How to Prioritize Projects Step by Step?

When starting your career as a project manager, you need to do things right linearly and smoothly build some best examples for the future. So, when you are dealing with a project at the professional level, you should handle it using professional tactics to prioritize your tasks. This guide will help you to do it.

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Before you start working on the assigned project, you need to know how to prioritize projects step by step and develop a strategic plan for completing them. No matter how small or big a project you are going to deal but, the thing that matters a lot is to make it a successful and exemplary project of your career. 

So, before doing things practically, it is necessary to prepare a layout or blueprint as we do to make a huge multistory building. 

When you learn how to prioritize projects step by step, you grab out the most important things that need to be done on time and leave the time-wasting things in the trash bin. 

How to prioritize projects step by step?

It is useless to do direct work practically on your project because you do not know what you want to get from this project and what step you will be doing during this time. So, here is the proper guide to make your project successful by learning how to prioritize projects step by step.

First, you need to recognize the objective of your project.

Anything you want to get in your life can be an example of a project if you do consider it important. So, even being a student, you need to learn how to prioritize projects step by step, and the first and most important step is to recognize your objectives. 

  • Objectives reflect your aims and the products you want to get at the end of this project. 
  • So, if handling a professional project as a project manager, you need to have a meeting with the stack holder and know the objectives behind this project.

Learning how to prioritize projects step by step helps you recognize the project's objectives that will surely lead you to further process by making your mind clear from obstacles. When you do not know what you are looking for, just for a building or a masterpiece to present a business entity. 

Make a personal and official mission statement.

When you have gone through the project objectives, you know the goals you have to achieve at the end of this project. You can transform this blueprint into a written mission statement reflecting the aim behind this project to empower the business or an organization you are working for. 

So, it is necessary to learn how to prioritize projects step by step and make your personal mission statement and professional mission statement. It will help you to decide the direction of your work and keep it on track without facing any distraction. 

Get to know the list of tasks you and your team need to perform. 

After setting your goal and making your personal and professional mission statement, you have a clear mind map about the project. Now, you need to prepare a To-Do list of the tasks you and your team will be doing during the project completion. This to-do list presents the daily working tasks you will be assigning to your team members and getting updates daily, weekly, and monthly. 

  • Suppose, being an educational organization, you will be doing different tasks for a manager like developing strategies to control the traffic flow of new admissions, developing test mechanisms to enhance the student's capabilities, and empowering them through teaching leadership skills. 
  • You cannot put all these things in the same bowl as these are ingredients of some different dishes. You need to just enlist the tasks you will be performing and then go for further planning.

It is not easy to complete a project successfully without learning how to prioritize projects step by step because they act as the step of the ladder to bring you to your destination. Not only acting as a ladder, but you decide this destination also by knowing how to prioritize projects step by step. 

Divide your tasks into four quadrants

So, you have developed ways to reach your destination by developing a to-do- list for you and your team members. Do not forget the to-do list for your team members may have some common tasks and some different tasks. 

After learning how to prioritize projects step by step, you will better know the value of tasks you have enlisted in your to-to list. You can prioritize the tasks in different ways, either by numbering the tasks from 1,2, 3, and so on or A, B, C, or so on. This method is quite fine if you are dealing with one day task but not for a whole project. So, you need to find a professional way to get things organized as per their value and importance for the project. 

So, you need to follow the four quadrants enlist in the book of Franklin Covey, "The 7 habits of highly effective people". These quadrants will help you manage your time effectively by managing the most important and urgent tasks on time. 

1. Most important and most urgent

The first quadrant of time management is for the tasks that are urgent and important. You need to focus these tasks on time and priority. If you compromise these tasks, you are going to suffer a lot. These tasks mostly belong to emergency work and need your immediate attention by bringing your problem-solving skill to use. Here, you need to be more proactive to deal with the emergency and bear the pressure by taking the right decision on time. 

2. Important but not urgent 

This quadrant falls in the second category, but we should prefer to live in this quadrant as it affects all other quadrants. This quadrant helps us to keep us proactive, developing future strategies by continuously working on important tasks that can be beneficial for future use. This quadrant keeps us proactive as we know we may need more money for the project, so we develop financial strategies to meet future needs. 

3. Urgent but not important 

The third quadrant keeps the tasks that we need to do even we know these are not important, but we need to do them on time, like making a reminder call to the client to make him realize you are keeping track of everything. Sometimes, it is necessary to keep the formalities in your priority. 

4. Not urgent and not important 

The last one is the trash box of your tasks list. This quadrant helps you to say extract the things that are not important and not urgent as per the time scenario, like picking up calls from unknown numbers, using social media when you are at work, or listening to the news on television. These things are not always important and urgent in your to-do list, and you can exclude them if you have more important things to do. 

Grab your big rock out of tasks 

When you learn how to prioritize projects step by step, you know the big rocks to reach your destination that you need to deal with at your priority. After organizing things in four quadrants, you can better extract big rocks to aim your goal. Extract them and start working on them to achieve on time to make the blueprint a real practical example. 

Do not forget to schedule your whole month by developing a Gantt chart. 

It is not enough to organize the tasks as per their value, but you need to schedule your whole month to decide when you will be doing these tasks. So, as a project manager, develop a Gantt chart for you and your team members. 

Gantt chart will help you to track your and your team's performance whether you have been working accordingly or have been out of the way. After analyzing the Gantt chart, you can track the monthly performance of your team, find the areas they are lacking, and work on them properly.

Keep extracting the trash from your workplace: Say no to unimportant things.

An additional step you need to know when learning how to prioritize projects step by step is to keep a trash bin always with you. As per the demand of work and time, you need to learn to say no to less important or unimportant tasks no matter how much someone is forcing you. 

Suppose you do have an urgent meeting with your boss, but your friends or colleagues are also asking you for a hangout. You need to compare the value of both meetings and say no very clearly to the less important thing.  

Don't forget to track the deadline.

It is also necessary to track out the deadline by comparing it with the date and time. Deadlines are helpful to set a reminder of when you will complete your project and what the outputs will till that time. 

Conclusion 

It is necessary to learn how to prioritize projects step by step to build your career as a project manager and gain the trust of your customer so that you can work on more projects in the future.

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