Manage Projects So They Don’t Manage You

I’ll cut right to the chase: nearly every task and activity is a project. Some are simply more involved and take longer to accomplish. Some are reoccurring; others happen once in a blue moon. Yet they all have this in common:

“If you don’t take time to manage your projects, your projects will manage to take your time.”

I’ve not found the “perfect” project management tool, so I use a combination of tools that fit each situation. I have a moleskin that I use to write down tasks and project information in ad-hoc meetings. I also use Evernote on my iPhone when I need to quickly record audio or take a picture to help me with the project details. My one “constant” is the online software, Basecamp, by 37 Signals, which I use at work to help organize, prioritize, share, delegate & track project progress. In the past, I’ve been in companies that used Microsoft’s Project, the mother of all project management tools, but my experience with it revealed to me that you’ll need a certified project manager to make that software really sing.

Admittedly, managing projects means that I have to take the time to enter projects and care about the progress as my own accountability. We’re only as accountable as we want to be, so this requires a certain level of discipline.

When you think about it, learning project management is a must-have skill that will serve you well in church, business and life. In fact, through my years of consulting I’ve made the recommendation for churches to hire certified (or even a degree in Project Management) project managers.

Sunday comes every seven days. What you do between those seven days is a series of projects every week.

I’ve included a few resources that I’ve found helpful in learning about project management. Feel free to share your resources in the comments below.

Project management software:

http://basecamphq.com/

http://www.activecollab.com/

http://www.myintervals.com/

http://www.gtdagenda.com/

http://www.microsoft.com/project

Project management books:

A Manager’s Guide to Project Management

Scrappy Project Management

The One-Page Project Manager

 

1 Comment

  1. The former Primavera has a rock solid program which competes with Microsoft called SureTrak. It's EOL has been announced as the end of 2010 and it is still a 16 bit application.
    Oracle has purchased Primavera (Oct 2008) and is making changes to the product line. I hope they don't abandon this market

    Reply

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