The organization of business projects helps to avoid unnecessary complications. When trying to be efficient and breeze through tasks quickly, their mismanagement makes for an unsatisfactory result. Advanced thinking about what is needed and putting the requests in to the right people ahead of that part of the project is not possible when you are disorganized and fail to plan ahead. However, when adopting a digital tool to keep on top of your projects, they can be managed with ease.
Here are some different ways to organize your projects successfully.
The Kanban system is a simple one. The idea is to use cards for individual tasks and a series of boards to place the cards on. It can be done on a corkboard by pinning index cards up on the board in several columns or by using Kanban board software.
Using software makes it possible to drag and drop cards from one board to the next when their status has changed. The Kanban board can be accessed from a smartphone, tablet or PC; not just when in the room that has the corkboard on the wall, which is a significant advantage.
Using Kanban board software like Kanbanize has considerable advantages over a traditional To-Do list. Managers can more easily visualize the status of a project based on what tasks are waiting to be worked on, those currently in progress, and the ones already completed.
Looking at a To-Do list, it’s far more difficult to get a sense of the status of the overall project. It’s also easier to visually see who has been assigned specific tasks with the Kanbanize software to ensure staff aren’t getting overloaded. The Kanban system is proven to improve productivity, simultaneously reducing inefficiencies. Other Kanban-based organizers don’t necessarily do as well in this regard.
The To-Do list is an old one but a good one nonetheless. It’s simply a list of things to do. Using software like Google’s Task list that incorporates into Gmail or To-Do from Microsoft (formerly Wunderlist), users can stay organized by using different lists.
Some people like to use David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology (GTD) with lists for @home, @work, and so on. There are many fans of this approach which started off with Allen using his Palm Pilot organizer that only had simple lists with to-do items and a limited facility to add notes.
The idea was to spend little time managing the lists and tasks so that more time could be spent completing each task. Allen’s thinking remains that getting the tasks out of your head and onto a list frees your mind to focus more clearly on what’s right in front of you.
Whether using the GTD system or not, for projects that break down neatly into simple lists and tasks, using a To-Do list works fine. However, when tasks are shared among multiple people or multiple tasks are at different stages of completion, the structure begins to get fuzzy around the edges. To-Do lists only work where simplicity is the key to success. The more complicated the project, the less useful a To-Do list becomes.
Pen and Paper
Using pen and paper is a suitable solution for people who are running around and just need a short list of things to do. For instance, a bunch of errands is just as useful in a small notepad in your back pocket as it is read from a To-Do list app on a smartphone. While sometimes a shopping list on a digital To-Do list can include the cheapest source for each item, the lowest price to look for and so on, usually that’s overkill when the shopping list is small.
While using pen and paper is effortless, it has its drawbacks. While crossing items out and adding new one works fine, reorganizing a list to place some tasks at the top usually requires either re-writing the list on a fresh sheet of paper or trying to squeeze them in which looks messy.
A Hybrid Solution
The lack of sophistication with pen and paper is sometimes its charm. For instance, some people use a digital software package for tasks management, but also have a simple legal pad with their 3-5 tasks that they’re focused on that day. Having the pad next to them at their work desk helps to screen out other distractions like looking at a long list of tasks requiring action and allowing themselves to get distracted by them.
These are the four best options to stay organized on your projects. Some people choose to use full-blown project management software like Microsoft Project. However, this is overly complicated to use and only suits complex, long-term projects. One of the four options above is more than sufficient in most cases.