When it comes to project organization, no task is too tedious to overlook.  As a project manager, it may seem as if there are too many pieces at play and the scope of the project too large.  However, there are ways to master project planning so that it becomes just a typical task to complete in the course of your day.  If you are in the implementation stages of planning your project, the first task in which to complete is assigning a project manager.  This title is given to, “the person in overall charge of the planning and execution of a particular project.” (dictionary.com) Before you roll your eyes and poke fun at the definition, we admit that the title is indicative of the position.  However, there are many people who may feel as if the project at hand does not need someone in charge of overall organization.  If assigning this title to an individual is difficult, it generally goes to the senior-most employee or manager.  This person must be tedious and able to meet deadlines, make budgets, and ensure work is of the utmost quality. To pass up this step would be a grave mistake.  Once this task is complete, the project manager can begin to chart the course for completion.

Once the project is assigned, they must MAP out the course for completion mentioned above.  This can be done by initiating a project management plan.  Smead.com lists the following steps for the plan as follows:

  • What are my goals? What end result am I trying to accomplish?
  • What is my deadline?
  • Who will I need to include in this project?
  • What supplies / resources will I need to get this done?

“This is a grounding exercise that is designed to help you get a basic idea of what this project will require of you. This is the important foundation for your project management plan. You will now find it a lot easier to break these “big picture” ideas into smaller steps to follow.” (https://www.smead.com/hot-topics/project-management-plan-1371.asp)

It is in this phase of the project that one must set expectations.  To do so early on gives your team clear boundaries to operate by.  They must know that any deviation from the plan by the individual can impact the group as a whole.  Prior to assigning tasks, it is important that a hierarchal tree is presented (or other methods) that make the chain of command clear to your team members.  If one employee is responsible for gathering documents, they must do so in the timeframe given, then present those documents to the next person up the chain.  All of this can be laid out in the project management plan.  Once these ground rules are clear and the plan is laid out, the next steps will help you complete the project and follow-up on its success.  The following steps are courtesy of Harriet Genever writing for redbooth.com

Review progress against a project plan– Are the deadlines still realistic?

Meet frequently– As a project manager, it is critical to meet with your team on a regular basis to touch base and communicate project updates, including successes and issues.

Develop an effective filing system– A proper filing system with clearly defined document naming conventions will ensure a consistent approach to project artifact storage. 

Anticipate issues– If there is a major issue threatening to stop your project in its tracks, a predetermined process will reduce anxiety and make it much easier to approach the problem objectively and find an appropriate solution. Regular two-way communication with key stakeholders is also vital to ensuring there are no surprises along the way.

Use project management software– Unsurprisingly, there is software available that can help you to manage your project.  Aside from Redbooth’s project management software, which you can locate here: https://redbooth.com/project-management, there are a variety of different types you can choose from.  Some examples are Microsoft Project, Trello, JIRA, Zoho Office Sheet, Smartsheet, Podio, Backlog, and Basecamp Logic, to name a few.  

Regardless of the project at hand, following some of these steps and using a management software tool may help to make the seemingly most unsurmountable of tasks, conquered with ease.