Hot! Managing your time – an important skill for project managers

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Time is the one thing that, as a project manager, we have to manage effectively for our projects to succeed. Without good time management, we cannot time managementhope to schedule, plan and deliver on time and, thus, within budget, the two key ingredients for project success.  There are a number of principles we can apply to allow us to achieve good time management:

  • Identify and manage project risks – putting mitigations in place for identified risks, means there is a plan in place to cope with the unexpected if and when it happens.  Risk identification is a key activity for any project. If not done well, unexpected problems can cause significant negative impacts on project timescales which, in many cases, if they’d been planned for could have had their potential impact reduced.
  • Things will always go wrong, even with the best of planning, so, most importantly, make sure you recognize when things are not going to plan and that you take action to bring things back into line.
  • Use a good tool – few people can & would manage complex projects using anything other than an electronic tool.  There are many online tools apollo time managementavailable, that are available on-demand on a monthly subscription.  Apollo is a popular project management application that is available on a number of different subscription offers to suit most business pockets.  Using a good tool, like Apollohq.com, lets you plan and manage your projects and tasks and integrated functionality lets you manage not only time in terms of task schedule and durations, but also, the time in terms of individual work on tasks.  Build daily to-do lists, report on which tasks are due or are running late, to help keep your project on track. Apollo also supports good collaborative working amongst project team members.  Working collaboratively helps get results quicker by keeping team members in touch and ensuring everyone has the most current and up to date information.
  • Delegate! Sometimes, it’s easier to do tasks yourself and this can be a huge downfall in effective project management. An effective project manager who knows how to manage their time will let others do what they’re good at and ensure they are available to oversee the big picture of what’s going on.
  • Build in contingency – when planning, don’t assume things will always go to plan. It’s really important, especially if you’re under pressure to deliver by a given date, that you build in additional slack time so that if tasks slip, there’s other places you can make up the time so that the overall project doesn’t have to be delayed.

Good time management is one skill that’s worth spending time on to help ensure project success!

Author

Jan Birley

Jan holds a PhD in computing and started out in software development and IT training. She built a strong career as a project and program manager focusing on IT in the Health Service sector. Jan specializes in taking greenfield and immature services/departments to effective business-as-usual operation and is currently responsible for the delivery of clinical assessment forms into a high profile clinical system. Jan has authored 100′s of articles on project-management related topics.

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