How to manage multiple projects simultaneously?
Market and competitor analysis, Partners Matching, and on top of that, quantitative research - no, this is not a full service offering from a consulting firm, but a set of projects that can be handled by one Project Manager simultaneously. Often this is the result of the natural growth of an organization, and the ability to efficiently manage several separate projects fuels its growth. What factors should be paid attention to in order for a person managing multiple projects to meet deadlines and for the quality of projects to remain at a high, level?
Effective planning and communication, or the basics of multiple project management
Planning and creating a good schedule that takes into account the most important milestones are the most essential tasks before starting operational work on any project. When managing several of them in parallel, they become even more important. A solid schedule is a tool in the hand of the Project Manager that fulfills many functions - it allows you to monitor the progress of project work on an ongoing basis and provides immediate information on delays that occur. However, when managing several projects, care should be taken to ensure that milestones in different projects do not overlap and, moreover, that they are not set at too small intervals. This helps avoid unevenly distributed workloads and causes them to "flatten out" over the course of the projects. Another characteristic that an effective Project Manager should possess, the advantages of which no one needs to be proven anymore, is flexibility. However, it should not be confused with being submissive to, for example, subordinates and allowing them to miss deadlines, but should be understood as empathy, adjusting to the changing environment in a natural and effective way and responding quickly to changes.
Communication is another important aspect not only for multiple project management. Efficient exchange of information with team members, clear presentation of project goals and customer needs also bring the final result closer to acceptance. Efficient communication when problems arise is also important - it allows for immediate response and prevents their escalation.
Prioritization and delegation of tasks as key success factors when managing multiple projects
The natural result of coordinating multiple projects is an increased number of tasks that must be completed by the Project Manager, so he should pay attention to prioritizing them. Effective management of one's own shuffles and assessment of which ones need to be done first help reduce the risk of delays. However, when a situation arises in which there are too many of them to do on their own, and some of them the Project Manager can delegate - this should not be feared, after all, this is one of the basic tasks of a project manager. With delegation, responsibility for the task is transferred to the colleague, and for this it is also necessary to delegate to him the authority necessary for its implementation - these are the factors that distinguish delegation from giving orders. In the short term, it may seem that the time we have to spend implementing and learning and then inspecting the performance of the task will be longer than if we performed it ourselves, but this aspect should be looked at in the long term. In the long run, this will lead to the development of the employee's skills, independence, as well as an increase in his motivation. As a result, in subsequent projects it will be possible to give him more complicated and complex tasks to carry out, thus saving the Project Manager even more time. Delegation, therefore, can be compared to an investment in an employee, which after a certain period of time brings a return in the form of an independent subordinate and saved hours of work on the project.
Managing multiple projects is a daily occurrence for many Project Managers. However, it is worthwhile to constantly look for new solutions, tools and techniques for managing teams that help streamline work. Spontaneous action is not desirable in this case, so it is worth spending more time on planning and clear and efficient communication.