With a number of projects on hand, it can be quite tasking and confusing to prioritize work. Prioritizing work is imperative for the success of a team and the company’s growth.
Inefficient work management will not only show the company in a bad light but will throw the entire team of their foot, creating a lot of confusion and doubt.
Setting a priority for work to be done brings order into the team, imbibes confidence and boosts its morale too.
Let us look at some of the best practices in prioritizing work which most of the big, successful companies abide by:
1] Creating a schedule and making it visible to the team
Proper scheduling and sticking to the schedule is as important as executing the project. Lack of schedule or improper schedule will throw the entire team in a state of disorientation and un-orderliness.
Due to some urgent change in plans, the priorities might change and what was on top yesterday might not be today. All the members of a team must be aware about these changes in schedule so as to deliver the work accordingly. Hence, it is very important to create a schedule and make sure all of the team members has access to it.
2] Creating a project backlog
Creating a project backlog is a concept borrowed from Agile software development. A backlog will help capture all the project work that is pending and is to be done and will help you in assigning task priorities to team members.
At times, pending work might be forgotten and priorities might be assigned to new tasks without including the pending ones. There is a project management application that helps put all the backlogs in a place and which can be shown to the management so that an inclusive plan can be made to execute the projects.
3] The long and the short of it
Every company has long projects with a bigger timeline and short ones with a lesser time frame. It is the duty of the project manager to assign tasks and priorities to team members accordingly.
But due to improper project management and lack of priorities tracking, there will be times when the management will ask a team member to leave a current task and start working on another one, ignoring the priorities.
This throws the entire team off the grid. Hence, it is imperative for the management to clearly distinguish between long term projects and short ones and assign and manage priorities accordingly.
4] Know your work
A good manager must know his subject and project work well. To know all the technicalities and business process involved is as important as managing the people and the resources. It is important for a manager to know the process of business and the proceedings to be able to efficiently assign tasks and priorities.
It is the duty of a manager to speak to all of the team members personally, know of the work that is being done and help them if they are stuck anywhere. This is a good project management system and will aid in the company’s growth as well as personal growth.
5] Set a deadline
When there is a deadline attached to project work, the people working on it are more inclined towards starting the work without any delays and this way, they will also be able to set their own priorities and deadlines to work efficiently.
The deadline set should be practical and reasonable according to the priority. A deadline too soon will throw the people working on it off guard if they are working on another work with similar priorities and a deadline too far has the risk of it being forgotten to be worked up on.
6] Have a buffer
Working on a project is not always smooth and seamless. There might be delays because of resource issues, technical issues, delays and various other reasons. It is therefore important for the manager to always have a buffer time and resources in reserve in case of unforeseen circumstances.
There are a number of project management tools that take into consideration every possible scenario that might occur during project execution and sets a timeline instead of just a single point deadline.
7] Predict shifts in priorities
Foreseeing a change in priorities and any breakdown comes from experience and being proactive. When the subject or the project is understood well, you will be able to pinpoint the exact place where there might be a bottleneck or choke points.
It is therefore essential to take into consideration the possible choke points, set and change priorities and deadlines accordingly.
8] Distinguish between Urgent and Important tasks
Managers and Project Leads often tend to get confused or fail to distinguish between urgent and important tasks. Urgent tasks are tasks which are business critical and requires immediate attention and which will affect production.
Important tasks are tasks which are important for business but will not affect production and has a priority lower than an urgent task. Urgent tasks must always be given higher priority compared to the important ones.
Prioritizing is as important as the business itself as it ensures the effective completion of the project without any hindrance. Effective prioritizing involves logical and analytical thinking.
It showcases the efficiency of the project manager and his team, instils faith and shows them in a better light. Have an efficient project execution process in practice with the help of the above-mentioned points and improve your work.
This post is contributed by Sawailal Jangid. He is a Software Analyst at SoftwareSuggest. He is very enthusiastic and optimistic towards his work. Also He loves to dig deep into various categories of software. In a free spare of time he enjoys doing sports activity.