The importance of time management during aluminium projects
Aluminium projects can be tricky to manage. There are so many stakeholders, which also means lots of place for error.
Time is a precious and limited resource. We always need more of it and usually desperately. But there is never enough of it. Good time management is essentially the ability to organise and plan the time spent on activities in an aluminium project. The result of good time management is increased effectiveness and productivity (and all-round happiness). It is a key aspect of aluminium project management and involves skills such as planning, setting goals and prioritising for better overall team performance.
Why is time management during aluminium projects so important?
Sadly, there are so many ‘time wasters’ in our industry, which is why we need a way to manage our time better. For project managers, it is particularly important to possess time management skills to be successful.
A lack of effective time management can have a negative impact on aluminium projects in the long run.
Time is one of the three triple constraints and any deviation from the schedule has an effect on the cost and reputation.
Negative effects of poor time management during aluminium projects
Delay slows down the whole team (and maybe other aluminium projects)
As a project manager or architect, you know that everyone needs to work in sync. One person’s actions directly relate to another’s. This also means that one person’s delay is another person’s problem. If one party delays, the time cannot always be gained back. Some processes need a specific minimum time to complete (manufacturing for example) and if time is stolen from him, it cannot be regained. Time delay basically has a ripple effect.
The third party slow down
Your third parties are more than likely planning all their aluminium projects along with yours. This means if you delay on providing them with what they need, you are holding them up. They may even become irritated and place other customers before you, meaning that the time delay increases even more.
The client ultimately feels the delay the most
The ripple effect will eventually get to the client. How long this really does depend on how well the project was managed and any delays mitigated. The person holding the purse strings ultimately determines your future as a successful project (which includes how it was managed) is what he will rave about.
The result of bad aluminium project time management:
- Losing money: Clients may cancel the contract. Missing deadlines could mean a breach of contract.
- Losing clients: Possibly current and event future clients
- Ruin your reputation: Bad news spreads fast
- Lose potential clients: and you also won’t get many referrals
7 tips to manage your time better:
Start your day right
The activity of your day should be to have a look at what you want to achieve that day and what you absolutely must accomplish. Be sure of this before you tackle the interruptions like emails. Setting a clear focus for your day takes just 5 minutes.
Focus and prioritise
Before you start something new, identify the activity that would have the most positive effect on your project, your team, and your client if you were to deal with it right now. Resist the temptation to clear smaller, unimportant items first. Start with what is most important.
If you have difficulties staying focused or tend to procrastinate, you may benefit from creating an external commitment for (deadline) yourself. For instance, schedule a meeting in two days’ time where you’ll be presenting your work and by which time your actions will have to be completed. It’s also very effective to complete the most unpleasant tasks early in the day and to allow yourself small rewards once you’ve completed them.
Have a to-do list
Capture the tasks and activities you must do on a list and update it regularly during the day. Revisit this list frequently and add new items as soon as they appear. Make sure your list gives you a quick overview of everything that’s urgent and important and remember to include strategic and relationship-building activities as well as operational tasks.
The more uninterrupted time you get during the day to work on important tasks, the more effective you’ll be. Identify the activities that tend to disrupt your work and find a solution. For example, avoid checking emails and answering the phone when you’re in the middle of something important. Once you have broken your flow, it can be difficult to re-establish it. Instead, discipline yourself to work on a task single-mindedly until it’s complete.
Many of us multi-task and believe we’re effective when we do so, but evidence suggests that we can’t effectively focus on more than one thing at a time. In order to stop multitasking, try these tips: Plan your day in blocks and set specific time aside for meetings, returning calls and for doing detailed planning and analysis work at your desk. Whenever you find yourself multitasking, stop and sit quietly for a minute.
Look back on your day
Spend 5-10 minutes reviewing your task list every day before you leave the office. Give yourself a pat on the back if you achieved what you wanted. If you think your day’s effort fell short, decide what you’ll do differently tomorrow in order to accomplish what you need to. Leave the office in high spirits determined to pick up the thread the next day.
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