But with tight deadlines, lots of people and multiple projects, planning your time can be very tricky.
Matt has first-hand knowledge of what it means to manage multiple project groups with their own goals, priorities and working habits. He knows precisely how crucial it is to have a clear picture of all projects to allocate resources between them, especially when you plan hundreds of tasks for a really large team.
"At some point, we decided to bring all that to a system, rather than continue trying to work through the Outlook Calendar," comments Matt Bullock. In less than three months of using Wrike, Matt systematized all his team's tasks and projects in one place.
If you feel overloaded with tasks and stressed out by deadlines, Matt's experience can really help you out!
These four rules revolutionized project management in Base Camp Franchising. If you face the same challenges of running multiple projects simultaneously, they might be helpful for your business, too. Here's what Matt advises:
1. Coordinate your team's efforts
This may seem obvious, but in reality, too often people are overloaded with unstructured information when new tasks spontaneously appear from everywhere - via e-mails, phone, Skype, etc.
Employees rarely see the whole picture of the project, so they're not aware of where the team's priorities stand, or their own definition of capacity in business. Consequently, they get out of sync in collaboration. We all have faced situations when, say, it took three days to complete a task, while there were only three people working on it for an hour each. When a worker isn't in the loop with what his peer does, he might have a wrong vision of priorities. People work on things that seem to be the most important for them, but the priorities may be different on the level of an entire project.
"There are two things I like about Wrike. First, it gives me a list of to-dos within each project any time I need it. Secondly, it automatically sends notifications, so that not only me, but all other project contributors are always aware of what they need to accomplish and when."
2. There can't be too many experts
We got used to the idea that too many cooks spoil the broth. However, with the impact of technology, this proverb doesn't really match modern collaboration.
If your team is able to share information and communicate efficiently, involving experts can help you discover mistakes on earlier stages and avoid losing time on unpromising projects.
3. Use technologies that save time
Matt highlights: "Instead of having long meetings in order to know how is the project going, in Wrike, it's like in Facebook, where you post a status on a task when something is happening, and you always know when something has changed or needs to be changed. That helps a lot!"
4. Be precise; it really helps!
You should be ready to estimate your resources immediately when a new idea comes up. This way, you don't risk jumping into something that you are unable to accomplish before the deadline.
Matt believes that the Gantt chart is the most efficient tool for making this tip work: "We use the Gantt chart, where we can easily see how much time we have and decide whether we are able to add a new feature or not. I can set task dependencies and milestones, so it's easy to plan to see how changes might influence everything."
Applying these methods to its project management practices, Base Camp Franchising improved its time planning and made collaboration more efficient. As a consequence, no change can knock the team off the course – it's now able to react way faster than before.