Deadlines that are weeks or months away are the hardest to manage. How can you and your project team organize a large amount of work over such a long period of time and still ensure the project is completed on time?
These five tips will help you successfully complete your projects within the established deadlines with as little stress as possible.
1. Consider potential problems that may arise
Things don’t always go according to plan, so as a project manager, it’s wise to think about potential problems ahead of time. For example, how would illness of certain staff members, equipment failure, or an unexpectedly urgent and important task on another project affect the project’s plans?
Consider what alternatives are available to you and your team to minimize the impact of the problem. For example, you can consider which colleagues might be contacted to take over certain tasks in the event of a team member’s absence.
2. Break your work into smaller tasks
One way to meet deadlines with less stress is to break projects into smaller goals or tasks. Each project is a series of smaller tasks that come together to form a whole. This means that with each completed task, you get one step closer to completing the project. As you will see later, you can measure these small tasks and visibly show progress.
The best way to do this is to determine the requirements for each milestone within the project and create tasks that need to be completed. This way you have a lot of small tasks that can be done. On the other hand, the detailed representation of the project gives you a big advantage in budget planning.
The smaller the tasks are defined, the more precisely you can set the budget as a manager. Assign the tasks to the assigned project member. By distributing the tasks to your team members and having them track their working hours, you have optimal conditions to make detailed evaluations and adjustments within the project. The dashboard gives you the necessary overview.
3. Always confirm a schedule with a buffer
It’s common for projects to work overtime because the time required is underestimated. Limited resources, changing requirements, and project scope are likely to lead to the “if only I had one more day” moment. Calculate the time needed more generously and plan a few extra weeks for project implementation.
4. Do not overestimate yourself
No matter how dedicated you are to being productive, make sure you don’t take on more tasks than you can complete. While it’s flattering to be called a workaholic, don’t be tempted to take on too much. When you and your team have to handle multiple projects under time pressure, it often leads to confusion and fatigue, which in turn can lead to missed deadlines.
In addition, missed deadlines automatically mean wasted time and financial losses for the company.
As a general rule, quality is more important than quantity. This means you should take your time and conserve energy to do your best work.
5. Use a project time tracking tool
With timeghost, we have developed a time tracking tool, especially for all Microsoft365 users. With its integration into the Microsoft365 environment, the tool gives you the perfect basis to constantly improve your productivity by clearly recording your working hours.
Get the duration of your team calls, the newly created projects from Microsoft Planner, and the Outlook calendar events or emails automatically transferred to timeghost and recorded for you as working time.
Above all, it is important to us to develop a tool that is as user-friendly as possible through automated processes within, but also outside of the Microsoft365 environment. Therefore, we have a lot of Zapier connectors to make your work environment as automated and connected as possible.
timeghost creates the appropriate transparency for customers both internally and externally through recording working times. Your team can always see who is working on which task and which projects are assigned. With the export feature, you can create Excel or CSV files with just one click and make them available to your customers.
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