If you're juggling more than one project, you know it can be easy to lose track of some of the details. Your projects will be sailing along smoothly and then BOOM! there's a crisis on every single project all at the same time. So, how do you stay sane when your projects are going crazy?
You can’t be in more than one place at a time, so your best defense against a major project blowout is a good project plan. This includes figuring out -- before your begin your project -- the project goals, deliverables, schedule and resources. It won’t stop disasters, but will help keep you on track when there’s a blip in your project.
Your project goals will be established through discussion with your stakeholders. The project won’t be a success until they say it is, so getting a list of wants and needs from them and setting up a prioritized set of goals is critical.
Your goals will determine what your deliverables will be from the project. You can identify these from discussions with your stakeholders. Make sure you get buy in from them.
Based on your planned goals and deliverables, prepare a realistic schedule for getting things done. You’ll want to identify the what, who and how much -- what will be done, who will do it, and how much time it will take. Make sure you sync this up with the expectations of your stakeholders. If the stakeholder has set an imposed timeline that is not realistic based on your estimates, you will need to negotiate this up front.
Identify all risks in the planning stage too. These could be things like budget issues, turn around time, resources or scope creep to name a few. Set up a mitigation plan so you're not thrown for a loop when an issue occurs.
So there you go. What other suggestions do you have for staying sane when juggling multiple projects?