“Our goals can only be achieved through the vehicle of a plan. There is no other route to success.” – Pablo Picasso
It’s common knowledge that projects are made up of tasks/ subtasks, each of which has its own importance in the successful completion of the project. Now the only secret to getting a project completed successfully is to manage its associated tasks with the utmost efficiency. And task management strategies are what help a project manager achieve all of this successfully.
In simple words, if you don’t have the right strategies for managing your team and their tasks, you can’t succeed as a project manager. That means you need to bring your organizational and task management skills into play. While working on a project, you need to identify all the tasks, figure out their duration, set priorities, and put in all efforts to prevent them from falling behind the schedule. After all, as a project manager, you are the person responsible for keeping the projects and teams on track, particularly when the pressure is at its peak.
Table of Contents
- 1. Define everyone’s roles
- 2. Use Kanban for planning
- 3. Focus on one task at a time
- 4. Do the scary tasks first
- 5. Set time limits
- 6. Communicate clearly
- 7. Collaborate frequently
- 8. Develop an efficient filing system
- 9. Keep track of things
- 10. Never forget risks
- 11. Use a dedicated software
- 12. Be open to feedback
1. Define everyone’s roles
Before getting started with task management and allocation, you need to clearly define everyone’s roles and responsibilities in the project. It is important for everyone in the team to know what they are supposed to do, and how their work is going to impact the overall project progress.
This unifies their efforts and the team members can align their efforts in one direction. Also, that’s how you build accountability and a sense of responsibility in the team.
When the team members have a clear understanding of what is expected from their work, they can work with a more focused mind, instead of being confused, which is the hallmark of a champion team.
2. Use Kanban for planning
There is no better way to plan your tasks and projects than using kanban boards. A kanban board is basically a visual representation of your project and your team’s overall progress.
For many entrepreneurs, applying kanban for task management is one of the most effective ways to sort work-related tasks/activities. The visual representation provided by Kanban answers all your important questions like “What tasks are currently being worked on?”, “how many tasks have been completed?”, “are there any tasks that are likely to fall behind schedule?”, “what tasks do we need to do next?”, and so on.
For this and many other reasons, using Kanban is a must if you are looking to optimize your team’s task management.
3. Focus on one task at a time
A major mistake that most project managers and teams make while working on projects is doing more than they can handle at once. As a result, they end up doing nothing at all. If you are considering your task management strategy, make sure that you avoid multitasking at all costs.
Instead of doing everything at once, you can consider breaking big tasks into smaller subtasks and then focusing on getting them completed one by one. Even the world’s greatest professionals have admitted to struggling whenever they plan to do multiple things at the same time. So keep multitasking at a distance and give your complete attention to one task at a time.
Finish important tasks on time, learn – How to prioritize tasks
4. Do the scary tasks first
Since we all are humans, it’s completely natural to feel a little anxious while dealing with difficult and challenging tasks. In most cases, we make all attempts to avoid difficult things, or in other words – we prefer to save the most difficult task for the last.
Now, this approach might save a little sweat but we will have to deal with the difficult tasks someday, right? So why don’t we get them completed in the very beginning?
Just think of all the thoughts that go through your mind when you have a challenging task and think of how motivated or credible you will feel when you would accomplish them successfully.
5. Set time limits
A critical part of the task management process is to set realistic time frames for each task. As a project manager, you have to define milestones and deadlines within a project based on the relevant importance of the associated task or activity.
While doing this, you need to make sure that every timeframe you set is actually achievable. Keep track of tasks at work and try to avoid any undue stress on your project team. Keep your task list organized and set realistic time limits.
6. Communicate clearly
According to Gallup – disengaged workers cost American Businesses somewhere between $450 billion to $550 billion annually. This number clearly reflects the importance of communication for businesses and teams and also justifies why it is one of the most important task management strategies.
As a manager, you need to streamline your team’s communication efforts to such an extent that it becomes effortless.
One of the best ways to achieve this is by creating communication channels that ensure a free flow of information so that no one feels hesitant to ask questions, clarify doubts, and so on. You can use virtual communication tools for better communication with your team.
7. Collaborate frequently
As a project manager, it is extremely important that you keep your task management strength clear in front of your fellow team members. Talk to your team regularly, ask them about the project/task update (both success and failure), what frustrated them the most in their current task management strategy, and use their feedback to organize your tasks better.
Effective collaboration is even more important when you are managing a virtual project team. It can be a little challenging at first but there are plenty of remote team collaboration tools and apps that make team communication smoother than ever before.
8. Develop an efficient filing system
Managing tasks and projects include a lot of paperwork. Tons of documents are created and amended when you are working on a specific task in a project. Now, this can easily turn into a task management nightmare if you don’t have a proper filing system.
And we are not talking about the old. If you want to organize your tasks, you need to ensure that all the documents and critical data associated with a project are kept in one single place. Doing this will save you and your team a lot of time since you don’t have to worry about searching scattered files for the latest version of a document.
9. Keep track of things
Developing a system and defining things sets the tone for building a successful team. However, how successful that system is proving to be is a different matter altogether.
To see whether the system you have designed is working fine and whether the teams can accomplish their tasks successfully, you need always keep track of things. The easiest way to do this is by using a project and team reporting tool.
Modern-day reporting tools come with features like project reports, resource reports, and time reports, which give you a clear idea of everyone’s efforts, how things are moving forward, and how team members are utilizing their time.
10. Never forget risks
Believe it or not, fear is the biggest motivator of human behavior, particularly in the case of task management and project management.
You need to accept the fact that sometimes things might not happen as per the plan and think about the negative consequences. This helps you to prepare a task management strategy that is ready for every scenario.
11. Use a dedicated software
Last but certainly not least, if you are wondering how to organize tasks at work and keep everything in one place, you can’t neglect the importance of a dedicated online software solution.
Check out ProofHub online workflow management and task management software. Save yourself from the trouble of handling outdated spreadsheets and to-do lists, and get your tasks and teams online with this feature-rich software solution.
12. Be open to feedback
The last factor that is going to play a vital role in your list of task management strategies is – FEEDBACK. There’s always room for improvement, and it is by sharing constant feedback that you are going to find that room. Now, one important thing to remember here is that feedback sharing is always a two-way process.
You need to provide feedback to the team members wherever you think is necessary, and at the same time ask them to give feedback for the work processes and overall everything.
Doing so will make ensure that both your team and your work processes are evolving and that you are well on your way to achieving the best possible results.
Task management is an essential quality for every project manager. If you are not good at keeping your tasks organized, how can you expect your team to move the project forward? Just take a deep breath, and do thorough planning. Take a good look at your resources, communicate extensively with your team, and with effective task management, project success should definitely come easy.
So, what do you think about these simple task management strategies? Did you try any of them? If so, tell us how it helped you stop procrastinating and perform more productively on our Twitter handle @proofhub!