How to be an Effective Project Manager in the Times of COVID-19 & Beyond

Project Managers are gripped with an unusual challenge of resource management during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Team leads and resource managers have to ensure businesses run as usual in addition to normal operations & project management activities.

And above all, maintain rigorous customer connect and relationship management to prevent anxiety and chaos.

Organizations are in a state of flux to ensure optimum service continuity. Each have activated their crisis mgmt., disaster mgmt. and business continuity plans to support their customers, employees and communities.

Self-quarantine and remote work management is at the centre of all these efforts.

More and more teams are adopting SaaS project management tools, remote team management tools to stay effective and deliver efficiently.

Here are some quick actionable inputs for you to make the most out of your project and task collaboration software.

Make a Task Breakdown Structure

Given the current scenario, it is crucial that the minutest of tasks are recorded and executed. There is already a lot of chaos and avenues for missed communication and collaboration.

Give your projects and overall operations a proper structure.

Breakdown large complex projects first into meaningful task groups.

Further on, simplify the task groups in to relevant tasks, subtasks, sub-subtasks and add checklists to your tasks where required.

Be as detailed as possible and carful enough not to miss out on any activity.

Once you have the structure ready move on with optimum resource management and planning.

Take Resource Availability into account

To begin any sort of resource planning, you need absolute clarity on your available resources.

Many of your team members may have been impacted or have to take care of their family members or have been called out for community service.

Knowing your troop strength is critical to make a robust execution plan.

You need a quick resource availability view to see

Resource Availability

  • Who and how many resources are available?
  • How many are on leave and when are they getting back?
  • How many are already overloaded and till when?
  • How many are ready to be deployed and till when?
  • How many are currently engaged and when will they be made available?

Once all the above questions are answered, you are off to a good start for efficient resource allocation.

Allocate Resources Transparently

Working to your teams’ strength should be your default mantra at the moment.

Head on to your resource allocation report to find out how your resources are already occupied.

Find out the current task allocation, task types and estimated hours for those tasks.

The resource allocation report will give you a comprehensive view of the task count, total estimated hours and engaged till dates.

Resource Allocation Report

What also helps is the detailed insights to

  • Resource allocation across all ongoing projects
  • Drill down capabilities in terms of specific resources or projects
  • Quick view of active, overdue and upcoming tasks based on your filter criteria

These numbers offer you enough information to plan your task assignments for your team.

Efficient Task Tracking

The show must go on and the ability to track task progress is a must.

Now, that you are able to allocate tasks to the chosen resources, get down to the execution aspects to keep the momentum going.

Pay attention to the finer details of task management.

The key is to ensure

  • Proper task categorization using task types and labels
  • Defining subtasks, sub-subtasks and checklists to maintain continuity
  • Use Task Linking to keep the related, duplicated and derived tasks together
  • Use task reminders, comment posts and notify via email to keep all informed

Quick Task

Now, real time tracking and to conduct efficient remote meetings head over to your Kanban board.

Kanban board is where you get to see the true state of affairs!

Most importantly, you get to know

  • How your tasks are moving across status
  • How many tasks are there in which task groups
  • Who is the assignee, what are the spent hours etc.

Kanban Board

You can take quick status calls with your team over a 15minute conference call and you are set for the day!

Report & Communicate Progress

Whatever you do, keeping all stakeholders engaged is a critical success factors in chaotic times.

Identify some of the key reports that your management and clients would like to receive.

Make sure that they are simple, easy to generate and convey the crux of your project progress.

Some quick reports you can easily generate with a few clicks are

  • Project Overview Dashboard – mainly for your clients
  • Resource Utilization – for all project managers, team leads, program managers and the PMO
  • Tasks open and resolved reports etc.

Project Overview DashboardReports, make it easier to convey the key happenings of your project with all the stakeholders.

You get to answer and address any questions/concerns pre-emptively.

At the same time, obtain desired focus and participation from your key decision makers.

Thereby, progress is visible in real-time, roadblocks are identified proactively & decision making is faster.

Key Takeaways

Remember, communication can never be substituted!

Having said that remote project management tools offer comprehensive feature sets so you can:

  • Align your teams with the overall goal and vision
  • Track the OKRs – objectives and key results
  • Plan effortlessly with decisive insights
  • Execute timely & prevent delays
  • Collaborate irrespective of your location – absolutely barrier free!
  • Communicate in real time leaving no scope for misinformation

Lastly, all your team members can pick up from where they left as all information is centralized!

What else do you need to ensure “total lights on” during this pandemic?

Serve your customers with confidence, maintain optimum business continuity & keep your employees motivated and safe.

Let your customers know, “you’re in it together!” Signup Today

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