Rising expectations of stakeholders, technological evolutions facilitating real time communication, increased complexity of doing business. Project managers are facing fierce challenges more than ever; challenges of coordinating team membersí work, keeping a tab on deadline, working with vendors/partners, keeping/updating senior management, collaborate with clients to freeze/clarify requirements, liaising with other teams (in same organization or of other companies).
It is no brainer to see how chaotic a normal day can be project manager. While some project managers like it being chaotic (and try to be more creative) others just hate it being chaotic.
Whichever side you are on, you canít deny that unless you can pass through the chaos of project activities and communication, you cannot deliver project well. The project will fail otherwise. Hence proficient time management is mandatory for a project manager to succeed. In short, if you are unable to manage your own time well, you are planning a project for failure.
Hereíre a few strategies to help effective time management for project managers
I see, if you are particular (or very particular) about getting everything done perfectly to minute details, you like being a micro manager. But keep in mind that micro-managing typically takes away the focus on bigger picture. The real success drivers lies in meticulous planning, rightly skilled & experienced staff to achieve staged goals and delegation. Delegation requires you to trust your team members. Few instances that I have seen Ė managers have to delegate and they are without choice of knowing whether team members can do it or not. In no way, I am advocating the other extreme. For project managers, micro-management doesnít work all the time and it creates negative impact on project team in longer run.
You may have almost/ near-perfect project plan in place and rightly skilled team to execute project. Unless you have right tools to communicate project activities, update project activities, collaborate, converse, track project, you canít manage project efficiently. If project team is to operate in lesser chaotic environment, project management software, collaboration platform, messaging services are must today.
Simple things like knowing
'- What am I supposed to do today, tomorrow for a particular project?
'- Has a given project task completed, who is working on it?
'- Am I optimally using resources in my team?
'- What is the value earned in my current project?
Project management software would provide you ready answers with its reports. You will no longer have to run a project with assumptions. You will make decisions based on facts.
Again this is pretty basic technical but indeed really effective yet not many project managers do not realize value of it. Once project is kicked off, the realities of execution kicks in. It becomes too chaotic to follow up on various aspect. Unless a project manager maintains and manages ToDo list, things will simply be lost. Remember you would never want to lose critical project related information or keep critical project activity untracked. Thatís where ToDo list helps.
It helps us to list tactical To-Do list items and strategic ToDo list items in your list of activities. You can then prioritize list of activities and plan accordingly.