Do you ever feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew? I work in MOPs and my boss has asked me to take over a few projects that our company is working on right now.
I agreed to give it a shot, but project management is not something I’m very experienced in. Any advice on how I can make sure everything gets done on time?
Hi Olivia, I’ve definitely been there. It can be overwhelming when you’re in unfamiliar territory – but you’re not alone!
Although project management is quite a deep topic, I have some practical tips and tools you can utilize to stay on top of things.
The very first thing you should do is invest in some sort of project management (or task management) tool to keep yourself and your team organized.
Your projects likely have many moving parts with multiple stakeholders or team members involved. A good management tool ensures everyone is completely updated and in sync.
In addition to creating basic task lists, you should be able to:
With so many project management tools out there, it can be tricky to figure out which one is best for you and your team.
At a high level, it’s important to pick tools that have a great user interface and are intuitive to use. Some examples of this include:
Without getting into the detailed differences between them, it’s safe to say that each of these tools are fairly easy to use and will have all the basic features you need — without becoming overwhelming.
It’s also important to keep your company’s budget in mind when choosing a tool.
While many of these options have capable free tiers, they often require paid versions if you want to unlock premium features or scale your team up to a certain size.
If your budget doesn’t allow for a full blown project management platform, it’s also possible to get creative with cost-effective choices like Google Sheets — at the very least, creating a sheet to keep track of tasks and priorities which can be shared with other team members.
Successfully managing projects requires open lines of communication with team members to ensure everyone stays on track and problems or bottlenecks are addressed promptly.
An effective way to achieve this is to hold scheduled meetings with your team so you can catch up with that status of each task, discuss risks or concerns, and so on.
The frequency of these meetings — daily, weekly, monthly, etc. — will largely depend on the timeline of your project and the nature of the tasks.
I also recommend you put an emphasis on reporting deadlines for team members.
Aside from your regular meetings, receiving written documentation of progress on a regular basis is an effective way to stay updated with what’s going on at all times. Reports are also useful for historical referencing, as well as communicating project status to other stakeholders in the company.
The final point I want to leave you with is: create an environment that promotes healthy collaboration. As a manager, you are responsible to keep your team on track, and ensure they’re comfortable asking for help when they need it.
Project management tools and regular meetings are great for staying organized, but you want to avoid a situation where everyone goes off on their own to complete their respective tasks in a silo in between meetings.
Encourage all team members to maintain an open dialogue and interact with each other on a regular basis.
De-siloing your team and taking a collaborative approach will allow your team to work more efficiently and effectively towards your goals.
You’ve got this,
P.S. If you found this helpful, you should read How Do I Manage New Project Requests From My Boss?