One of the qualities that every project manager should have is amazing organization skills. While being well-organized is a necessity, there is still so much you need to invest and do in order for your projects to come through successfully.
There are so many suggested methods and strategies for project managers, but I have found that the following ten ways really work wonders when it comes to staying organized.
1. Set priorities
Setting priorities should be your number one priority on the list. Without prioritizing and defining the to-do list, you will end up in a mess. Priorities help show your employees exactly what is important and what needs to be dealt with first.
Setting clear priorities will benefit both you and your team members. Not only will you be able to keep track of upcoming deadlines and see exactly how much progress you have made with each task, but you will also be able to communicate and cooperate better.
On top of that, it will help teach your team how to break a project into smaller chunks and see exactly where they need to start. Certain projects might seem impossible to tackle but being able to set priorities and know exactly where to get started can help the entire team stay focused and start working on the individual aspects of the project immediately.
2. Define deadlines
Having a deadline for each line of work will create room for better organization. It will motivate all of you to organize your time accordingly. Deadlines help create a sense of urgency to get a job done and they can help motivate your employees a lot, right when you need it.
You can easily create a system for setting deadlines by looking at the difficulty and importance of each part of a project as well as different projects themselves. Since most likely each member of your team will be working on a different part of the project, you should space out the more difficult aspects of a project and allow your employees to work without feeling like there is not enough time to complete a task from the very beginning.
While you shouldn’t be using deadlines as the only way to get your team to work, they can help you organize your time and allow you to know how you need to approach every goal you have set within your team.
3. Set milestones
If your only goal is the finished project, the process can seem intimidating. In order for you to stay organized, you will have to be able to section each big goal into smaller ones, so that they can be easier to handle and also to reach.
By setting milestones you’ll be able to take one step at the time without pressure. You can set them based on your own time as well as your employees’ capabilities and schedules. This can help take a lot of pressure off of all of you and allow you to have time to change your main plans in case something goes wrong.
4. Know your goals
Even when you set milestones, you should still emphasize both your short-term and long-term goals. It is helpful if you all have your eyes on the prize and know exactly what you are expecting to happen through your hard work.
At the end of the day, your employees will be much more effective at their jobs if they know exactly the reason why they’re working so hard. These goals should be common and often discussed so that everyone on the team knows just how important achieving them is.
Another thing you should keep into consideration is celebrating the goals you reach with your team. Sometimes, certain projects can be difficult to manage and you will come to see that your employees might be needing some extra motivation it certain points.
A small celebration either within or outside of the office space will help everyone relax, bond and enjoy their small victory. This can be quite rewarding for your team and it can help them continue their work with a lot more motivation.
Communication has always been a key to good organization. No team can be successful unless there is trust and great communication between its members. You need to keep in mind that communicating anything with your team will help you all work better together and solve any issues without much effort.
What you need to do is constantly encourage open communication and address every question that comes up. Whether there is a problem between employees or a problem regarding an important task, you should always handle situations with patience and talk things through.
Whether you have to deal with an unexpected issue or have to make some changes in your original plans, there is nothing that will make the process easier than being able to effectively communicate with the team you are managing.
Being able to talk about anything that comes up with your employees, at the very time it happens will help you keep everything under control and make every change a smooth one, as they will be supported and understood without any issues.
6. Use automation and scheduling tools
When you have technology at the reach of your hand why shouldn’t you use it? There are many different ways for you to use automation to your advantage and make your everyday work a lot easier. Just some of these can be for sending out emails, filling reports and scheduling your next meetings and events.
First of all, the best thing is for your team to use a common platform such as Google Calendar, where you can all share your upcoming deadlines, meetings and anything else that might be useful to the team. The more organized your communication is, the easier it will be for you and your team members to organize every other section of your work.
Along with that, automation tools are always a great way for you to get over simple and repetitive tasks which take more time to complete than is needed. You can find many different tools online and choose exactly what works best for your needs.
7. Delegate assignments
Delegating assignments is all about making sure that every employee has their own job to do and they don’t have to step on each other’s toes to do it. It will be much easier for everyone if they have a certain task to focus on rather than roaming around without any specific goal. Not to mention that delegating tasks will leave you more time to focus on important issues.
On top of that, the more you assign certain types of assignments to certain employees, the easier it will be for them to complete them. As an end result, they will become more specialized in certain topics and therefore a lot more efficient at their job. This will save you a lot of time and money in terms of having to teach new employees how to do a certain job well.
8. Use templates
Why would you repeat tedious tasks if you don’t have to? Along with using automation, templates for emails or spreadsheets will save you a lot of trouble when it comes to having to design something again, from scratch. This is something you can definitely avoid doing.
You can use templates on almost anything you use regularly. Some of the ways in which you can use templates are the following:
- A template for your work and meetings schedule
- A template for your weekly to-do list
- A template for your project’s budget and additional expenses
- A template for certain questions you wish to ask during an interview
These are just some of the ways templates can help simplify your everyday life as a project manager. Not only will you be able to save time, but you will also be able to keep a consistent look in the progression of your project while keeping everything under control.
9. Keep track of the progress
Keeping track of the progress a project is making is essential for any project manager. The best way for you to achieve that is through making progress reports, which will help you follow the project status as it progresses.
With weekly progress reports, you’ll know if you need to speed something up or make any type of change. Based on the data you collect, you will be able to easily know if everything is running by the clock or if you need to intervene and where.
This will allow your team to stay focused on reaching their goals and keeping up with the milestones you have set, as progress can only be measured through achievable goals. This will also help them be more productive, as they will be able to see how their hard work has paid off in a certain amount of time.
10. Use project management software
If you haven’t already used project management software, you should definitely give it a try. It will make everything easier from planning projects to managing team’s tasks. Just like other certain automation and scheduling tools, project management software is a lot more targeted to the type of work you encounter on the daily.
Keeping track of your deadlines, upcoming projects, and other obligations can be a hustle, and a project management software will easily help you keep everything under control and up to date, without you having to put much effort into the whole organization process.
While working on a project, it is easy for you to forget to look at many different aspects of your overall performance, which can help you know exactly what you need to focus on with your team. Project management software can really help you stay up to date with different variables and allow you to pay attention to more time-consuming parts of the project.
Finding the ways that work the best for you
Being a project manager requires a lot of hard work and dedication, especially if you wish for your team to be very successful. As the leader of the group, your teammates will be looking up to you and asking for your guidance and advice and that can prove to be challenging if you are not well organized in advance.
Which of these tips do you believe will help you reach the optimum level of organization in regards to your project management obligations?
Melanie Sovann, born in 1990 in the greater LA area, is a seasoned writer and blogger, passionate about a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from technology to sociology. She is currently a writer, editor and an avid contributor for various blogs.