A Project Management Tip for Fridays

December 14, 2007

Here's a quick tip for project management, and staying on top of tasks...

I am always getting tasks, bugs, or change requests via email, IM, or phone. Sometimes I don't always write them down because they are small enough to keep in my head, sometimes I don't write them down because I was working on something else when I received it.

If it gets to be Friday afternoon and these tasks are still in your head, in an email, or scribbled down somewhere, write them all down in one place (be it your project management software, or simply in one file, or on one sheet of paper).

It typically only takes a few minutes, and you will be glad you did on Monday!

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I'd just add to this that I find a good strategy is to write down *everything* however small. I used to only put big tasks down on my 'To Do' list and tried to address the smaller ones as they came in - the rationale being that they are small enough to keep track of. In reality I found that I would often get distracted at the very moment I was going to address the small task. It then got completely lost, up until the point that someone started shouting that it hadn't been done.. :) My strategy then changed to recording everything that comes in however small. Even if I intend to do the tasks immediately, it is still worth writing it down to cover any distractions that may stop it being done. This strategy also helps when working out what work was carried out during the full working day.. Good for timesheets / work logging.
What project management software do people generally use? We are a small development house and all of the systems I have looked at are out of our price range. Are there any good open source offerings friendly to ColdFusion (even better if they can run on CF).
Dave, Firms usually hire a project manager to monitor daily tasks. As technology dependency have grown exponentially in the recent years, they have resorted to web-based applications to manage their tasks and projects efficiently. I personally use CommuniClique to help coordinate my projects in a efficient manner.
We track jobs with a ticketing system, there are quite a few open source ones out there but the one I set up is called Request Tracker. See http://bestpractical.com/rt/ or information on wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Request_Tracker There is an O'Reilly book available about it which is the total sum of money I spent on setting up our system. There is commercial support available if you need it. HTH
Benny, Thank you for your comment about CommuniClique?s software. We are eager to receive feedback about our product. To readers who are interested in trying the software you can obtain a thirty day free trial of the CommuniClique software at http://www.communiclique.com Thank You, Andy Powers CEO CommuniClique
every email request from a client now gets dragged to the tasks icon (in outlook) and assigned a due date and priority - the reminders are great. this simple process has really cleaned up my office desk!

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