Good planning is the best solution to succeed in task management. A good plan must be backed by a project management calendar, people, and efficient implementation, of course. When faced with a large or difficult task, it can be tempting to put off starting it. By taking one small step at a time, it will be much easier to stay on track and avoid procrastination. In addition, setting a deadline for each part of the task will help to ensure that the entire project is completed on time. By following these simple tips, it will be much easier to manage any task, no matter how large or challenging it may be.
That being said, the best solution is a good plan that facilitates the entire project implementation checklist. This is why we provide you with these 20 guidelines for planning that will give you the best results.
1. Good planning is the best solution.
A team willing to meet their deadlines may perform their tasks management incorrectly, without checks or validation to make it on time. As a result, a project – even if completed on time – will require corrections, which take more time than if the tasks were performed well at first.
2. Timely deadline planning
You have to take a lot of variables and possible scenarios into consideration when devising a plan. Remember that it is not about the quickest implementation of a project, but about it meeting the set requirements and being as effective as possible.
According to studies conducted by KPMG, 60% of projects fail because their deadline is less than a year. Therefore, setting a feasible deadline is key.
3. Comprehensive planning of individual project stages
How to prepare a project plan Divide it into smaller chunks and activities and set timeframes. Identify and work out constituent tasks, delegate them to adequate people, and set their deadlines or determine their duration. Knowing how much time is needed to complete the specified number of constituent tasks, you can make an educated guess on how long the given project stage will take.
4. Utilize Gantt charts
Those charts brilliantly depict the entire path of a project, all of its implementation stages. The Gantt chart is the best solution for planning and controlling deadlines for your projects. If you want to get the best results, you need comprehensive software for project management, for instance, IC Project or Jira.
5. Discuss current planning methods
A good plan of action can not look too far ahead or account for all possible scenarios and variables. Devising such a plan would be very time-consuming and not cost-effective. Not to mention that it is impossible to predict the far future.
6. Methods of flexible planning
One of your team members may have an idea of how to speed up or improve the project, but they will not be able to put words into action because of your lack of flexibility. Of course, this does not mean that you should abandon your plan altogether. That being said, you have to remember to adapt to the changing situation.
7. Planning your priorities—how to set them?
You must keep analyzing and prioritizing all actions so your team knows what to focus on. It is often the case that instead of more urgent tasks, the team tackles tasks with a longer deadline. How to prioritize most effectively when planning? Needless to say, proper tools will come in handy – currently, software for task management or, in this case, management of entire projects features many functions that are useful for planning.
8. Effective planning? only in the group!
If you want your plan to be effective and to end with all your assumptions met, it must be implemented efficiently; therefore, all your team members have to support it. This simply means that you have to negotiate and talk with them. Do you need more knowledge about team management?
9. Make them feel included in the process of project creation
People will be much more eager to implement a project if they feel that they are a part of it. There is no better way to achieve this than by taking their ideas into account. Not only will they have space to indicate errors or give better solutions to existing problems, but they will also give you some relief.
10. How to plan
You might want to start by asking yourself some specific questions.
- What is your goal?
- What is your budget?
- When will the project be finished?
- What resources do you have?
- How would you like to finish the project?
- How will you react if changes are required during its implementation?
- What will happen if one of your team members is unavailable for some time?
11. Process of planning and tracking
Thanks to the answers to these questions, you will start to see what scope, plan of action, budget, and other project-related requirements you have. You will also learn about the roles of all project participants and mentally prepare for unforeseen obstacles.
12. Effective planning without generic goals
Setting vague goals is not a good idea. An example of a vague goal might be an increase in sales or a boost in production volume over a month. Achieving such goals is difficult. However, if you set a goal of boosting sales by 30% or increasing production by 1000 pieces of a specific product, you will have a much easier time planning it.
13. Plan for the completion of several tasks simultaneously.
Avoid horizontal planning, where task X starts only after task Y finishes. It will considerably slow down the implementation. By focusing on one task at a time, you may end up with team members who have nothing to do because they are waiting for someone else to finish their job. This results in an unnecessary waste of time.
14. The best solution – plan with a calendar
Schedules are critical in the implementation phase. This is why you should use an interactive calendar. This is where the Internet gives you a wide array of products to choose from – you can use a regular calendar, such as Google Calendar, or a calendar combined with project management in IC Project, for instance. See what suits you best.
15. The best planning effects result from constant access to information
In addition to developing your calendar, make sure that all team members use it and have access to it. Recording and sharing all deadlines, dates of meetings, audits, and progress evaluations, as well as other significant dates, will allow each project participant to prepare better for their job. Set all tasks in such a way that they can be completed on time and do not conflict with other instructions.
16. Inventory your resources
When devising a good plan of action, it is imperative that you deftly plan how your resources will be used. Double count all that you have at your disposal: your people, materials, funds, and time.
17. Check how long they will last
Determine whether your resources are sufficient or when you may run out of them. There is nothing worse than suddenly realizing that your resources are lacking in the middle of project implementation. This will result in a range of unpleasant consequences.
18. Have a backup plan
If one of your team members quits or becomes ill, you must know who will fill in for them. Therefore, good planning means being ready for change. Make sure that everyone works with someone who can take over at least part of the duties of such a team member and who will facilitate the onboarding process of the substitute.
19. Everything should be documented
Make sure to document all actions—both successes and failures. All that can be useful when implementing new projects in the future.
20. What are the ingredients of a good plan?
When devising a plan, keep several things in mind:
- Focus on the result. Do not rely on vague and generic goals. Set simple ones, which can be verified and measured.
