How to Manage Multiple Projects without Going Crazy

How to Manage Multiple Projects

Do Your Project Leaders Know How to Manage Multiple Projects without Going Crazy?
If not, they should.  Experienced project leaders know how to manage multiple projects without going crazy.  Managing even just one project at a time can certainly be challenging…but when you are in charge of multiple, ongoing projects, it can be overwhelming if you do not make the right moves for you and your project team.

Always Know Where You Stand
At a high level, how do you get some control over the entire portfolio of projects?  It all starts by taking a simple project inventory.

The First Two Steps to Manage Multiple Projects Better
Based upon feedback from hundreds of project post mortem participants, here are the first two steps regarding how to manage multiple projects without going crazy:

1.  Establish Clear Criteria for Inclusion
Since the term “project” has many definitions, first figure out how you want to limit your list with your key stakeholders…for example you can prioritize by:

  • business priority
  • project complexity
  • project risk
  • project scope
  • department
  • timeline
  • visibility
  • stakeholder

2.  Categorize by Project Purpose
Organize the inventory by the general strategic aim of the project, such as developing new products, reducing costs or increasing revenue.

Putting the Steps Into Action
Complete this initial project list with basic information about each project like the project sponsor, project manager, desired outcome, project stakeholders and the project timing.  Then, as a project leadership group, review the inventory of projects and make some informed decisions about resources, timing, and priorities.

The Bottom Line
You are likely to discover some projects that have very similar goals and could be combined, some with conflicting goals that need reevaluation, and some with such a low comparative priority that they should be abandoned or at least shifted.  These are the first steps to how to manage multiple projects without going crazy.  It is the simple way to manage multiple projects so that the most critical get the focus they deserve.

To learn more about successfully leading and managing projects, download 3 Proven Steps to Better Manage Project Stakeholder Risks

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