How to Manage Multiple Projects at Once

Being a project manager (PM) doesn’t mean managing one project at a time. It often means you manage several of varying sizes at once. Maintaining this project balancing act is difficult, and without the utmost visibility over your project portfolio, it’s possible for things to slip through the cracks. This can lead to lost money and time, unhappy employees, or worse. 

Managing projects with multiple moving parts is intimidating, but it doesn’t always have to be challenging and frustrating. Here are the four areas you should focus on when you’re managing a portfolio of multiple projects.

Accountability

No work will get done on a project if nobody knows which tasks fall to them. Resource management and task delegation are a vital part of accountability. Your workers need to know exactly what is expected from them and when, as do your stakeholders in terms of deliverables and completed projects. Your reporting system will need to clearly outline your project progress to increase accountability across any project you’re working on. Reporting to stakeholders is also a key task for PMs, and if it’s not done in an effective or timely manner, expectations and deadlines can’t be met. 

A project’s goals and plans should be defined from the outset – when multiple projects are on the go, this will make it easy to identify deadline overlaps and busy periods. A robust and structured workflow will allow you to set up a project and manage it consistently alongside others. Tracking all your projects at once can be difficult, so ensuring that you use a simple but effective resource management tool is necessary.

Visibility 

The system you use for project management must make business processes simple and resources visible. Project schedules need to clearly state the order of tasks, and this can become complicated if resources are allocated across multiple projects. Overseeing multiple projects at once requires prioritizing work that will have the greatest impact. Instead of multi-tasking unsuccessfully, it’s far more productive to identify and complete high value tasks one at a time. You can do this on a small or large scale to ensure you’re always addressing time-critical work.  

Trawling through spreadsheets to find what you need can cause you to overlook key project performance indicators. But intelligent resource management software can help you visualize performance and generate resource allocation. To properly manage multiple projects, there must be a pool of all of your total resources. Being able to see individual resources and the tasks they’re working on will allow you to identify potential over- or under-allocation. Data visualization is a helpful solution: tools like charts, graphs, heatmaps and to-do lists can all help you keep track of your workload. For project tracking and reporting, it’s worth adopting a resource management tool that simplifies managing data.

Adapting to change

Planning for what hasn’t happened is almost as important as planning for what has. During projects, there will inevitably be certain changes that affect your plan. What might not be obvious is the knock-on effect of certain changes. The difficulty of managing multiple projects stems from the amount of oversight they require. If you can’t see all your resources in a unified pool, you might not appreciate the impact of losing one resource across multiple projects.  

Resource heat maps allow you to quickly see where resources are underperforming, giving you the opportunity to reallocate quickly if needed. To identify potential issues, PMs must run alternative scenarios in which the outcome of their project changes. This requires a powerful tool that helps you test possible outcomes in a risk-free environment. When you’re aware of how a change of budget or resource allocation would affect your project, you’ll be able to move quickly when a project encounters that problem. The quicker you react, the less impactful the change will have.

Manage multiple projects with Tempus Resource 

Risk management and resource utilization can both be maximised with Tempus Resource – it’s the perfect tool for PMs who want to guarantee success across their project portfolio. One of the best ways to track multiple projects is by managing them from one unified place. Without the distraction of switching between apps and relying on manual data entry in spreadsheets, PMs can oversee multiple projects without sacrificing extra time.  

Tempus Resource is a tool designed to give PMs total control of their projects and the granularity they need without any extra work needed. Heatmaps and coolmaps identify areas where resources could be better utilized, along with intelligently generated resource models. With simple ‘What-if’ analysis, PMs can test potential project scenarios without needing to commit to any changes. When it comes to project management, Tempus Resource can help PMs achieve success. 

Managing multiple projects? Find out more about how Tempus Resource can provide an easy and flexible solution by requesting a demo.  

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