This post will explain Managing and tracking multiple projects. When it comes to managing & tracking a single project, there are numerous processes to follow in order to achieve outcomes. When multiple projects are being worked on at the same time, the situation becomes much more complicated. Multiple project management, also known as portfolio management, is a situation in which multiple projects are being worked on at the same time.
You should be familiar with project management approaches if you find yourself in a situation where you need to handle multiple projects. It takes a lot of practise to transition your attention from one assignment to another while staying on track with deadlines.
How To Manage and Track Multiple Projects Complete Guide
In this article, you can know about Managing and tracking multiple projects here are the details below;
This blog post will assist you identify some of the issues you could have when managing and tracking multiple projects, as well as the best tactics and tools for dealing with them.
Who is in charge of managing and tracking multiple projects?
Despite the fact that project management and tracking involve numerous stakeholders, the multi-project manager is ultimately responsible for the project’s success or failure. It’s a great responsibility to take on. Only those with the best organisational and communication abilities, on the other hand, can consistently achieve not only the best but also the most consistent results.
Competencies for multi-project managers are as follows:
- Has an innovative thinking style, • Isn’t detail-oriented, • Has multi-tasking skills, • Able to transition from one project to another, • Deals successfully with stress, • Deals effectively with team disagreements, • Effectively uses resources, • Juggles team and customer needs
To be able to manage multiple projects in a systematic manner, experienced project managers must have both soft and hard abilities. Keep in mind that a successful project manager spends 90% of their time talking with the team. As a result, open communication within the team is critical for managing and tracking multiple projects at the same time. Furthermore, dealing with a large number of freelance assignments can be called “managing and tracking multiple projects,” so we can claim that freelancers can also be multi-project managers.
Managing and tracking multiple projects might cause problems.
Running a single project necessitates a number of phases, and the road can be rocky at times. Consider managing and tracking multiple projects at the same time. Juggling multiple projects at once can put the folks in charge in a lot of trouble. As a result, it’s critical to spot potential issues early on in the process. You can only successfully overcome issues and provide results if you are aware of them. Also check Grant Management Software
We’ve put up a checklist of the most typical issues that arise while managing and tracking multiple projects at the same time.
It’s critical to consider the workload while assigning the correct employees to execute multiple projects at the same time. Problems may emerge if, for example, three individuals are allocated a workload that requires at least six workers. The team’s performance suffers as a result of project overload, as well as excessive levels of stress. As a result, the quality of the deliverables will deteriorate. Furthermore, a single freelancer who accepts too many projects at once may experience overload or, worse, burnout. When team members’ workloads are distributed evenly, they will feel less pressured and so produce better results.
Priority is unclear.
When you’re working on numerous projects at the same time, you’ll need to prioritise them. A project that is urgent is not the same as a project that is important. Decision-makers are prone to jumping to conclusions and prioritising projects based on their preferences or urgency. As a result, they achieve terrible results.
Using the incorrect tools for the job
Using the correct project management and tracking solution is critical for providing consistent results. Avoid taking notes in multiple locations and utilising an out-of-date punch clock machine. Choosing inferior tools that are frequently outdated or lack the capabilities you require could result in team confusion and missed deadlines. As a result, select a solution that allows your team to collaborate effectively and track time. All stakeholders will have comprehensive visibility into the task scope at all times, ensuring that no deadlines are missed. We’ll introduce you to a useful tool later in this post that will help you successfully manage and track your team’s work.
Allocation of resources
“How do I allocate resources appropriately?” is another issue of a multi-project manager. A multiple-project manager frequently contends with resource deficiencies, according to the research findings indicated above. Certain resources must be shared when working on multiple projects at the same time.
There should be no over-allocation or under-allocation of resources. A conference room, for example, is a resource that should be shared equitably by all, not inaccessible in the morning and empty in the afternoon. If some team members are not assigned any duties, they are considered under-allocated. It can also lead to employee unhappiness because some teammates may be unemployed while others are overworked.
When managing multiple projects, the multi-project manager’s role is to stay on top of resource availability at all times and distribute resources evenly.
Check out this post to discover more about the necessity of resource allocation tracking. How do you keep track of resource allocation?
8 ways to efficiently manage and track multiple projects
Customer requirements, project plans, scopes, team members, money… and all of this while juggling three or even five projects at the same time. Doesn’t it seem impossible? It does not have to be that way if you use the appropriate tactics. That’s why we’ve put up a list of eight ways to assist you efficiently manage and track multiple projects.
