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  • Writer's pictureCarsten Ley

From Time to Project Management - how to get things done?

As a guest speaker for a multinational F&B company, we highlighted techniques and methods to efficiently manage your time for maximum output.


Content


First you need a goal!

A lot of people feel that they are wasting their time all day because they do not work against specific targets and goals. Furthermore a lot of organisations and leaders do not tell them the purpose of their jobs and assignments based on the company's strategy and long term goals.


Both in OKR (Objectives & Key Results) and KPI methodologies, we first need to clarify the overall mid- or long-term target before starting to work and how to measure if we are successful with our jobs or not. Once this is clarified even only on a 2 weeks scale (similar as in Agile) and we are aligned with our superiors and our peers, we can dive into to the actual work with tasks and actions. So please pause every Monday and ideally every morning to understand how this weeks tasks support your and the company's overall goals.


From Strategy to OKRs & Actions - Time Management
From Strategy to OKRs & Actions

Everything you do on a daily basis should bring you closer to your goals and Key Results / KPIs. They also help you to measure your progress on a regular basis and to have evidence about your work output and impact.



Effective time management

Before looking how to manage your time effectively, let us have a look at the main implications of poor time management and what we feel:

  1. Feeling of wasted time

  2. Need to replicate same work

  3. Feeling of loss of control

  4. Poor and inconsistent workflow

  5. Poor quality of work and results

  6. Fear of poor reputation

A crucial part of time management is the prioritization of tasks or actions according to our current schedule, urgency from stakeholders and our own preferences pending on our physical and psychological availability.


A great and simple tool for effective time management is the Eisenhower Matrix, which helps us to prioritize, schedule, delegate and even reject tasks if possible.


Effective Time Management (Eisenhower Matrix)
Effective Time Management (Eisenhower Matrix)


1. Do - It is paramount that we get things done in our job and it also give us a feeling of usefulness and success to start that day with things we can solve right away. According to the matrix, we should start with the most Important & Urgent tasks first, especially the ones stakeholders are waiting for results or are important for more actions and task down the line.


2. Schedule - Important Task which are not urgent should be deliberately scheduled in your electronic calendar in order to follow up with them later on due time. Scheduling frees our mind in any given moment from thinking about the tasks and gives us the security that we will not forget it later. Scheduling together with others also give your stakeholders or teams a heads up for upcoming tasks.


3. Delegate - Delegation is a powerful tool to utilize your team's or stakeholder resources and to free up your time. It is important that you set yourself a reminder to follow up on time as you are still responsible for this task and action. Delegation is further a means to empower and foster talents in your team, however be aware that delegation also needs coaching and not just a blunt drop-off of tasks to somebody else. Make sure you follow-up up and support your team once you delegated!


4. Delete - Delete often means to set aside and do it later when you have any down time as we are often not in the position to reject a task completely. It should not stay in our focus and be on a backlog list with items we pick up which are nice to have. Of course full outright deletion would be the best to not create an overflow backlog.


If we follow the Eisenhower Matrix strictly and add the advise to do what is most difficult first for psychological boost, we could build a very efficient schedule for our tasks. It is further paramount to time-box every tasks to keep our flow going.


Effective Project management


One of the greatest sources of conflicts in projects is scheduling priorities (according to PMI). Therefore any project management methodology lays focus on scheduling and planning and even in agile we have a 2 - 4 weeks planning with a strict cadence of events.


It is important in projects first to agree on the scope or the desired outcome (including specific requirements) before we even think about scheduling and time management. This is similar to the goal setting in the first chapter that we need to understand the overall targets before we jump into micro tasks and their cadence:


  1. Collect Project Requirements

  2. Determine the scope of the project

  3. Align with all stakeholders

  4. Break down the scope or steps do desired outcome into milestones & tasks (or epics & issues respectively)

  5. Sequence and schedule the tasks of different teams and team members

  6. Use the Eisenhower Matrix for personal scheduling and prioritization


For more information on Project & Agile Management please visit our homepage Asia PMO and the respective blogs:


For more information how to manage your time efficiently or to inspire your teams on a keynote speeches or workshops, please contact me directly on carsten@asiapmo.com or on our contact form.


This blog was written by Carsten Ley, Keynote Speaker, Trainer, Entrepreneur & Enabler in Customer Experience, Project & Business Transformation leading large scale project implementations in Retail, E-commerce, Banking, Consulting & Experience Management for companies like Deloitte Germany, VW Mexico, Rolls-Royce UK, Lazada Vietnam and H&M South East Asia. He founded 2018 Asia PMO, a consulting firm focussing on getting clients fast and efficient into implementation of company objectives, customer & employee experience improvements to foster a result- and team-oriented environment.

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