- Devise a plan of action that is flexible, that is, one that assumes the performance of several tasks at the same time. It will allow us to avoid idle time and resource wasting.
- A good plan is a plan that accelerates working on a project. If it sets a deadline that is too far into the future, it may deflate the motivation of your team members. They can be bored and tired or erroneously assume that if there is so much time for implementation, they can work less efficiently and effectively.
- People matter. Remember to account for the ideas of your entire team in a plan so that they feel that they have a say in what the given plan will look like.
We hope that our top 20 guidelines on how to plan to get the best results will help you find the best solution and that its implementation will proceed without any complications.
How to manage a task checklist in 2022?
Task management of the ever-extending checklist of professional obligations has to be somehow reconciled with family life, rest, and time for friends. The best solution to complete all tasks is to have a good plan. With efficiency-improving methods, we can meet requirements and avoid plan failure.
The first rule of a checklist: set your priorities
When faced with an undoable list of duties, one of the first actions you should take is a calm and objective evaluation of activity priority. Which tasks are crucial and simply have to be done, and which ones can wait? What will take the most time, and what can be handled in 10 minutes? Thoroughly prepared checklists and planning of work will allow you to not only save a lot of time but also to work smarter, not harder.
Reduce the task list by half
Setting priorities is indispensable, but it is not always enough. In the plethora of work, less important matters continue to be postponed “for tomorrow” and, as a result, we usually fail to complete them at all. Is there a way to deal with this? One of the strategies is to focus only on the things that are the most important to us at a given time from the point of view of personal and professional goals, letting go of those activities that do not bring us any closer to accomplishing them. Setting the areas of highest importance will make it easier to resign from certain projects.
Say goodbye to perfectionism
Nothing is surprising in the fact that we want our tasks to be completed in the best way possible. Continuous pursuit of perfection makes any activity longer and more labor-consuming. This, in turn, means that we run out of time for other things. Therefore, before we spend another half an hour tuning up some minor details in our report, let’s think if this is necessary. After all, not everything has to be done 100 percent. Usually, it is enough to do something well enough.
Delegate some of your tasks to others
It is also worth considering whether we need to cover all the checklist items ourselves. We often tend to assume duties that could be easily delegated to somebody else. Entrepreneurs and project managers using ICP have an easier task. All they have to do is use the task assignment option and distribute the tasks among the members of their team. On the other hand, an employee can find this solution helpful in finding out if he or she does not do the work… for others.
Learn to say “no”
If we take too much on ourselves, even the best organizational strategy will be of no help. And this is where we arrive at the next key element that will help us not to get overwhelmed with work-refusing. If acceptance of another order will result in your defeat in the battle with the tasks, do not hesitate to say “no” in a well-thought, polite, and diplomatic manner. even if it regards your client or boss.
Excessive responsibilities are nothing nice. Good organization is crucial to facing your duties, but it is not always enough. To find the balance, sometimes it is simply necessary to resign from something, allow somebody else to complete a part of our tasks, or just start saying “no”. One thing is certain we cannot do much without a moment of rest. This is why the rest should be a fixed item in our checklist.
Project management plan for failure in 2022
By planning task management, we can shorten the work time considerably, at the same time devoting less energy to it. All it takes is 5-10 minutes spent with a calendar in our hands, with an application or just writing a checklist. Using a checklist improves efficiency and helps prevent the “I‘ll do it later” attitude. Let’s take a closer look at the most common mistakes that stand in the way of effective planning and what can help in this process.
What makes a plan a failure?
Without a doubt, we all had a few plans that fizzled out. Why does that happen? One of the most common reasons for this failure in the field is trying to make use of every minute of our time. Meanwhile, it is impossible to avoid unforeseen events during the day. Not without reason, experts recommend that you plan no more than 60% of your workday. Leave the rest of the time for unplanned activities and, above all, for some rest without which it is impossible to work effectively.
The key element of effective planning is to create a hierarchy of your responsibilities. Determining which tasks are the most important for us and focusing on the first will give us energy and motivation for further work. Even if it turns out that we are running out of time, forcing us to move less important tasks to tomorrow, we are still one step closer to our final goal.
Effective planning cannot be successful if we do not know the pace of our work. Usually, we are too optimistic about the number of tasks we can perform in a given period, and, as a result, we do not have enough time for less important activities that we have to postpone over and over. To avoid being overwhelmed by work, it is worth assuming that a given task might take us twice as much time as we expect. Our checklist will automatically shorten. It appears, however, that it is better to complete fewer tasks rather than wrap up the day with frustration and a feeling that you did not work well enough, right?
To plan the work day, you can use a simple paper notebook and a calendar. You could also benefit from the advantages of new technologies and try out some applications helping with time and task management, such as ICP. Using it, we might not get the satisfaction of checking the consecutive points on our “to-do” list with a pen, yet the conveniences offered by the system make up for this minor drawback. What can we gain? Above all, access to our task list from almost any place and the possibility to share it with other team members. There is no need to persuade anybody that this could improve the workflow in their team. Even the best checklist created on paper cannot, unfortunately, be synchronized. Time management in ICP is also simplified by the built-in calendar, which displays tasks entered into it. We do not have to remember the date of their implementation; the system will remind us of this with a special notification.
Let’s sum up what you can do for the planning to be effective:
- Leave yourself a margin for error.
- Prioritize the tasks
- Start with the hardest assignments
- discover your working pace
- embrace the opportunities offered by modern tools
Higher motivation, better quality of task execution, and time savings are just some of the benefits of effective planning. Although this skill is, indeed, a form of art, mastering it does not come without effort, by all means, it is worth practicing. This is an investment with a great rate of return that will help to avoid a plan for failure.