Have you ever worked on a project where the due date was given to you at the start of the project? I’ve had plenty.
Have you ever been assigned a task and told when it needs to be done? Yes, this has happened to me too. Sometimes I’m told the task needs to be done right away. Other times, though, the assigner doesn’t provide a due date.
You see a lot of people are practicing project management without the discipline, experience, knowledge, etc. of project management. Because of this, I thought I would share 3 simple tips for better project management. These tips can apply whether you are the project manager assigning the tasks or are the recipient of an assigned task.
- Project tasks are a negotiation. Yes, I know your boss told you when it needs to be done. And I’m not saying he is wrong. I’m simply saying this. When someone assigns a task to you with a given due date, do NOT blindly accept it without asking a few questions. Try to understand how critical the task is, what are the prerequisites, who else is involved, and so on. Evaluate your own abilities and what else is on your plate. If the due date can be achieved, then do your best to make it happen. If the due date is not practical, make this known as soon as possible, ideally when the task is assigned, and provide a suggestion for when you can complete the task.
- Communicate when things go off course. Don’t hide it or try to correct it before anyone notices. Yes, delivering bad news is not anyone’s idea of fun. But if your task is off target in some way, you MUST let the task assigner know as soon as possible. Doing so is important for a number a reasons. For one, your task is probably related to a few others in a project.
- Stick to your commitments. When you tell someone a date of when you will have something done, you need to follow through and do it. Plain and simple. Don’t make excuses for why you didn’t get it done. Make it happen.
Okay, this might not be “simple” tips to implement right away. But these 3 tips will improve your ability to get tasks done.