With a number of projects on hand, it can be quite confusing to prioritize work. Prioritizing work is imperative for the success of a team and the company’s growth.
Inefficient work management will show the company in a bad light and throw the entire team off their foot. This will cause confusion and doubt.
Setting a priority task for work to be done brings order, imbibes confidence and boosts the team’s morale.
Let us look at some of the best practices in prioritizing work, which many successful companies abide by:
1. Creating a Schedule and Making it Visible to the Team
Proper scheduling is as important as executing the project. A lack of schedule or improper scheduling will throw the entire team in a state of disorientation.
Priorities might change due to urgent issues, and what was on top yesterday might not be today.
All team members must be aware about these changes to be able to deliver the work accordingly. So it’s imperative to create a schedule and make sure all the team members have 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 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.
Using a project management application that helps put all the backlogs in a place and which can be shown to the management will make sure an inclusive plan can be made to execute the projects.
3. Handling Both Long and Short Projects
Every company has long projects with a bigger timeline and short ones with a smaller timeline. It is the duty of the project manager to assign tasks and priorities to team members accordingly.
Due to improper project management and lack of priority tracking, there will be times when management will ask a team member to leave a current task and start working on another one, ignoring priorities.
This throws the entire team off the grid. So it’s essential for the management to clearly distinguish between long term projects and short ones, and assign accordingly.
4.Knowing Your Work
A good manager must know their subject and project well. To know all the technicalities and business process involved is as important as managing the people and 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 team members personally, know what is being worked on, and help the team when they’re stuck.
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 delay.
They will be able to set their own priorities and deadlines to work efficiently. Deadlines set should be practical and reasonable.
A deadline too soon will throw people off guard if they are working on other projects with similar priorities. A deadline too far ahead has the risk of it being forgotten.
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, among other things.
It’s crucial for the manager to have a buffer time and extra resources 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 deadline.
7. Predict Shifts in Priorities
Foreseeing a change in priorities and any breakdown comes from experience and being proactive.
When the subject or project is understood well, you will be able to pinpoint the exact place where there might be a bottleneck or choke points.
It is essential to take into consideration the possible choke points, set and change priorities and deadlines accordingly.
8. Distinguish Between Urgent and Important Tasks
Many leaders often tend to get confused or fail to distinguish between urgent and important tasks.
Urgent tasks are tasks which are critical and requires immediate attention.
Important tasks are tasks which are essential 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.
The Importance of Prioritizing
Prioritizing is as important as the business itself as it ensures the effective completion of the project without hindrance. Effective prioritizing involves logical and analytical thinking.
It showcases the efficiency of the project manager and their team, and instills faith in the project manager.
Have an efficient project execution process in practice to ensure the improvement of your work.
How Can Project Managers Work on Prioritizing?
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