We see this problem all the time with our current clients. A team will have meeting after meeting and plan everything inside out. But, 5 days into the actual execution, things start falling apart. Yes! There are a lot of things that can cause this, but what I want us to talk about today is the daily planning and execution using task lists. I must confess, creating a good task list is an art. Looking at the value that we are getting out of it, you will agree that without task list we are lost. Nobody will know what is going on right now with the project if there is no blueprint for execution. To avoid this, lets spend the next minutes on the 5 step formula for useful and comprehensive task lists:
Gather the team
But before you do it, start off by sitting down and listing every task that comes to your mind. After that, gather your team and challenge them to come up with additional tasks. Doing this breakdown analysis requires you to be focused only on writing down the tasks. Don’t go into delegating and allocation just yet. Also, use paper. Keep your team focused on this. Don’t let them use their tablets/laptops right away and start shifting their attention.
Set the framework
Now that you have the tasks, it is time to organize them – so everything can run smoothly. Sequence the tasks or place them in groups. After you are done with the clustering, place them in the software you are using. Assign them to the right person and set the time frame for execution. This will help you be in control, know what is going on with your project everyday.
Know your priorities
When you come at work in the morning, suddenly everything starts to be urgent. That is why you need to set the priorities in advance. Meaning, you need to know what MUST happen every day in every team member’s schedule. To ensure this, use your project management software to highlight these essential tasks.
Use the centralized approach
There is nothing worse than letting everyone in the team think where and what needs to be stored. Use your software as a hub where every task is stored, memorized and followed. This feature of your PM software can really help you stay on top of the execution. Use it.
Mark the wins
Don’t forget the best part: Marking whats DONE. There isn’t greater satisfaction than seeing your work done, item by item.
Do you find these tips useful? If you need more tips and advice, I would like to direct you to this article on how to make a quality management plan before having all the requirement details. Maybe supplement that with this post on construction project management 101 checklist. For more thorough and long-form advice, there’s a free download of this ebook on improving construction site productivity. You might want to check that out as well.