Pushing yourself works for a short while. Your get things crossed off your list and move to the next project. At some point, though, little things start slipping through the cracks and then larger projects are pushed aside. The following project management tips can move you from missed opportunities to an organized business. Projects and tasks are created and scheduled to keep you on track and sometimes on budget. However, all the project management tips in the world won’t help you, if you don’t follow through.
Project Management Tips
Know Your Tools
Choosing your project management software takes time, because you’ll want it to have all of the essentials. Trust me on this. I’ve seen some systems that didn’t have recurring tasks, or sub tasks. With others, you needed to get well into the task to mark it complete. Some are pretty but not practical.
Once you’ve decided on your project management software, get to know it from top to bottom. The more you use the system, the more organized you’ll become. It’s always good to start with adding your clients or team member; then add your projects; then add your tasks. Remember to mark them as recurring tasks if this is the case. This little feature saves you time and headaches. Personally, I don’t want a system without recurring tasks.
Clearly layout each project , task, and sub task. Think like the other person. If you were looking at this project would you understand it? Spell out any details that would make understanding the task easier. While you’re at it, proofread the whole project. The easier it is to understand, the fewer questions you’ll need to answer later.
Set Reasonable Deadlines
Schedule each project and task with a start date and due date. The difference between the two gives you some wiggle room, but avoid the temptation to rely on this extra time and especially if you procrastinate. Meeting deadlines is a must if you want a smoothly running business and happy customers.
Stay Out of the Crisis Mode
A great project management tip is … nothing is ever accomplished when you’re overreacting to everything and staying in a crisis mode. If you have a team, it slows down productivity, and if you stay in the state of panic, you’ll under-produce as well.
Best advice here is to set realistic deadlines. If you over promise and under deliver, you’ll have unhappy clients and you won’t be so happy yourself. With deadlines you can meet, you’ll be less stressed with satisfied clients. You might even get the project done sooner than you planned. Again, this means a happy client.
More project management tips to follow. In Project Management Hacks to Get You Going Part 2, I’ll cover the benefits of templates, milestones, and using notebooks to your advantage.