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There’s often a specific review point at the end of a stage or phase, or the end of the project overall, especially for lessons learning, and yet many team leaders don’t do it. Why? Because sometimes it is a difficult task to do, or they don’t have time for doing it.
Whether you are working on a big or small project, or simply trying to organize your personal priorities on your To Do list, a mind map is a great way to structure your thoughts.
In this article, we will look at a simple framework for prioritizing your projects across an entire business portfolio.
Mindmaps are great for facilitated workshops, creativity sessions, brain dumps and all that – I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that they are one of the top tools for organizing your thoughts in a business setting.
What is projects objectives definition and does your project have clear objectives? These should be written into the business case and Project Charter. Defining “project objectives” is crucial in order to know what it is you are trying to achieve and whether you are on track to get there or not.
Ask a project manager what’s going on with their project and they will probably pull up a Gantt chart to show you.
A Gantt chart (named after Henry Gantt who introduced the idea) is made up of horizontal bars visually representing task durations. The longer the task, the longer the bar. The dates are at the top so you can quickly see when work is due to happen.
Whether you’re managing a multi-million dollar project or planning out what needs to be done for a visit during the holidays, the chances are you work with task lists. Whether you call them To Do lists, activity lists or something else, you’re probably familiar with using them at work and in your personal life.
Flexible working, off-shore resources and virtual teams mean that today’s managers spend more time not sitting with their team members.
There’s a degree of trust involved when you can’t see what your virtual colleagues are doing. Are they prioritizing the right tasks? Are they going to get the work completed on time?
Managing a project is a very serious job and when we think of the term Project Management, it always sounds very technical and challenging. To run or manage a project, you are required to plan, initiate, implement and monitor the progress of a team to achieve goals.
Even though every project is in its essence unique, it can still fail due to some common causes of failure that it shares with other types of projects. Although a project failure is not something to be happy about, the fact that many of them fail because of the same mistakes is actually beneficial, as it helps managers to understand the potential issues and be proactive in avoiding these problems. Here are the most common causes of project failure and tips on how to avoid them.
Why do we need to plan out our work? Isn’t it easier to just do what seems most important today, then move on to what seems to be the next most important task, and so on and so on? Raise your hand if you do this even when you are being organized and following a plan. I know I do. We all do – it’s in our nature. I’m all for not multi-tasking too much. I think it’s counterproductive much of the time. So I’m a firm believer in figuring out what is most critical now and do it, then move to the next task.
There is no one-way route in project management. The ideas and strategies you hold dear to your heart, might not mean a dime to someone else who is managing a project. This means that you should find a balance between what works and what the so-called experts had advised ‘us’ to follow.
When you mention the name of your project, do your colleagues sigh as if they are sorry for you? Do resources try to do anything but get assigned to work with you? As a project leader, you should be alert to these signs that your project’s reputation is suffering.
The ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘who’ and ‘how’ in project management rely on planning within the organization. Not all project ideas turn into a real project or should become the effort that the organization puts forth. Not every proposed project is worth the money it requires. And not every proposed project makes sense for what our organization is trying to accomplish this year or in the future in general.
Projects are full of decisions: everything from how are we going to deal with this huge risk down to what are we doing for our end of year celebration lunch. As the project manager, making a lot of these decisions will fall to you, with input from the others on the team and key stakeholder groups. Oh, wait. That’s pretty much everyone who has ever had anything to do with the project.
Decision making on projects is difficult because so many people have an opinion about the right thing to do. That’s why having a process for making decisions is really helpful, as it structures your thought processes and provides a fair and transparent framework for moving the project to the decision point.
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