Project Management

How to Manage a Project While Doing Your Regular Job

Not everyone gets to be a dedicated project manager. Many people suddenly receive the crown of project manager while in the midst of doing another job. And those people are expected to succeed in both roles simultaneously. In his post at the Fear No Project Blog, Bruce McGraw shares some tips on how to manage both your new project and your regular job.

Balancing Work and Work

Successfully prioritizing your workload is important to balancing your project and your regular work. Figuring out which elements are urgent to your project as opposed to important is one of many steps you can take to figuring out where your tasks rank on your to-do list.

McGraw says to plan and document each project or work target:

The old saying “Plan your work and work your plan” has been attributed to many people, from Vince Lombardi to Margaret Thatcher…What this means to me is starting with a clear agreement on what “done” looks like. (By the way, this is a key part of Agile/Scrum projects) This defines the end game. It also requires having a common understanding of this end game with the project sponsor and key stakeholders. All of this must be in place before you establish a timeline of actionable steps and begin to work through them.

He then notes that selecting the proper team members and avoiding micromanagement of those members should be done to ensure you have a solid team for your project. Communication should occur often and be pointed. Figure out which ways/tools work best to talk to each project member and have a number of communication techniques at your disposal to make sure your message can be conveyed.

With this in mind, be flexible with your project. There are uncontrollable factors that may play into how your project will look moving forward. Trim the fat and cut out unnecessary work so you can focus on the bigger picture. Likewise, make sure you know your limits and actively work within them; delegate tasks or search for additional resources when you are pushed into the situations that will overload you. Lastly, make sure you accomplish something every day, even if it’s something small. Remove enough distractions from your day that you always have a solid block of time to execute on your biggest objective.

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