1. Understand how to manage a single project.
If you’re new to project management, you should understand that you can’t leap right into managing multiple projects without first learning how to manage one.
The project management process begins with the project kick-off meeting, at which the project sponsor presents all of the project’s objectives and requirements. Then, in accordance with the project starter, you must meet those requirements and construct your statement of work. The complete scope of work, including expenses, dates, and expected deliverables, must be defined in your statement of work, often known as the “scope of work.”
A statement of work is defined as “a narrative description of products or services to be produced under contract,” according to the Project Management Institute’s book A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge.
Simply put, mastering a single project before moving on to multiple projects will come (nearly) automatically.
2. Make a strategy
Whether you’re operating on a single project or a series of projects, you’ll need to create a new project plan for each one. You’ll only be able to maintain track of project activities and give your team a defined work scope if you do so.
The following items are included in the project plan:
- Project specifications — Schedule a meeting with all stakeholders to collect requirements as a group (no one-on-one sessions).
- Project scope – Express the scope of your task and eliminate anything that isn’t necessary.
- WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) – A way for breaking down a project into smaller chunks that aids in the creation of a budgetary plan and a timeline for each activity.
- Timetable – A well-planned schedule can assist you in estimating how long each task will take to complete.
- Budgeting – The WBS is required to precisely outline your budget. Remember to account for hazards in your budget.
You & your team members will have a clear view of the work scope and will always stay on target if you have a transparent plan. Furthermore, you will be able to effectively transfer from one project to another without wasting time.
3. Select a high-priority project
There are numerous ways that might assist you in managing and tracking multiple projects. Prioritization of projects is something we wish to pay special attention to. A project that is important to a stakeholder may or may not be important to an organisation. Giving projects priority can be a difficult task for a decision-maker, who is often a multi-project manager or a senior manager. There are different actions you may take to ensure you properly define a priority project. Also check best club management software
We’ve put together a list of five actions that will make prioritising a breeze.
Make a goal for yourself.
Always keep the long-term aim in mind when deciding on a priority project. Projects that lack a defined goal are doomed to fail at some point. When in doubt, ask yourself questions like: What am I attempting to achieve? What is the significance of this project? When you know what you desire to achieve, you can concentrate on the most crucial measures to get there.
Prioritize chores in a systematic manner.
If there are ten projects to prioritise, for example, the decision-maker should rank them from one to ten, with one being the smallish important. Furthermore, when deciding on a priority project, consider whether projects are dependent on the others. A dependent project can only start once a previous project has finished.
Tasks with a high priority are provided resources first. Furthermore, if numerous ongoing projects do not share any resources, decision-makers prioritise priority projects and devote necessary resources to them first.
Make a distinction between important and urgent jobs.
According to study, people prioritise time-sensitive tasks, such as urgent ones, over significant tasks with long-term consequences. This is because of the fact that more difficult jobs are frequently more scary. To tell the difference between what’s urgent and what’s vital, you’ll have to step outside of your comfort zone and focus on completing critical things first.
Prioritize your meetings.
Finally, to define priorities, priority meetings should be convened. They don’t have to be distinct meetings as long as all key decision-makers are present and working together.
When managing & tracking multiple projects at the same time, prioritising your work is a fantastic method for saving time and effort. If you follow the procedures carefully, you will never again fail a project.
4. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted.
Being busy doesn’t always imply being productive. As a result, try to avoid distractions like responding to chat messages, conversing with coworkers, or checking notifications. To save time, automate your email responses, and don’t let little distractions get in the way of your job priorities.
Learn how to say “No” as well. You’ll find yourself overworked if you don’t learn how to say “No.” You already have too much on your plate; handling multiple projects at the same time is hard enough. Saying “No” is good for you and your company. Simply be honest, courteous, and firm. Distracting yourself at work will clear your mind and help you stay focused.
5. Hold regular gatherings
Because 90 percent of project management is about communication, regular meetings are critical. The meeting should include all stakeholders, and if any decision-makers are unable to attend, the meeting should be rescheduled.
A top project manager prepares an agenda at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting and distributes the PowerPoint presentation beforehand. As a result, everyone has a very apparent understanding of the project and its goals. Remember to focus on the meeting rather than the presentation slides. Furthermore, each meeting should focus on a single issue.
