Which solution – though – should you employ? There are a plethora of project management tools available, and choosing one might be difficult for various reasons.
Consider the following factors while choosing the proper tool:
- Convenient and simple to use.
- Can keep track of time and progress on a project.
- It keeps an eye on the budget and alerts you when it reaches its target.
- Breaks projects down into tasks.
- It gives deadlines for projects and tasks.
- It can always be shareable and transparent to your team.
Furthermore, we must emphasise utilising the appropriate product management tool. While the project manager must ensure that the product is delivered successfully and led through various project stages, their main responsibility is to ensure that client needs are met. A product manager needs to select a product management platform to provide a seamless product onboarding process. It’s also important to remember that no gadget can perform your task for you. Scrutinise its characteristics and understand how to use them appropriately.
Consider using Execview to manage multiple projects.
Execview is here to help project managers maintain, oversee, and track all aspects of a project. Our software allows visibility and tailored reporting of projects, portfolios, and programmes.
Execview software’s hierarchical tree software improves the efficiency of project managers by allowing them to manage portfolios through drill-down reporting. Senior managers can benefit from actionable insight through drill-down reporting tools for governance and exception reporting across all activities. Executives can allocate project managers and sponsors to roles, add detail to projects, and have peace of mind through our standard workflow and gateway tools for confidentiality. We ensure project security by allowing you to restrict access from third parties and external stakeholders to reduce their visibility over certain activities.
To find out more about Execview, visit our product and solutions pages. Also, you can look at some of our success stories on our case studies page. If you wish to speak to one of our experts, click here or e-mail [email protected]. Also, our sales manager, Tory, is available on the chat function on our website.