Sometimes, there just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to finish all of your tasks. As a project manager, everything is vitally important, and you have to determine how to prioritize your projects to be of the most benefit.
Depending on the size of your projects, your tasks and projects may span years, if not decades. However, you can prioritize your multiple projects by following these six steps.
1. Separate Personal From Business Projects When Working
Although it seems like a given to avoid personal projects while working, they have a tendency to creep up in the day. When making a list of your day's priorities, always include your personal projects. However, personal projects should fall at the end of your list, only once all business projects have been fulfilled.
2. Prioritize What Is Urgent Versus Important
Some projects carry more weight than others, and getting the frame up takes priority over hanging drywall. Determine the urgency of your projects, and list your urgent projects and important projects in separate categories. An important project does not necessarily have to be completed today, yet an urgent project needs to be completed as soon as possible.
3. Consider The Results of Your Project
When faced with multiple urgent projects, it is easy to become lost. However, you need to consider how the outcome and results of each project will benefit you and your company. For example, projects with a higher financial reward may outweigh a project with a minimal reward. However, consider how long the better paying project will take when compared to multiple, smaller projects with a lower pay out.
4. Prioritize Projects by Deadline
If your project has a given deadline, trying to adhere to this deadline at all costs. However, consider the urgency versus importance factor. When writing out your projects, write the planned deadline next to each project. This will help you to see how your overall schedule compares to other projects. If a project is neither urgent, nor important, it really should not be started in the first place.
5. Request Feedback, and Communicate with Team Members
Prioritizing projects does not mean you have to do it by yourself. Request feedback from your team members, upper-level management (if appropriate), and others about your list of priorities. In some cases, you may want to consider sitting down with your project management team to discuss the planned activities for the day, week, month, or year on a recurrent basis.
6. Stay Flexible
Your responsibilities will change as a project manager, and today's priorities can be drastically different from tomorrow’s. Keep your prioritized list of projects flexible, and adapt your list to meet changes in the workflow. If something starts to falter, you need to be able to handle the change, while maintaining your urgent projects.
By following these tips, you can prioritize your multiple projects easily, efficiently, and with less stress. Ultimately, prioritizing your projects should be your priority.
- Work on business projects first.
- Separate urgent projects from important projects.
- Considered the result or outcome.
- Projects with the soonest deadline should be at the top of your list.
- Get others to help you in prioritizing your projects.
- Keep your list of priorities flexible.
About Jeff Collins
Hi there, thanks for reading! As the President of IMS, I’ve just about seen it all in the project management industry. I’m happy to share my experiences to help managers and organizations improve their project performance. Please reach out to our team if you’re struggling to achieve your goals. We’d love to work with you to discover the PM solutions you need for success.