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How I Manage a Large Project

How do I manage a large project? I have found that having an easy and customizable system for managing all the tasks and related information is essential. The success of the project is directly tied to keeping all the balls in the air and completing the tasks in a timely manner. After some trial and error, here’s the system that worked really well for a recent project.

For the past 3 months, I have been managing an office move for a 5-person law firm. As the project started to gain momentum, I realized that my system for tracking all the activity had to get up to speed quickly. As I was working in my client’s former space, their new space, and in my office, I needed a solution that could be easily accessed. Initially I was using a pad to take notes and track tasks to be done. I quickly recognized that this wasn’t going to work long term as the pages were quickly filling up with a combination of notes, follow-ups, and calls to be made. I was wasting too much time trying to find reference information and sorting through the notes to locate the immediate priorities.

So, I applied the same strategy as I do with my clients. I took a step back, identified what was working like having all the project information in one place, and what wasn’t working like having all types of information mixed together on the same page. My preference was to use a paper solution instead of a digital one, but it had to be portable. It was clear that it was time to pull out my Arc notebook which could be customized for the needs of this project. I set up tabs for tasks to be done, tasks to be followed up, and for meeting notes. In addition, I inserted the task pads in the follow-up section, so I had a place for quickly jotting down tasks that were pending as I fired off email after email.

Now that the project is winding down, I’m reviewing the contents of my notebook. This was the perfect solution for keeping track of the over 80 tasks, 115 follow-ups, and meeting notes from conversations with my client, the building staff, mover, and IT company.

This was how I manage a large project.  What do you do?  If you need a tip or two to create a system that will work for you, reach out to me.