As a Marketing Manager, I work with such clients, who do not know how to prioritize projects. Consequently, they encounter poor results in the later stages. Generally, they start their day with a list of things to uplift productivity levels, but they, unfortunately, have to shift their focus to some urgent work later on.
This is a common scenario that most of us have to deal with in our office. There are times when we need to shift our focus away from the main work with the hope that things don’t fall apart.
But it is getting tougher, right? Every project manager goes through the process of prioritizing project work, which has several difficulties that include having to deal with hundreds of tasks and subtasks.
Prioritizing multiple projects correctly is central, irrespective of their complexity levels. It is significant, as the success of all businesses depends on how well you prioritize projects. You may have the best cloud-based project management software, but you need to keep a check on some practices of prioritizing project work. You can manage the process of prioritizing your project work by following this list of top practices:
1. Create Duration Estimates
Generally, small business owners don’t know how to prioritize projects, and hence, they miscalculate the amount of time required for project completion. It’s no brainer that when you do not know what work needs to be done on priority, you are likely to come across poor productivity levels.
Therefore, it is important to estimate time accurately, and I understand completely that this sounds easy, but in actuality, it isn’t. So, when you are managing a project, get into project planning and solicit inputs from team members regarding task estimates. Prioritize projects after estimating time accurately by employing these steps:
- Understand what is important
- Maintain the order
- Decide who will work on what
- Make your estimates
2. Adopt Agile Framework
Employing an agile method and its practices can help to bring different teams together and get more work done efficiently.
In many organizations, agile methodology gets more preference than the project management approach, and this is doing wonders with regards to making project prioritization easier and satisfying the needs of clients.
So, adopt agile project management software if you want to address your concerns like ‘How to prioritize projects,’ ‘how to cope with project mismanagement,’ etc.
3. Stay on Top of Changes
Leadership is all about taking the initiative to do things, without sacrificing the quality or timeliness. No matter how meticulously you plan your projects, changes are inevitable. The future of your projects depends on how good you are in handling changes, be it minor or major ones.
Such changes in project activities may pull you away from crucial things. So, it’s better for you and your team to be adaptable to changes. This can only be possible when you establish a collaborative environment among your team members, without throwing the entire project off the track. When you manage changes effectively, you will find that people around you are also quick enough to accept changes in project activities.
4. Make Project Schedule Visible
You might always be seeking ways to improve productivity by prioritizing project work for your team. One of the popular ways that well-growing companies follow is using a visual plan for task management.
Making your project schedule visible to teams not only keeps everyone on the right track but also provides visibility to the status of each task.
Of course, there will be times when clients demand some changes, which will shift priorities and delay the work. This might require your project team to carry out less critical tasks or work on a shelved task. So, keep your teams updated about top priorities regularly. For the same, you can use a work management tool that lets them have complete visibility into the project schedule and work in progress.
At this point in time, we would like to talk about the ProProfs Project, as this tool helps its users with respect to prioritizing multiple projects for simplified and smooth project execution.
Salient features of ProProfs Project are:
- Granular permissions
- Smart reports
- Intuitive administration console
- Gantt charts
So, if you really want to enjoy the perks of a reliable project management tool, deploy ProProfs Project right away!
5. Assign a Deadline
When you try to tackle your project requirements by setting priorities, make sure you assign deadlines properly. Make a list of all your priorities and set a clear deadline for each task, so that your project executives know the task completion date before they start working. When they know the finish date of assigned tasks, they are likely to manage their work in such a manner that leads to delightful results. Set realistic targets because hypothetical deadlines will put unnecessary work pressure on project executives, and hence, the chances of making mistakes will soar. Needless to say, such blunders can result in project failure.
6. Never Afraid of Saying ‘No’
For the records, ‘No’ isn’t a bad word as much as we think it is. Obviously, nobody likes to be refused, but saying ‘Yes’ every time could cause unthinkable problems.
By all means, acquiring new projects is significant to improve business growth, but it is imperative to understand that if you have a small team to handle a large number of projects, then the chances of success are bound to be less. Besides this, there is a possibility you will lose clients’ trust & loyalty and face the consequences of negative WOM.
Project prioritization won’t help you either because there is undoubtedly a work limit that your teams cannot surpass, no matter how much you pressurize or encourage them. So, refuse to take up new projects for better prioritization of current ones.
7. Identify areas where you excel
Let’s assume that you have 3 urgent and crucial projects with a tight timeline so, what would you do to live up to your clients’ expectations? Ideally, you should choose that project, which holds the highest priority. Although it’s not mandatory, as you can also ensure success if you try otherwise.
Don’t be confused, now. We are trying to say that you need to identify the areas where you excel, and it is important because if you don’t know where your power lies, then you are likely to face problems like project mismanagement, budget overrun, and so forth.
So, if you prefer to clear simple projects first so as to buy more time to handle bigger projects, have faith in yourself and do it. To simplify things for your business, you can consider the below-given project prioritization criteria:
Are Your Prioritizing Your Projects?
Once all projects are prioritized cautiously, your employees will make better efforts to attain the desired deliverables. If you follow the above-listed practices consistently, you are likely to get tasks done on time as your teams will be working on the right priorities. Besides ensuring project success, it also eases up the workload of your employees.
Apart from this, it is vitally important to make sure your team has the right tools while working on projects according to the set priorities.
All in all, the sooner you start prioritizing your projects, the higher productivity levels you are likely to accomplish. We are concluding this piece of write-up with the hope that it has aptly addressed all your concerns regarding how to prioritize projects. In case you have suggestions for us, shoot them in the comment section.
Q. What is project priority?
Project priority is all about giving an easy-to-follow plan to your teams so that both crucial and non-crucial tasks can be done aptly and timely. Simply put, seamless project prioritization is the key to win clients’ hearts.
Q. What is Project Priority Matrix?
The project prioritization matrix is nothing but a structured approach, which is used to keep the focus on what matters most for project success. It helps in sorting work packages according to their importance, which, in turn, leads to project success.
Q. How do I cope with conflicting priorities?
Dealing with conflicting priorities is irritating, especially when you have so many projects to complete. First of all, keep a clear head while setting priorities to avert conflict issues as much as possible. In case, the hassle of conflicting priorities takes place, analyze which one of them is of the highest priority, and set new priorities accordingly.
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