Project Management

How to Manage Your Top 3 Priorities

Every effective project manager knows how to manage their highest-priority items. Without being able to identify the biggest issues of the day, there’s no way for you to advance your career. You’re chasing the painted portrait with a plaque toting how the organization was never the same because of you, not a participation medal with “Good Job” scribbled in pen on the back. In an article for Project Times, Neal Whitten explains some good ways to manage your three biggest priorities of the day.

Prioritize to Capitalize on Success

You should be able to identify your top three priorities of the day with relative ease when asked. If you can’t, then it’s time to make a to-do list that encompasses most of these priorities. It should be roughly a 10-item list; three will have the highest priority and the other seven will be of lower priority. Whitten states that writing the list the night before is the best tactic here because, as he believes, the subconscious mind can work towards solving these problems.

When it comes to actually solving these problems, the top three priorities should be the main focus of the day. The other seven should only be focused on when you have bits of free time, such as five minutes or so. Half-hours and up should be used to work on the top-priority items.

Whitten gives a suggestion when it come to items that take longer to solve:

Let’s say one of your top three priorities will take you six weeks to solve. Then put a six-week plan together. Identify the activities, their dependencies, their durations and who owns them. Then get agreement from all the people necessary to make the plan whole and fully committed and track the six-week plan like you do any other plan. Now replace that priority item from your to-do list with a new one.

The urgent items that pop up within a day’s time can take some time away from the top three priorities. You shouldn’t allow these to consistently take time away from the top three priorities though. Not managing these priorities properly is what causes most projects to fail.

You can view the original article here:

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