Sunday, September 14, 2003

Project Management – Part 1 - Time Management

The key to a successful project is project management. As mentioned before it is relatively easy to lose the momentum and focus you have on a project and sometimes it can be out of your control. We all have ways of dealing with how to get work completed. Some people have a project manager to help keep them on track and others rely on themselves.

If you are responsible for getting work completed then you must have an understanding of what it takes to successfully deliver a product or service. In my day job I am part of a team of individuals who manage and provide tech support for an architectural company. My specialty is in CAD, Graphics and Rendering software/hardware. Due to the nature of being in this position constant interruptions are normal.

In order to get larger task done you need to distance yourself from these interruptions. Wait you say, isn’t this your job? Yes you are correct, but getting technology projects planned and completed can be difficult in this type of environment. Which brings us to the first step in a successful project: Time Management. I realize that you work xx hours a week, but that is not exactly what time management is. TM is more of setting aside a certain amount of uninterrupted time in order to accomplish a task.

This can be much harder to do you than you may think. Here are a few tips that can help to get and keep you in the “zone”.

1. Have a clean and creative work area.
2. Turn off e-mail, instant messengers, newsgroups etc…
3. Turn off the telephone, cell phone, pagers etc...
4. Use earphones to reduce outside noise and conversations.
5. If you absolutely cannot get work done where you are, move to another location (even temporarily).
6. In extreme cases you can use a “do not disturb” sign on the back of your chair or office. (A piece of tape across the entrance can also help let people know this as well.)

There are quite a few good books available that you can order or if you are fortunate enough to have a good project manager at your company then spend sometime with them and watch how they handle their time on projects.

Happy Rendering...

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