1 PERSON OWNS THE PROJECT
One of the most frustrating things about being a project manager (PM) is having too many PMs on a project.
Let ONE person own the project. They’re responsible for creating the project, assigning tasks, call notes, and updating the project daily.
Trust me, this makes life so much easier and prevents people from getting pissed off with one another.
Also, it helps keep the PM in the loop on everything that’s going on so nothing is missed and the project is more likely to be completed on time.
No one should be coming into the project and changing things around unless they’re the PM or have permission from the PM to do so.
DO NOT ASSIGN INCOMPLETE TASKS
I never assign a task to someone without the following information in the task:
- Assignee (who is responsible for completing the task)
- Due Date (when is the final version of this task due)
- Description with links (what needs to get done, why, how, where, dependencies, etc)
- Instructions for review (what needs to be sent to whom once this is completed)
The more specific you get in a task, the less questions you’ll get from your team member.
I also include a link to the SOP for completing that task. My team is trained to know review that SOP (video & written steps) before pinging me with further questions.
DUE DATES ARE REQUESTS (AT FIRST)
Unless it’s an emergency, due dates are requests until there’s an agreement from both parties that the project/task can be completed by the requested due date.
This is especially important to implement when you’re working with contractors because they have other clients and obligations.
It’s best to respect their turnaround times and be considerate of their schedules or you’re going to be disappointed when things aren’t being completed on time.
For emergency, or last minute, tasks, I would ping the team member via Slack and discuss the task details and needed due date.
If the team member can do the task quickly, still assign a task with details. If not, ask when the task can be completed and update the due date to reflect that.
Once a due date has been agreed upon, it’s usually non-negotiable. Emergencies and blocks happen but there must be communication about those events.
CREATE TEMPLATES FOR EVERYTHING
This is an incomplete project template I started for onboarding clients but that’s the point, all you have to do is get the information out of your head and into Asana.
Once you start putting it together and seeing the steps, you or your team can better organize the template.
Make it a team/company challenge to document every single thing everyone does and then to make an Asana template for it.
I have a paid version of Asana so I have the ability to create “Teams”. I have a “Templates” team where I store templates as projects. Each project will contain the steps to complete that project or process.
You can also store all of your templates as tasks within one project.
USE CONVERSATIONS FOR CALL NOTES
I take notes during ALL calls with anyone I have that call with. I keep the notes in the Conversations section of the project. From the call notes, I will then assign out tasks.
You can tag people in the project (I use this as a reminder to myself to task that person with the thing that needs to get done).
Progress updates also get stored in Conversations.
UPDATE YOUR PROJECT PROGRESS WEEKLY
I do Progress updates every Friday and try to get them done by 12pm Pacific Time.
This keeps everyone in the loop on the status of the project(s) and it’s great for client communication.
Team members can leave comments on the updates as well.
That’s all I can think of for now but if I remember anything else, I’ll make sure to update this post.
Also, in the comments below, please share your best practices for managing projects and teams and using a task management system.