Habits That Make You Waste Time in Project Management… And Other Tasks

 In Project Management

In a nutshell, project management is about efficiently managing time, resources, tasks and task owners while successfully delivering everyone’s best work in a timely manner. All of this can sound really easy if you’ve never done it, but once you dive in and start learning more about being a project manager, you’ll quickly realize there is one word than can derail you from achieving success: roadblocks.

A roadblock can be anything that prevents you and your team from meeting deadlines and doing your best work. From not having enough information from your client to having a crucial team member get sick and be out of office, the list of things that could go wrong is seemingly endless.

But did you know that wasted time is an easy one that you can control yourself? Here are a few tips on how to prevent time-wasting habits from becoming roadblocks.

 

Meetings, meetings and more meetings

As you’ve hear us say before, meeting with your team on the regular is an excellent way to track progress, encourage collaboration and promote open communication. When it comes to wasting time, however, meetings can be the number one reason why your projects are taking too long.

Did you know that in 2014, it was estimated that unproductive meetings cost $37 million?

To avoid wasted time, new project management methodologies such as Agile suggest a daily scrum or stand-up. These meetings last no longer than 15 minutes and team members are to share what they worked on the day before, what they are working on that day, and if there are any roadblocks. If these meetings are pre-scheduled and concise, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have them.

 

Lack of decision making

In order to keep your team members engaged and encourage their creativity, having open discussions about how to tackle a new challenge, and getting their input on different things is highly recommended. The problem comes when these discussions lead to nowhere and there are no clear decisions as of what the best approach is and what’s going to be done.

Instead, try having limited discussions and allowing the project manager (see scrum master for Agile methodology) to have the final say. By doing this, you don’t spend the entire time discussing, but you actually have actionable items for everyone to follow.

 

Checking social media and other distractions

Staying on task during a full eight hours a day can be a major challenge. We get it. However, taking too many “quick” breaks is a habit that needs to be broken for your project to move forward.
Believe it or not, a quick Twitter update or a Facebook scroll adds up! In 2017 a study revealed that smartphone usage was costing the country $15 million in lost productivity.

To prevent yourself and your team from doing this, propose small deadlines that need to be accomplished no matter what. For instance, if your website project is due in two months and you need to have the home page ready by this Friday, break that up into five days and set goals for each day.

It’s easier for workers to stay on task if they know they have to write a certain amount of words by the end of the day than anticipating what five days from now is going to look like.

 

Want to learn more about project management best practices? Let the Kimonus team help! Click here for our latest blog on how time manage time within a project.

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