Wednesday, May 22, 2024

4 Organization Tips for Project Managers

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Project managers need to have a wide range of different skills in order to be effective, efficient and successful. Communication skills are at the top of the list, but being able to stay organized in the chaotic, hectic team environment is also very important. Chances are good that you’re pretty effective at communication, but might feel you’re lacking in the area of organization. There are some simple, effective things you can do to boost your organizational abilities, though.
1. Start Small and Move Slow
Going from 0 to 100% organized in one fell swoop might seem like the way to go, but it’s not. That’s especially true if you’re not a natural organizer. You might put in hours and hours of effort, only to see your organization fall apart within a week or two. That’s natural – organizational ability is just as much about developing the right habits as it is about sticking to a particular order. Therefore, if you’re making huge changes all at the same time, you’re not going to develop those habits (habit forming requires time). Start small and move slowly. Give yourself (and your team) the chance to develop good organizational habits.

2. Use Checklists
Checklists are vital tools for almost any process, both in and out of the PM industry. You’ll use checklists to make sure that you’ve got everything packed and loaded for your move just as much as you’ll use them to mark progress toward milestone or task completion within a project management situation. Never discount the power and ability of checklists, and use them everywhere possible, from meeting planning to task completion. Checklists ensure that you remain organized, and when properly prioritized, let you move from high-importance steps to those of less importance smoothly and without hiccups.
3. Agree on Standardized Terms with Your Team
Different individuals can use very different terminology to refer to the same thing. You might call it a checklist, and a team member might call it a priority list, for instance. While that’s natural, it can cause some serious problems with your team’s ability to stay organized for the long term. Make sure that you and your team are able to agree on common terminology throughout your project. Moreover, that should apply to the small things just as much as it does to the large milestones within your project.
4. Templates Work, Really
You’ve probably heard this advice before, but it’s worth repeating. Templates are invaluable tools for organizing. No project runs entirely off electronic documents, and having the right templates on hand for your physical documentation needs not only helps you stay organized, but can also ensure that you are able to save time as well as your sanity. Templates are widely available free of charge online to fit pretty much whatever software you need to use, including Word, Excel and OpenOffice.
Staying organized is important, but it doesn’t have to be a headache. These simple tips will get you on your way in no time.

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