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Kelli Schmith (@MarketingVeep on Twitter) posed a question via Twitter recently about what project management techniques people use on marketing communications efforts to bring them to closure when running out of time. That’s an intriguing question, and it caused me to list (in no particular order) project management techniques I employ when time is running down to complete a project:

  • Figure out what we’re delivering that hasn’t been promised and stop spending time on these things.
  • Cut out clear “nice to haves.”
  • Eliminate unexpected things whose absence won’t be missed.
  • Remove things whose presence just makes the overall project look more incomplete.
  • Work with an explicit “better done than perfect” mentality.
  • Go with “high-probability” answers (vs. waiting around for “certain” answers).
  • Identify things with longer lead times or that someone else still needs to work on, and get them done first.
  • Force making decisions (and then not revisiting them any further).
  • Check if there are alternative organizational approaches for the project that move it to completion more rapidly.
  • Ask for help from incredibly dependable team members (if they haven’t been involved in the effort already).
  • Create a new to do list with color coding to make important tasks stand out.
  • Start assembling physical elements of the project in an open space (when working with computer files, create a new empty folder of final deliverables so it’s clear what’s done).
  • Develop a negotiating strategy if it appears trade-offs will need to be made with the end client.
  • Make a short list of things easily addressed or fixed “later than sooner.”
  • Think more, talk less, and do – like crazy!

That’s what I came up with trying to think about situations when time has been running down on projects previously.

What project management techniques do you use when your preparation time is running down?Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help enhance your marketing strategy and implementation efforts.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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26 Responses to “Project Management – 15 Techniques When Time Is Running Down”

  1. Alex says:

    Really good advice here. Thanks!

  2. Kelly says:

    Good stuff, as always Brain!

  3. I had to pull out the old “better done than perfect” line this week…it had been a while!

  4. Anonymous says:

    This forced choice approach is a great one to make decisions.

  5. ThinkBuzan says:

    Really great tips here for moving things along when time is short.  A great tool for keeping perspective over the whole project would be Mind Mapping.  Far more visual, structured and flexible than using a list – helps you to prioritise, draw connections between related tasks and get things done without getting bogged down in detail.  

  6. BuyGiftsItems says:

    Think about your own efforts. If you tend toward perfectionism,
    consider whether a BDTP attitude might free you to have the greatest
    overall business impact.
     

  7. Wonderful insights.  I’m racing to complete a ten week online video learning series to teach best practice strategic planning skills at http://www.StrategicPlanningAcademy.com.Thanks for the insights to get me out of swamp of overwhelm and detail.

  8. PM Hut says:

    Hi Mike,

    I’ve already published one of your articles (with your permission) on PM Hut back in June.

    I would like to republish this one as well. Please let me know if you’re OK with this.

    Thanks!

  9. Steve Ratti says:

    This is a great reminder for project managers but it’s also a recipe for disaster for new business pitches. You shouldn’t even be in this situation. If you do get there, fire the new biz person! Ratti-Report.com

  10. Piece off writing writing is also a excitement, if you know after that you can write otherwise
    it iis complex to write.

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