How to manage multiple projects

Tips for managing multiple projects from those who run multiple companies

Mark Trego
Sep 19, 2017

Unsurprisingly, those who have built the companies with arguably the biggest impact in their respective industries have not done it just once, but multiple times, and often at the same time.

Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson are some of the more recognizable serial entrepreneurs who have mastered the art of managing a vast spectrum of ventures, all in the same workday hours as the rest of us. They pioneer the “work smarter” movement. It’s not just the multi-billionaires, either. There are multiple serial small business owners and entrepreneurs who have the same incredible talent.

Most managers find difficulty in cohesively organizing one or two projects at the same time, let alone entire companies.

But, applying the tricks and principles of master serial entrepreneurs could be the key to more successful project management (and hopefully less stress).

Outsource anything you’re not brilliant at

This is well known, yet rarely used by many companies. Business owners are used to outsourcing certain processes and skill sets because they are comfortable with hiring. However, managers are used to overseeing and guiding team members. Although that can be helpful, it also completely defeats the purpose of having employee with skills you don’t. Can you imagine if Elon Musk oversaw every line of code written at Tesla?

If managers learn to delegate more responsibility in projects – in the same way a business owner hires someone else for a “job” – less time would be spent micromanaging, and instead, you’ll be letting employees do what they were hired for. Managers tend to want a hand in everything, even if they’re not the experts. Most employees feel that with more autonomy and trust, they are actually more productive.

With that, hire multi-skilled employees

This is particularly important for small business owners who run multiple operations. Your employees should be capable of taking over multiple roles across projects, in order to maximise productivity. Hiring the right people will make or break a business – especially a startup, where almost everyone needs to be a “jack of all trades.” Managers should think of their projects like a startup: team members should be selected based on their ability to be flexible and take on various roles. It’s more efficient time and logistics wise, especially with multiple projects in one office. The more you can accomplish with less people, the better and faster the execution of tasks. Richard Branson famously believes in hiring or training employees so that “they can go anywhere. And treating them so well they won’t.” For discovering what your team can already do, follow our process.

Centralize communication and processes

Those who run multiple operations don’t have time to check 15 different accounts and apps to stay in touch with their project managers. That would be entirely inefficient. And it shouldn’t be like that when managing a project either. A communication error often made by project managers (and companies in general) – that serial entrepreneurs don’t make – is using multiple methods of communication and task management rather than centralizing. The more feeds there are to check, the more slips through the net, and the more mistakes are made. From the start of your project, you should be clear about communication protocol and use a platform that covers all your needs. We use Hibox to chat, manage tasks, and video call all in one place for easy project management.

Dashboard results frequently

Running multiple operations requires frequent updates, so you can make strategic decisions in real time. Elon Musk alternates which days he meets with each company and schedules quick status update meetings. He prefers his teams to report directly to him. As a project manager, you should expect the same clear and frequent communication. The best way to do this is to have your team “dashboard” results on a consistent basis. Dashboarding gives you a quick overview of progress using your top metrics. Some great tools for this are Scoro or Domo which help your team build dashboards to display results immediately.

Really, serial entrepreneurs are just incredibly organized and talented project managers. They’ve mastered the skills and discovered the processes and put them to the ultimate test. Adopting similar habits as a project manager could mean huge improvements on your projects’ results.

For an all-in-one collaboration and communication platform for project management, try Hibox free with your team today.

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