Time Management Tips for Project and Program Leaders

Time Management Tips for Leaders

Time management skills are essential to the success of any project or program. Here are some simple tips to keep in mind. These strategies will help you save time as you deliver the desired results to your organization.

1. Use a personal to-do listing, broken out be each project that you are leading and updated daily.    This simple tool will keep you focused on your primary goals. Prioritize your listings and keep a copy with you for easy reference.   There are several excellent applications that can be downloaded to mobile devices.  I personally like the application Reminders which is included with Apple applications.  For the satisfaction of scratching through action items when they are completed, nothing works better than the old standby, the yellow legal pad.

2. Provide open and regular communication with your team members.   Maintain team focus and monitor progress through regularly scheduled reviews in which you obtain accurate feedback.   We use our Action Item log template to list, prioritize and track those tasks that must be accomplished but are not so important that they are tracked in the project schedule.

3. Remember the Pareto Principle. Named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, the principle directs that “with 20 percent effort, you can achieve 80 percent of your results.”   Through regular reviews with project personnel, you can identify and focus upon the 20 percent of activities which will bring the greatest return.

4. Delegate effectively. With a deadline looming, it can seem like a good idea to step in and complete needed action items yourself. However, your project can quickly fall behind if the your attention and talent is focused away from the bigger picture. Use the WBS approach to planning to quickly identify deliverables and then assign work packages to owners.  Track ownership of work packages in the Responsibility Matrix template and track progress in the project schedule.

Implementing these four, simple strategies will help you efficiently and effectively achieve your goals. It takes organization and discipline on your part, but that is why you are a leader.  Open clear goals, action items and direction will prevent last-minute surprises.   Continue to “Lead the Way!!”