I just began my first ever project manager position a couple of weeks ago. So how is it going? Well, I really like it. It is somewhat what I thought it would be. It is either a great deal busier than what I initially thought, or I have to just learn a few things first in this new role in order to get better at time management.
In my last position I was not pushed to meet hard deadlines. Honestly, I just didn’t have them. Awesome, right? Well this new job of mine is nothing like the old job. It is go, go, go; and I love it! However, I am learning to prioritize on the fly – almost every day since I have been given 2 projects to start off with. One is big and is very important to the whole organization, and the other is important but a lot smaller in comparison. I also have other ad-hoc tasks that I complete that take time from my projects. My problem with all of this so far is that I have been a very involved worker throughout my whole career. I want to know everything about everything. I also want to do everything since then I will know that I got it done and there is no risk with someone else doing it. Well that’s a problem when you are a project manager and you a ton of stuff to do all the time and you stay in the “dig in” mentality. Well this type of problem then led me to look around online and I found a great blog with some ideas:
Everything is not important important!
- Sit down with the boss to have them set you straight or be prioritized directly from them
- Listen to all stakeholders, including your family to find out what items you are responsible for are holding them up
- Document all arrangements of work to be completed for people and from people. (CYA)
- Look backwards from the process diagram to find out your backward times which will give you deadlines you have to meet.
Become Organized (If you are not already)
- Don’t waste time trying to figure out what you should be doing, let a system deal with that while you actually do something.
Cost, Scope, Time
- Work backwards from when your deadlines are and how long your tasks will take. Creating a list for this will automatically give you priorities on what should be done.
- Spend money when necessary to help get you back up above water again in your project’s progress.
- Communicate with your stakeholders if things just aren’t going to plan and be honest so that they will see that you are working with them to get them everything they need
Delegate as much as possible
- There may be people who can help you finish a task
Do any of you struggle with some of these problems in your PM roles? Or do you know people who do?