Project Management Best Practices: Prioritizing and Planning

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Prioritizing and PlanningWorking as a Project Manager means that you have to cover a lot of various aspects of the project and you will inevitably face quite many challenges. The most typical ones are how to plan the whole project in the right way; what team members to choose, who should perform this or that task and who will turn out to be more effective performing the obligations, how to estimate the costs of the project and to lead the project within the agreed sum; what can be done to complete the project in the scheduled time etc. We have enlisted only the most important issues of the project management work.

Top Project Management Challenges

Coming closer to the challenges of the project management occupation, it is worth speaking a bit more about planning and prioritizing that are considered to be the top preferences of the whole project running work.

If we give the definition of a project management planning, you can say that it is a kind of a document that captures the whole project from the very beginning to the very end, embracing every phase of a project or every step that has to be taken during the project execution. Sometimes, planning can include creating the list of team members and their particular tasks they are supposed to perform. It also involves planning finance and time resources for a project.

Crucial Importance of Project Planning

It goes without saying that planning is vital for any type of project in the company. We cannot deny the desire to omit any planning and just plunge into the project, and to engage the people that seem to be the most appropriate for the project work and start doing something immediately. But it has been proved many times that not having a solid base in the shape of project planning will definitely jeopardize the entire process and will surely lead to performance difficulties, the budget overrunning and to the worst scenario – to a project failure.

Certainly that nobody wants to see the project failure that is why; project planning is paid enough attention to.

Great Effort Prioritizing

But even having done your best in planning the project thoroughly, do not forget that you have a lot of tasks to be accomplished within the project. The hardest issue is to decide what processes are the most important ones and they have to be performed firstly, and what has minor importance. As we can deduct, to prioritize is a complicated decision-making process for a majority of Project Managers.

They come across a great deal of cases where Project Managers are either puzzled or have no idea how to plan and prioritize the tasks and processes within the project. It can happen due to various reasons: a Project Manager is not experienced enough to deal with it or the project itself is too complicated.  But none of the excuses can be justified. Projects have to be completed in time and the client should be delighted.

Automation Attempt

In order to solve the acute issue project managers do refer to the modern project management solutions that offer to automate the process of planning.

The issue of prioritizing seems to be solved, but, at the same time, there are still some drawbacks. There is not a single tool in the world that can do it at a rather reliable level. The only person that can do it is a Project Manager herself or himself.

Providing  a few tips how to prioritize, we can say that, firstly, you can divide the whole processes into urgent, mid-term and long-term ones; secondly, while defining the necessity and urgency of every task, take into account deadlines, consequences, costs, time etc.

As it has been told above, it is immensely hard to automate prioritizing; on the other hand, project management planning can be successfully automated with the help of cutting-edge project management tools.

Automated Planning Software Example

Speaking about the tools that can be implemented to automate project management planning process, we can mention Comindware Project and its unique feature – automated priority-based planning. The essence of the option is you are able to schedule your projects by assigning tasks and determining priorities by drag-and-drop principle. After that your project will be calculated automatically. In such a way you don’t have to worry about resource allocation and task linking any more.

The solution also offers a simplified version of Gantt charts that take less effort from you to plan and to fulfill the project.  It is possible to import your previously accomplished planning documents from MS Project if you have implemented this software before.

What is more, you can rely on Work Breakdown Structure chart while using Comindware Project.

We have just mentioned one of the tools that can be exercised while automating project planning. For sure, every tool has its own strong and weak sides, and only project managers themselves will select the software that they will use with enough confidence.

comindware-gantt-view

Conclusion

To sum up, it is reminded that there are no projects without any planning and setting priorities. These two stages of project executions are as vital as breathing for people. If you are successful with these two phases, you can be sure to complete the projects with the results you expect. That is why, be ready to spend more time than ever planning and prioritizing. In order to ease the painful procedure of planning and setting priorities, there is an opportunity to automate every process with the help of modern project management solutions.

Steward Copper

Steward Copper

Hi, my name’s Steward Copper and I am the owner of Project Management Insights. While working as a project coordinator and BA, I have tried almost all possible PM tools, BA instruments, collaboration programs, including tracker and task management software solutions. I use Comindware Project for my project management processes. Follow me on Linkedin.

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