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Managers look for people who can work safely and efficiently at all levels of an organization.
One way to prove you can manage multiple projects is to be able to do it all.
These are three myths you might believe about managing multiple projects. They could be stopping you taking the next step in your career or showing your boss that you can do it.
Myth: The books will tell you what to do
You have a lot of project management books. You’ve done a course. You have mastered project management. Maybe you even have a certification.
Truth is, certification won’t teach you how to manage multiple projects.
Truth is, I recommend all of the books I recommend (and yes, even those I have written) because they tend to view managing projects as a one-off task.
You start a new project.
It is important that you work with your team.
You finish it.
In the real world, people have to manage multiple projects. We work in organizations and businesses that don’t have the luxury to manage one project at a given time.
Partly because most projects are small enough that they don’t require a full-time worker.
Another reason is that more businesses deliver change and are short on project managers. Organizations have too many things to do and not enough PMs, so we end up managing multiple projects simultaneously.
The certification prep books will help you pass the exam but not how to adapt your skills into a way that streamlines managing multiple things at once. This will eliminate duplication and stop you from annoying stakeholders with multiple requests.
Tip: Learn how to manage multiple projects, so you can tackle all the tasks on your To Do List in the most efficient manner.
Myth: Your manager is aware of what you are doing
Regular reporting is a must. Your manager will know what you do every day and how many hours you have.
Truth: They do set work, but don’t have the capacity to keep track of what you do each day.
Your manager may give you things to do, but they have only a very high-level overview about what you are doing each day. This was something I learned the hard way.
After a difficult conversation with a project sponsor, I called my manager at night. I was in tears and couldn’t keep my voice steady, so I called my manager back.
My sponsor wanted me to do something that was impossible and, in my opinion, a waste of time. It was an administrative task: I had to copy the handwritten lists of those who had attended a training program into another format so that they could be kept electronically.
I couldn’t do that and still manage everything else. I was also working late from a hotel. I thought of another solution: If it was necessary, hire a temp administrator assistant to do it. However, this meant that you would have to hire someone to sit down and transcribe the list.
However, if he feels that this work is valuable, then it was okay to pay for it.
My manager understood all of this and said, “He probably doesn’t know what else are you doing, so he thinks that it’s OK.”
It was like a lightbulb went off in my head. He doesn’t know how I spend my time and isn’t even aware that I call my boss at 10pm to complain about the need to write names.
I thought, “How could he not know?” He knows that I speak to him daily. He knows that we are friends