I conducted an Introduction to Project Management workshop in the fall for Bristol Community College. This is a follow-up blog. In this Blog post, I will review what the difference between Project Managment, Time Management, and Task Management. Many people confuse the three and are not sure how to integrate it into their daily practice.
Project Management is a practice that follows a project (temporary) from start to finish.Usually, a Project Manager is selected and they will coordinate with all the team members to keep the project on track. The Project Manager just doesn’t oversee tasks but is responsible for the project from start to finish. The Project Manager works to create the mission statement of the project, develop a plan for the project, create tasks, oversee costs, direct and manage the work, and closes the project.
There are several systems that a Project Manager can follow, the most popular of these systems is from the Project Management Institute. (which I will be sitting for the exam, soon.) This system is very intense and many people when they think of Project Management, they mostly think of small projects like events, but project management can be as large as building a skyscraper. Typically in education, you see Project Management used in the development of courses.
Time Management is something that is done in order to organize your day, week, or year and is important for life and work balance There are many ways you can organize your time and kept track of what you are doing. There are different systems that you can use that can be paper or digital based. Remember there are 168 hours in a week if you have 200 hours a week of work, something is going to break. I good tip is to write down everything you do in a day, hour by hour for a week, to see how you use your time.
Task Management is the organization and management of tasks for day to day activities. Some people use To-do lists. These tasks can be from all aspects of your life. Task Management is important for both Project Management and Time Management. Managing tasks can help you keep on track for all the activities going on in your life.
These are examples for each for each.
Project Task (course creation) These usually come from the Project Manager or in education an Instructional Designer. It’s important to break tasks down into easy to manage items and realistic time frames. It’s also important to understand who will complete the task as well.
Choose Textbook for course Due 11/15/2017 Create Objectives Due 11/25/2017
Work Tasks As an Instructional Designer, I usually like to put together a to-do list pre faculty meeting, during the meeting (to keep on track), and what is expected after the meeting. These can be easily used within the Calendar in Outlook. If I am working on a complete design, I try to keep track of it in OneNote as well. OneNote help me to organize emails, expectations, goals and set up a structure.
Meeting with Faculty 12/1/17
Send instructions on how to use VoiceThread Troubleshoot Discussion Board problem
Personal Tasks: Personal tasks help me keep on track in what I am supposed to be doing in a day. If I set goals and/or objectives for the month, I break the tasks down and assign them to a specific day. I can always come back to it, but I do these when I don’t want to forget important things.
Pay Rent Take Trash out
I use a combination of Digital and paper-based systems in order to organize my day and projects. For work, I use a digital method in order to share tasks, content, and communication across the campus no matter where a co-work, well, works.
- Microsoft Teams: Teams allow for collaboration in an organization. Currently, there is no way to invite others from outside of the organization (I am sure that it’s coming soon). You can organize groups, projects, classes, and other activities. You can store files, attach files, attach OneNote, attach a planner (for task management and or outside platforms like ASANA (project management tool). The conversation area looks like Facebook groups. You can also hold private communication within the group. This is my preferred tool for Project Managment. I like the simplicity of us and the communication features. If you need to track time, bill manager, this might not be for you.
- Microsoft OneNote: I can’t tell you how much I love this app. I have been using it. I started to use OneNote when it was a desktop-only program, in 2003. When it went to the cloud it really changed how I use it. Now you can take notes and share on the go, set up a collaborative space, and share with others.
- Asana: This is a project management application. I used it before Microsoft Office had Teams and before OneNote went to the cloud. I strongly recommend it for individuals who don’t have access to Microsoft Teams or Microsoft Planner (currently they are not available on office 365 Home).
- Microsoft Project: This is an expensive solution and it comes in at a cost of $30 a month per user. It has all the tracking needed for project management. This is a robust business centered PM tool.
- Monday: easy to use low-cost PM Tool
- Basecamp: I have used this product for about a year. It’s not really a project management tool that can track time spent, plan future timelines. But it’s great for organization and group communication.
- Outlook: A feature of outlook that’s really not used very much is the task manager in the Calendar. Here is a video on how to use tasks in Outlook
- Google Calendar: This also has a task manager. You can create different calendars and assign tasks for each. So you can have a calendar named the project, work, and personal and have tasks created for each.
For paper-based systems, I use a modified Bullet Journal system. I would highly suggest watching the video. Yes, I do overlap. The paper-based system is usually just for me as a reminder of what I need to do and when. The digital system is for my team to see what I am working on. It’s a place where I store project based documents, so we can collaborate.
In a future blog post, I will talk about how I create a project (course design) in OneNote. Time Management will be also covered in another post.