How to manage multiple projects

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 By Jack Nevison

While a challenge even for the experienced project manager, you can successfully juggle several projects if you follow proper practices. As many companies seek to cut costs, it is increasingly common for PMs to be asked to take charge of several projects and multiple teams. In these situations it is easy for details to slip through the cracks. To avoid some of the most common errors in multi-project management, follow the tips outlined below.

  • Establish priorities. While every project may seem to be the favorite of one executive or sponsor, some projects will have greater potential benefit than others. Lacking clear instructions on which project is the most important, you may have to use your best judgment. Once you have assigned a hierarchy to your project list, PMChampion.com advises having it approved by the appropriate senior manager to avoid conflict.
  • Delegate. A project management professional knows his or her own strengths and weaknesses, and can delegate tasks accordingly. While immersing yourself in a project's finer points can be good for team morale, your first responsibility is to  organizational tasks. When managing multiple projects, try to avoid showing a preference for one team or project over another, as it can negatively influence a team's work on other assignments.
  • Make communication a priority. Make sure every team member knows the best way to reach you for comments, concerns or emergencies. Take a moment every day to communicate with each team member. This practice shows that you're invested in their work and serves as an opportunity to learn about any problems or challenges they might be facing.

New Leaf Project Management's free white paper "Meeting the Challenge of Multi-Project Management" can show you how to handle the demands of managing multiple projects. In addition, our online series of QPM games let you learn while you earn PDU credits for PMP recertification.

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"QPM™" is a registered mark of New Leaf Project Management. All rights reserved.

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