These principles will assist you in efficiently managing your team and achieving positive results.
6. Make sure you’re using the correct tool for the job.
Project managers with a lot of experience can attest to the importance of having everything in one place. When your responsibilities are dispersed among multiple technologies, neither you nor your teammates have a clear sense of the extent of work.
Which instrument, though, should you employ?
There are a superabundance of project management tools available, and choosing one might be difficult for a variety of reasons.
- A good managing and tracking tool should: Be convenient and straightforward to use while choosing the proper tool (no one likes complex and confusing tools).
- Keep track of your project’s time and progress.
- Keep an eye on the budget and let you know when it reaches its target.
- Projects should be broken down into tasks.
- Set deadlines for projects and tasks.
- Always be shareable and transparent to your team.
Furthermore, we must emphasise the need of utilising the appropriate product management tool. While the project manager’s duty is to ensure that the product is delivered successfully and that it is led through various stages of the project, the product manager’s responsibility is to ensure that client needs are met once the project is completed. To accomplish so, a product manager needs select a product management platform that will ensure a smooth product onboarding process.
It’s also important to remember that no tool can do your task for you. Examine its characteristics carefully and understand how to apply them appropriately.
7. Change is inevitable.
You surely know as a multi-project manager that projects evolve over time. Project management changes are usually unavoidable, especially if you’re working on multiple projects at the same time. You will lose control over your work if you don’t have a change control procedure in place, and projects will fail as a result.
After you’ve assessed the problem, you’ll need to decide what your next course of action will be to resolve it. You may need to incorporate adjustments to your task scope, budget, or timeline. Keep in mind that an issue may not necessitate any action at all.
“There are only two reasons to undertake a change,” according to PRINCE2, “to bring a new benefit or to protect an existing benefit.”
Nonetheless, when working on multiple projects, modifications are unavoidable. As a result, if you are well-informed, you should have no trouble finding them.
8. Delegate your responsibilities
You may need to delegate responsibility to other members of your team at times. Because you won’t be able to perform everything on your own, you’ll need to create trust among your team and distribute work correctly.
However, just because you delegated obligations to others does not absolve you of responsibility for the outcome. It is your commitment to keep an eye on the work in progress and exert control over it. Remember that delegation does not imply micromanagement.
As a result, communicate with your staff so that you can grasp what they’re up to. It makes your life easier to know that you have open lines of communication to keep things on track.
Here are some suggestions to assist you successfully distribute duties within your team: What is the best way to allocate tasks to team members?
Multiple project management and tracking tools
If you’ve never tried managing and tracking multiple projects at the same time, you’ll quickly realise that it’s quite a task. You’ll wind up scratching your head if you don’t use the correct tactics and tools.
When you’re managing multiple projects at once, you’ll need a high-quality application with a lot of features and is simple to use. There are multiple project management solutions available, and they all perform admirably. When choosing the correct tool, however, one must be selective and analyse all facts. Also check Best project management software
In this part, we’ll compare two programmes that can make it easier to manage and track your projects. Using Excel to manage and track multiple projects
Microsoft Excel is a straightforward project management programme that makes use of spreadsheets to visualise, plan, and track small and medium-sized projects. It includes a variety of analytical tools for thorough investigation as well as project management templates.
The Gantt-chart is a horizontal bar chart used for project management in Excel. The Gantt chart is a graphical representation of schedules, deadlines, and resources that aids in their management.
The beautiful thing about Excel is that it comes with a variety of templates that can be used to track and monitor tasks and project progress.
People also use Google Sheets and Libre OfficeCalc, which have similar functionality to Excel.
We’ll take a very brief look at the most significant projects of Microsoft Excel’s multiple project tracking template in this part.
Make a project strategy.
You can see the section where you put in the information about the project’s name, customer name, and the responsible manager in figure 1: Creating a project plan. You can see all of the tasks in the Gantt chart on the right side of the template.
You may also select your projects from a drop-down menu and fill in the details for each one. You have the option of adding as many projects as you want. When you add or remove a project, the Gantt chart instantly refreshes.
Complete a datasheet
Image 2 The amount of tasks in each project is shown on the datasheet, and this is where you keep track of their progress. Tasks ranging from 1% to 25% are in the early stages of development. Those tasks with a 50% completion rate are in the middle of the process and are half-completed. Tasks with a status of 75% to 95% are in the final stages of completion and are about to be completed. Tasks with a 100% completion status have been done completely.
