Whether you’re working with a handful of team members or a large, decentralized team, organization is key. To avoid getting overwhelmed and allowing crucial details to slip under the radar, you’ll want to master the core components of successful task management before beginning a new project. Here are a few of the best tips for keeping a handle on workflow, task completion and team communication:
As project manager, you’re the one who sees the big picture of each project. When considering the best method of task management for teams, you need to break up the project at hand into separate tasks in order of importance. Before you even assign a task to a team member or group, always know where it fits in the grand scheme of things. Does the task need to be done in a specific order? Does it require a specific set of skills? Does the rest of the project rely on this one task’s completion? Knowing all these things about the task will give you a better sense of who to entrust it to. Before you identity the ‘A’ players, you’ll need to know what the ‘A’ tasks are.
Keep Communication Lines Open
No matter how large or small your team size is, successful task management hinges on good communication. Whether it means constantly updating and interacting with other team members, having daily progress reports, or simply checking in with each team member personally, communication is the only way you’ll get a true sense of what’s getting done, what’s not getting done and who is struggling. Using cloud-based software like Clarizen is great with task management for teams since it allows you to constantly be in contact with progress reports and scheduling updates. Encourage team members to task review every morning as the first order of business. This will foster greater transparency and accountability while keeping everyone on the same page.
Balance Strengths with Weaknesses
As project manager, you’ll already know who your team are well before beginning a large project. This will help you, not only to assign tasks, but also to break up your team into smaller groups that can provide each other with complementary skill sets. If you have an ‘A’ player who has trouble with deadlines, pair them with a worker who always has work ready on time. If a specific team member has issues with workflow, pair them with someone who will be able to pick up the slack.
Know When to Delegate (and Who to Delegate To)
Task management, especially task management for teams, comes down to collaboration. In order for your team to work like a well-oiled machine, you’ll need to be able to spread the right amount of work around and make sure it gets done. This requires not only a sense of personal delegation, but also some amount of comfort with showing your team members how to delegate amongst themselves. When it comes to larger groups and especially non-hierarchical teams, having each team member know exactly what their capacity is and how much work they can take on is crucial to getting tasks done efficiently and on time.
Establish a Repeatable Methodology
Once you’ve found a task management methodology that works, make sure it can be repeated by both yourself and the rest of your team. Relying on something that’s tried and true, instead of starting from scratch each time, will ensure the process is as smooth and effective as possible. To keep the process as streamlined as possible, use tools that help automate the task management process such as intake forms and pre-defined workflows and approvals.