My Project Management Expert

How To Manage Multiple Projects

In my career I have usually managed one big project at time. However in one contract I discovered that knowing how to manage multiple projects requires a rather different skillset from what I had previously experienced.

Basically I was asked to manage a large number of small projects, all with different requirements and delivery dates. This proved to be quite a challenge. Instead of being focussed on one main deliverable, one had to juggle different project resource management, different objectives and different project budgets. Not only that, but I had to compile a project management report for each one and ensure I didn't drop the ball on any of them.

Quite a tall order. Luckily each of the 10-15 projects I was juggling at the sametime had small budgets ($10,000-$200,000), clear deliverables and a very small team to deilver what was required all of whom knew exactly what they were doing.

Essentially the work involved putting in DSL cables and routers for various corporate clients which mean't at least there was at least some consistency of work.

However I reailsed I needed to have a strategy which enabled me to know how to manage multiple projects. This included:

1.0 Organisation

When you are managing multiple projects you need to be super organised and have checklists galore. If you don't and you try to simply "wing it" then you will end up missing something important and ruining one of your projects.

2.0 Project Plan

Keep these simple and preferably at the milestone level. This requires you to have a clear idea how to write a project plan and understanding exactly what is important in a plan, and what you can leave out.

3.0 Risk and Issues Log

I tended to again keep this high level and also have amalgamated logs for all the projects I was managing. This could then be simply filtered using the drop down list functionality in Excel. It also made managing project risk a much easier task.

4.0 Project Resources

Managing project teams can be extremely complicated when you are managing multiple projects. However the beauty of small projects is that this doesn't have to be the case simply because project resource management tends to be much easier when a smaller team is involved. So build good working relationships with those key resources who are required to work on a number of your projects but don't get carried away meeting every single project resource.

5.0 Project Budget

Estimating project costs needs to be a quick and simple exercise. Either use the cost estimationg spreadsheet which may be used in your Organisation, or else simply do a quick finger in the air estimate. Once you know how to manage multiple projects you will discover that this is much easier than it sounds.

How To Manage Multiple Projects - Tip

Knowing how to manage multiple projects is not a difficult skill for any experienced project manager to learn. It simply requires a slightly different mindset, and the ability to get through the paperwork quickly and effectively.

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