An important skill for every business owner or marketer is the ability to successfully run multiple projects at the same time. How to do it without being overwhelmed? In this quick tips episode, Laura Kukemelk shares the 5 steps to effective project management.
Running multiple projects at the same time requires the use of specific knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to deliver something of value to people. And no, it does not require multitasking, just good planning, some discipline and excellent follow-up processes.
Ultimately, you are the one in charge of your time and your work results! Don’t leave these things to chance and don’t just count on your memory, as sooner or later, it is likely to let you down.
So, in today’s episode, let’s go over the 5 steps for effective project management.
- Step number 1 is simple. Before any big project, take some time to break it down into actionable steps, achievable goals and scheduled activities. If it’s an ongoing project, break it down into a 1-month plan. Ideally use project management or planning softwares such as Trello, Toggl Plan, Monday.com, Asana, Scoro or similar. Determine each team members’ responsibilities, use labels (e.g. project status) and due dates. Make sure that everybody is on the same page about where we organize our documents, where we communicate etc.
- Step number 2. Once you have your plan set up, it is important to define success metrics or the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). How do you know if your project was successful or if your activities are fruitful? Schedule a time every month or week to fill in the metrics table & then set up a Google Data Studio to visualize your data. By the way, I have talked about Google Data Studio, its advantages and how to set it up in previous episodes called "How to set up Google Data Studio?" and "3 reasons to visualize your marketing metrics with Google Data Studio" as well, so make sure to find those episodes too.
- Step number 3 is to have regular team meetings to check the progress of your team members. For example, a quick 15 minute Follow-Up meeting every morning where each team member can share what they did yesterday, what they plan to do today and whether they have any questions. If daily meetings are too much, another option is to have a weekly longer meeting where you can dive deeper into different tasks. The key is to keep yourself and your team accountable and to prevent any miscommunication. These meetings are also the perfect time to update the plan you created in step 1.
- Step number 4 is a tricky one for many. It is to stop doing everything by yourself - you need to leave room for strategic thinking and creativity, otherwise you will start acting and deciding out of lack of time, or you will be the bottleneck that causes delays in deadlines etc. Invest time in training others and delegating, so that you can free up time in the long-run.
- Step number 5 is to manage expectations - for example letting your clients or team members know when they can expect to hear back from you, or when you will be working on it, when you are unavailable etc. Don’t let people assume because that just leads to miscommunication and frustration.
So to wrap it up, for good project management, always start with planning, define your success metrics, hold yourself and your team accountable, learn how to delegate and manage expectations.