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As a project manager, managing tasks can feel like chasing the tail end of the proverbial dragon. Good project management involves adapting to change on all fronts.
This past year has seen change in everything, from goals and tools to priorities that shift like quicksand. 58% of organizations said that the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted operations and task management. It also caused projects to be delayed or cancelled.
But, beneath the maddening uncertainty, other things can enter (or leave, depending on how your Zoom meetings webcam does not work) our focus. Our task management strategies are not the only thing that matters. It’s also how we view projects and deliver work.
Many project managers feel like they have been ripped under the rug. It’s time for them to get back to basics. I’m not talking about a SWOT analysis. What is your view of your organization and your team?
One of the most surprising findings from the past year is that few project managers use systems thinking in their project management tools. Despite how they can provide tangible benefits in framing problems that arise from multiple perspectives, relationships, such as a global pandemic, this is one of the surprising takeaways. According to current research, systems thinking would be a benefit for project managers when managing complex projects.
This article explains.
Why Systems Thinking and Why Now?
Why Neuroscience is Important to DPMs
Three Key Task Management Strategies
Okay, Now What?
According to the APM, project managers tend to think deterministically and use task-management tools such as Gantt charts to reflect that. Last year saw an increase in searches for project management methods. Google searches for Agile methodologies have increased 28% since 2017.
Many of the projects DPMs are involved in have a high degree of complexity and high interaction. We’ll be covering this concept in detail soon and will need a framework to address it.
Okay, but why does neuroscience matter to DPMs?
Organizations need good project managers to be able to function effectively. We are responsible for many things, including organization, planning, problem-solving and motivation, as well as managing actions and time. This probably sounds familiar.
Project managers function in a similar way to the prefrontal cortex.
Apply this principle to projects, and you will see a pattern. Systems are also found in projects.
A system’s structure is a series of events, or a process, that perform the desired function. This is how project management works. This is where the axis for interaction and complexity that I promised comes in.
There are many similarities between systems thinking methods and project management methods.
We can see projects as systems through the lens of systems thinking. This allows us to compare them with a similar project management system. Simple tasks and projects are defined by a small number of interactions and a few components. They can be used in a waterfall-style or linear project management system.
As the scope of a project changes, its original boundaries can change. Systems also take input from the environment. Complex projects are characterized by changing boundaries due to changes in the environment, such as unstable remote work. Management must be skilled in systems thinking.
Similar Read: We’ve got the power: How DPMs influence ways of working
Three Key Task Management Strategies
Let’s dive in to what managing tasks as project managers in 2022 might look like, how systems thinking can work for you as DPM, and three key task-management strategies that we can use into the next year. We’ll cover:
Redefining roles is something you should think about
Why project planning is still important for 2022
How to create a proactive communication strategy
1. Definiting Roles