How to Manage Your Priorities
In this video, Jennifer Bridges, PMP, talks about how to manage your project priorities by organizing your work, managing your tasks and resources.
As Jennifer noted, as a project manager you’re responsible for managing everyone’s priorities, tasks, deliverables on the project… but also your own. That may be the hardest part of your job.
She offered these tips to help you manage your project priorities, starting with defining what a project priority is. That’s easy: it’s just about everything.
Then who sets the priorities? The stakeholders and change control board. How then are priorities managed? Just like we prioritize our projects.
Jennifer suggested we follow these guidelines:
- Stay Focused
- Maintain Discipline
- Set Boundaries
Once you have this priority plan in place you can start to delegate the work to those team members with the appropriate skill sets, training and, possibly most important, those who have a love of doing things you don’t love doing.
Pro-Tip: There are many dynamics that change over the lifecycle of a project, so it’s critical to keep focused on project priorities. While these concerns have the potential to pull you out, by maintaining your priorities, you also maintain the integrity of the project.
Norman Morgan, CEO of WorkSimple, a social goal management company, asks Are You Setting the Right Priorities at Work? in his article for Business Insider. If always good to ask these kinds of questions to avoid falling behind in your project.
Thanks for watching!
Hello, I’m Jennifer Whitt, Director of ProjectManager.com. Well, welcome to our whiteboard session today on Managing Your Project Priorities. If it’s not enough to manage everyone else’s priorities, tasks, deliverables on the project, one of the hardest things to do is manage our own. So, let’s take a look at this.
I want to provide a few tips today on managing your project priorities. Number one, what is a project priority? Well, just about everything. There’s a list, and on the list is deliverables, the all-important task list, meetings, celebrations, people, milestones, schedule, basically everything baseline in the project plan. So, who helps set the priorities?
Well, we think just about everyone on the project does, but it’s actually the stakeholders and the change control board. Again, all of our priorities are set by the baseline project plan, and again, the people who are responsible for managing our priorities or setting them are the stakeholders or change control board. It’s important to make sure and ensure that their expectations are aligned to the project plan and are throughout the project.
Because what happens is, throughout the course of the project, the expectations, assumptions start being made as things change on the project. Different expectations start changing, and we, as the project manager, have to work with the stakeholders and the change control board to make sure all of it remains aligned with the baseline project plan. Or we work with them to change things, make decisions, and agree upon and re-baseline the project plan.
So how do we go about managing our project priorities with all of these things occurring? Well, we have to do the same thing for our project priorities that we do on the project. So, it’s the principles of monitoring, controlling, and escalating, finding out what’s off track and getting back on track as quickly as possible, and escalating to the people that we need to in order to get those things done.
So, a reminder is, we do what we love, and we’re good at doing, and which does not always align with our project priorities. I know that I have things that I enjoy doing throughout a project more than others. So, there are some things that I need to remember and that I want to share with you is keeping a focus.
So, there are so many dynamics changing throughout the duration of the project, so many people, and so many interactions that it’s critical for me to keep focused on what my project priorities are. Because if mine get out of control, I’m impacting the project as well. Keeping a discipline – I mean, it keeps a discipline to keep everything organized, and so a discipline on remembering that we have our own project priorities too.
Then, boundaries, again, it’s really important to keep boundaries from people coming by trying to reset our own project priorities or baselines and making assumptions. So, we have to keep good boundaries, a good discipline, and good focus to keep our project priorities on track and delegate, remembering that we do what we love and what we’re great at doing.
So, we usually get those things done and delegate to others who have the skill sets, the training or the love of doing some things that we don’t like to. With those things in mind, it helps us keep our priorities back on track, so we’re not the one at the end of the day on the red, yellow, and green report. That’s red.
At ProjectManager.com, we’ve incorporated these best practices into our software. So, if you need any tips, tools, or techniques in helping you manage your project priorities, then visit us at ProjectManager.com.