As I'm sure most project managers have learned, time is your biggest asset.
Sure, an angry graphic designer, or the print shop using blue instead of purple ink can really cause problems, but time is the dependent of most of a project manager's problems.
Time is also the one thing you won't get any more of and so, there is no shortage of techniques about how to use your time effectively. At The Four, we know first-hand how hard it can be fighting against the clock, so here are some strategies to make every minute count.
5 Time-Saving Strategies For Project Managers
1. Identify your Goal and Requirements
If this seems like a no brainer to you, then you’re on the right track. Setting up what your project goals are and what it will require to achieve those goals is a key first step. Make sure to solidify these first impression and to communicate them to all team members (especially is they change!). A team with a clear end-goal and accurate understanding of that goal is what it takes to get is vital to staying on track.
2. Communicate Mile Stones
Take a lesson from video games, check points are vital to a project. Often project managers won’t announce these, which can leave a team feeling unsatisfied or worse, confused about where the project is. Whether the announcement is about a first build being done, a homepage being completed, or any other small scale accomplishment it’s a project managers job to celebrate.
3. Track your Changes
While a project needs to be managed with a high level of adaptability, your scope can’t run wild. We’ve all seen great projects become non-functioning camera’s because the built has been changed so many times no one is sure what they even started with. By recording changes made and keeping your scope creep under control your team will spend a lot less time frustrated and more time finished goals.
4. Keep a Routine
Another simple but important principal for a project manager, consistency. While there will no doubt need to be some adjustments, keeping your same schedule can really help the rest of the team know what to expect. If every Wednesday you review the back-end features and Tuesdays you review the front-end, both team will know what to expect. Consistency is an unsung hero for many projects at The Four.
Finally, WHENEVER possible, use a template. You don’t have the time to remake every spec or email, and remember, we want to be consistent. Like everything in project management, keep your templates adaptable and easy to access so that when you need them you know exactly what you’re doing. Better yet, keep a shared template file between your team so that everyone knows exactly what to expect.
Project management is all about keep plates spinning, people happy, and execution and time is always enemy number one. However, it is at the very least the villain we know. Stay effective and it can even be one of your biggest values; after all everyone likes an early present.