Project management is an integral part of every organization. From launching a new product to introducing a new system in the firm, every step taken in an organization requires effective project management. Any firm with an impeccable project management strategy will always have better chances of growing in the industry, regardless of its size and goal.
Although different projects management ideas include different approaches, the five elements that every effective project management system should have are as follows:
- Project initiation
- Project execution
- Project planning
- Project monitoring and control
- Project closure
If a project management approach misses any of these five elements, then the project outcomes will not be on par. But in addition to these five elements, there is one more factor that has become a necessity of every project management approach: management of multiple projects.
Nowadays, most project managers are expected to juggle multiple projects instead of being confined to a solo one; This is one of the main reasons modern project managers have earned the title of a multitasker.
But there are many aspects of managing multiple projects that must be kept in mind, which we will address in this blog post.
The challenges of managing multiple projects
It would help if you put in a lot of time and effort in managing multiple projects, and with project managers already having a lot on their plate, this becomes a big challenge. But, unfortunately, it is also easy for project managers to fall behind if they don’t stay on top of the work. When a project manager finds himself in such a situation, they feel pulled from 10 different directions.
Project managers usually find it challenging to move from one project to another because, in most cases, the transition is not smooth. Unfortunately, this also snatches the ability of project managers to devote themselves to a single task at a time. As a result, even essential details can be easily overlooked in such a situation, which affects the quality of the project.
And if you are not thriving on the power of automation and entering data manually, managing multiple projects becomes more challenging. This can even seem next to impossible since using the traditional project management approach while dealing with more than one project will make you more ineffective and inefficient.
Tips for mastering the art of multiple project management
Get rid of multitasking
Even if you are not using any agile methodology in your project management approach, you must make your work visible. Well, Kanban is one such way of keeping tabs on your work.
Kanban is a visual management framework in which various cards are used on a board to track, plan, and complete tasks and eliminate bottlenecks.
There is also an important reason why every Kanban board has a WIP limit- because, in many cases, multitasking can prove to be counterproductive. For example, you need to pay attention to project management, but multitasking snatches this essential project management requirement.
Always begin with a plan. Without proper planning, you can never manage multiple projects. So, start with defining a clear goal for every project, consider both approvals and feedback and use a single project schedule for all the tasks you are currently managing.
If you are working on setting milestones for your project, stay away from having significant milestones at the same time. You must not be planning to coordinate multiple project launches at the same time. You can also use Gantt charts for showing project schedules and planning projects effectively but make sure to plan in every scenario.
Significant strategic planning is a crucial need of every project management. Many tasks in your project will take precedence over others, and in such a situation, you have to prioritize your work to make your project run smoothly.
If you are managing multiple projects simultaneously, you must be aware of the ins and out of every project on your list. This means being aware of the expected outcomes and goals and how to achieve all the objectives. Once you accomplish this, prioritizing tasks based on their importance becomes easy.
Managing multiple projects has become a new normal for all project managers since wearing many hats gives you a competitive advantage in the market. But with the use of methods like Kanban and changing your approach, you can get expected outcomes and achieve the objectives of every project without losing efficiency. Just make sure that you are making changes according to your specific needs instead of following the herd.