Ingredients for effective task management

The term “project” usually refers to a temporary set of actions that are usually specified for the future, starting with the present, and based on past experience, and right from historical times, the art of successfully handling a project was usually experienced in the conquest of colonies, wars, space and even modern innovation. In modern times, however, this has transformed into a science that can be discovered, mastered, and practiced in any field or discipline by applying a few simple ground rules that can ensure successful project completion for anyone in any scenario.

The Nucleus: Every task revolves around a goal, which may arise from a concept or a dream to accomplish a mission, and efforts are directed towards achieving the same within a certain period of time – this is the essence without which no worthwhile activity is possible.

The Origin: an individual or group who are the brains/sponsors behind it all, perform the vital acts of developing the work strategy and providing the necessary inputs/resources, and do an extremely important job in the formative stages and continue to do so until the end of the project’s life.

The Individual: ideas, goals, and objectives are lifeless, but require a warm individual to execute the sponsor’s strategy by controlling the resources offered in accordance with the established timeframes – he/she is none other than the “job manager” who embodies both the key functions of authority and commitment. At times, the client/sponsor may also play this role, and play it well.

Execution: the job manager and team are empowered to take inspiration from the project plans developed by the initiators and develop sub-plans to meet each area/discipline, but without losing sight of the main goal of the project. They must use standard tools such as Gantt charts, spreadsheets, and more complex strategies and tracking systems to note, mark up, review, and deliver key inputs at appropriate stages to manage resources on time and on budget.

Project manager – the almighty CPU: The circulation of required resources, consisting of people and materials, must be coordinated by supervisors who come from different disciplines, and here the job manager plays the crucial role of the CPU to get the project case on schedule. In this process, “communication” between all stakeholders is paramount and ensures the sharing of relevant information on key performance criteria such as time and quantity targets, monetary impact, as well as failures to enable appropriate corrections along the way.

Celebrating successes: Work leaders and teams must be encouraged, and therefore each successfully completed task must be recognized and appreciated.

The all-important final job analysis: projects can be brought to completion, in many cases based on strategy, or sometimes apart from strategy, but in any case, a thorough analysis to assess the gaps between strategy and actual results is a truly essential activity and can shed significant light on shortcomings in planning, execution, and possible solutions for future tasks.

The gist: Successful job management is the result of the efforts of numerous people, which include both the originators and the staff who worked on the task, and therefore must be studied and carried out at all stages of the project, up to completion and even after.

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