A Practical Guide to Project Planning

It’s thrilling to begin a new project. Everyone in the team wants to jump in and create, code, and design. As a project manager, you have the solemn responsibility to create a game plan before you can dive in and start coding, designing, and creating. Even if your plan is not successful, it is essential because it clarifies the goal as well as sets a starting point. I will take six hours to cut down a tree, and the first four hours will be spent sharpening the blade.” — Abraham Lincoln.
You need a consistent way of organizing your work before you can start planning to-dos and time. There are many ways to organize tasks in projects. It is best to group tasks by their progress, and projects by their products, for continuous projects that have no beginning or end (such as developing your own product). For small-scale projects (like website development), you can group them by feature. However, for larger projects (like a complete redesign of your product), you can organize tasks by progress and projects by product. You will learn which tasks are most frequently used and when to use which principle over time. If you finish tasks as soon as they are started (there are no complicated processes just simple to-dos), then grouping them by their progress is pointless. What you need is to add a column to hold all the odd jobs. You can also use the hybrid method: If you want to categorize by complexity add the In-Progress column. Don’t go overboard. It can be confusing to use more than one principle. For example, does a new bug go into Backlog or Hot Fix, Development, or Features A? Swimming lanes solve this problem, but they cause more confusion than clarity, as they make the flow non-sequential. You can segment both design and development into Planning, In-Progress, Review, and Review. Swimlanes make it difficult to track work items, and developers don’t know what tasks they can complete next. A better solution is to break a task list into several task lists so the flow is straight and manageable.When deciding on how you want to organize tasks, keep in mind all the tools you have at your disposal and how you can retrieve information.ActiveCollab offers a solution for this – a task has several information fields by which you can filter them. This means that you don’t need to organize task lists by assignee or time. You can get these dimensions automatically. You can use more dimensions to segment tasks (e.g. Labels can be used to mark a task as a bug. Labels can be used as tags. One task can have multiple labels. Labels can be used to communicate the task’s complexity, type, priority, or any other information. You can also use labels to indicate progress if you organize task list by feature. What?

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