How to Carry Out a Project Without Wasting Time

ProjectManager.com

Avoid the common time-wasters in your project and move into a more efficient schedule by watching Jennifer Bridges, PMP, and following her advice.

Here’s a shot of the whiteboard for your reference!

here's how not to waste time in your projects

In Review: How to Carry Out a Project Without Wasting Time

For those new to project management, or “accidental project managers,” as Jennifer referred to them in the video, there are lots of questions about how to manage a project efficiently from beginning to end.

Meetings, for example, can easily get out of hand. Jennifer recommends an agenda, a timekeeper and kept track of this and all aspects of the meeting with collaborative online project manager software.

Jennifer mentioned 5 common project time-wasters and how to plan against them:

  • Meetings – Only have essential people in meetings and keep them short and on-time. Track all agendas and schedules in the online tools, so you don’t have to waste time following up with emails.
  • Rework  – Get the customer to agree and sign off on the detailed requirements.
  • Scope Changes – Change happens. But just have a process in place to manage it when it does.
  • Collaboration Problems – Collaboration isn’t always a positive. Sometimes, people’s ideas conflict and communication issues prevail. Lay ground rules for ideation and docution revisioning.
  • Yourself! – You might be your own productivity blocker if you can’t say no, or if your office is a revolving door. Block out office hours and set boundaries for your team.

Take it further: There are many other distractions that can cause a loss in productivity so be on the look out for what causes you and your team to lose focus, so you can guard against all the time-wasters!

Thanks for watching!

Video Transcription

Today, we’re talking about how to carry out a project without wasting time. We’re going to talk about some of the common time wasters, some simple solutions, and a process you can use to quickly frame yours.

So the other day, I get a text from Alex, who is a mentee. She’s new to project management and just inherited a relatively large project. We would call this an accidental Project Manager. So what happens is, she texts me and says, “Our meetings are a disaster. We keep having to do rework. No one agrees upon the scope. Our collaborations become brawls. I can’t get my work done.” And she emphatically said, “I just want to know how to efficiently carry out a project without wasting time.” So what we did together was, we took each one of these and we segmented what was happening.

So I asked her to talk more about what’s happening in meetings. She said, “They last too long. They never start on time. We’re rehashing the same issues. And no one completes their action items.” So we came up with some quick solutions after we looked at what was happening. There wasn’t an agenda in place, so we had her put an agenda in place using a template. We had her assign a timekeeper, and assign specific action items with people assigned with due dates. And had her publish some meeting minutes, and track all of this in the software.

Then we asked what was happening with the rework. The requirements are vague, if any at all, and the customer keeps changing their mind. So we had her make sure that detailed requirements are in place, that they’re agreed upon, and they’re signed off.

Then we took a look at what was happening with the scope. So the customer keeps adding scope, and the development team just does what the customer asks. So one thing we did is, we put a change control board in place and a process that they can use to evaluate the changes.

Then when we looked at what was happening with collaboration, she says, “No one agrees. They’re brainstorming and assessing those ideas at the same time, and conflict is arising. And it’s taking longer than they anticipate.” So what we had her do is put some ground rules in place for those collaboration efforts.

And then once we starting looking at her work, what was happening was, she said her office is a revolving door, just people come in and out all the time without asking. They’re highjacking her schedule, taking up her day, and they’re double-booking her for meetings. And she said, “I have to be honest. I just have a hard time saying no,” which is pretty common. So we came up with some solutions for her to block time off on her schedule so that she can plan and complete her own activities. We also had her communicate her policy for when people can come visit her at her office, and we had her set boundaries.

These are some common time wasters and some simple solutions. Your time wasters may change, but a hint is to tackle the biggest problem first. And if you need a tool that can help you carry out your project without wasting time, then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager.com.

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