Task management: a modern approach to problems in the project economy.

The project economy has become a reality, and businesses should review how they handle projects in terms of timing and resources. Individuals should be identified and ranked on projects rather than on hierarchy, and time should follow different critical paths than past projects.

Corporate culture and project management.

Corporate culture and openness to innovation do affect project management. Companies shall overcome the tendency to maximize outcomes while reducing costs and embrace plans to develop knowledge in the medium term. Innovation plays a role in better performance and product quality. Accordingly, project management must follow new guidelines that include additional terms to measure success.

Evaluation

Evaluating outcomes is fundamental, as results are the product of time and allocated resources. Every variation in one factor will produce a different effect beyond an elastic extent.

Project managers shall identify and define an issue before solving it. Accordingly, assessing the problem in depth is the best way to address an issue.

Uncertainty means priority. When creating a hierarchy among tasks, project managers shall regard uncertainty as an important-attracting feature, giving more time or resources to perform smoothly.

Apple’s success relies on innovation and management.

Small businesses are more responsive to change, and they should keep a steady rate of improvements in operations. Apple made its fortune with innovation when it was just a startup. For a few years, it lost momentum due to corporate stagnation, and nothing revolutionary came out.

Allocating resources to a project.

Evaluating outcomes is fundamental, as results are the product of time and allocated resources. Every variation in one factor will produce a different effect beyond an elastic extent.

Project managers shall identify and define an issue before solving it. Accordingly, assessing the problem in depth is the best way to address an issue.

Uncertainty means priority. When creating a hierarchy among tasks, project managers shall regard uncertainty as an important-attracting feature, giving more time or resources to perform smoothly.

Budget

Though well planned, a budget is just an informed guess. Keeping unassigned resources for over budget tasks is fundamental, as a tight budget might derail a good project. In few words, over-reliance and planning on tight budgets is a risk.

Despite the chance for improvement, a project manager must keep the number and entity of new features under control while moving on with the project. Different deliverables generate new tasks and resources; when the latter are already allocated, beefing up the project could lead to an impasse.

Task groups

Project managers need war cabinets. Baroness Thatcher set up a war cabinet to handle operations during the Falklands War. She carefully picked ministers and top brass in the military based on functions and decision making. Likewise, project managers should gather people to discuss tasks: they must choose among task performers, stakeholders and anyone who could have a say. The smaller, the better.

Moreover, managers should keep meeting short, aiming to discuss periodic updates and issues in fifteen minutes following a timely schedule, most often one week. Short, weekly meetings reflect the dynamic nature of the project, also contributing to keeping a straightforward narrative of its evolution.

Staying focused.

Project managers should carefully handle tasks lengths and numbers. As an iterative process, projects tend to accumulate feedback that may lead to modifications in deliverables. Dramatic changes in deliverables can lead the project to a standstill, making planning well longer and more complex than the execution itself. Therefore, projects shall be relatively rigid in deliverables while staying open to innovation and improvements.

Learning by doing.

Experience matters because killing factors or tasks in past projects could hinder effectiveness in actual and future workloads. Therefore, keeping track of past performances is essential for safe management.

By looking at fulfilled tasks and performed actions, a project manager can create new knowledge for the company to employ in future activities. Sometimes, time helps discern necessary and unnecessary use of resources, which also applies to a communication methods and sharing responsibilities.