You can add or remove jobs for each project in the datasheet. You can appoint a responsible member from your team to each assignment and write their names in the responsible field.
Finally, fill in the start date and days necessary columns with the start and end dates of your projects.
Make a summary of your projects.
The project summary can be seen in image 3 Project summary. This area gives you a bird’s-eye view of your projects. Everything you accomplished in the datasheet will appear in this window. You can also add new projects here, and they will instantly appear in the Gannt chart with their completion %.
You can examine the status of each job separately in the datasheet. The project summary, on the other hand, provides an overview of each project’s status.
Consider the overall picture.
Running numerous projects in Excel spreadsheets can provide you a complete perspective and eye-catching data visualisations. Excel is a multiple-cost tool that can execute a variety of tasks, and many people are familiar with it.
However, because it requires manual input, it might become a vicious spiral. Learning the syntax requires skill, even though it provides a clear summary of the data, progress, and start and end dates. This can take a long time and be difficult to manage, especially for novices. Time tracking and budgeting both necessitate the use of multiple formulas.
Another disadvantage is that it has security flaws. Sharing project data over email can put your company’s privacy at risk.
Overall, Excel is an excellent solution for modest projects within small businesses. However, if you want anything more advanced and feature-rich, you’ll need to invest in a separate tracking and managing programme.
In Clockify, you can manage and track multiple projects.
Clockify, a timekeeping app, has project management capabilities that those working on multiple projects will like. It’s a free time tracking tool that includes the most basic time tracking functionality for an infinite number of users and projects.
It makes project management and tracking simple, straightforward, and visually appealing. You’ll be able to effortlessly manage your team’s time and progress, set budgets, and make time estimations for your projects, to name a few features.
We’ll go through Clockify’s extensive features and capabilities for managing and tracking multiple projects in this part.
Add projects, tasks, and permissions to your account.
To begin, you can create as many projects and tasks as you like, and track time for each one independently. Assign responsibility for each task, establish time estimates, and mark tasks as completed when they are completed.
The Access tab allows you to make projects public so that anybody may track their time on them. Only the people you will add to the project will be able to track time on it if you make it private.
- Admins (those who can see and edit everything), • Regular users (people who can track time & if enabled, create projects
& tasks, and see status), and • Managers (people who can see and modify everything) (people who can manage specific projects, see the status, add members to the projects, and see time for their projects and users).
Change the project’s parameters.
You can personalise your projects by altering their titles and grouping them by clients in the project settings. You can also use a colour palette to visually distinguish projects.
This is also where you can enter your billable hourly rates. You can also pick that you want to track your project’s progress manually or using task-based estimation. Keep track of the project’s progress. You may compare estimated against actual time and check progress in the status tab. This is where you can receive a comprehensive picture of your project’s tasks, progress, assignees, and budgeting.
Data is visually presented so you can see how your project is progressing, as well as billable and non-billable hours.
Take in the full impression once more.
Clockify is a smart and simple timekeeping programme that will substantially assist you in managing your projects. You can keep track of your time spent on an activity in real time or manually enter it. It also alerts you when the expected budget is met and gives you a clear picture of the data and status of your projects.
Clockify’s simplicity, when compared to Excel, is a big time saver. Consider the following scenario. You’ve probably worked with clients that had multiple projects with thousands of tasks within each project. Consider manually typing all of that information. You do not have to stress about that anymore because you can import a CSV file right into Clockify.
You can also follow time using other web applications. Install the plugin and Clockify will track time directly in Trello’s cards/tasks if you’re using a project management application that doesn’t have a timekeeping feature, such as Trello. When you start the timer, the time tracking tool will construct the appropriate project and task based on the information in Trello.
Clockify also works with Asana, Jira, Quickbooks, and a variety of other project management applications. In today’s fast-paced environment, managing and tracking multiple projects at the same time has become commonplace. Fortunately, Clockify saves you time by automating the process.
Keeping tracking of and managing multiple projects at the same time is a difficult and intimidating task. Juggling multiple projects, team members, and customer needs concurrently is a tremendous burden for a multi-project manager or freelancer.
This process may be made into a well-oiled machine by employing the correct tactics and selecting a high-quality managing and tracking solution.
Additionally, remember to create trust within your team and learn from previous projects. Each project completed effectively will provide you with new knowledge, and you will gladly enjoy your career even more.