The PMO Point of View….Time Management

In speaking with highly successful people, most are aware of how time passes and how to use it wisely.  Are you using your time wisely?  As a Director of PMO, involved in over 1500 IT projects, I’ve learned a few time management tips and tricks.

  • Be prepared. I often have up to 10 meetings a day. I find if I set aside 15 or 30 minutes in the a.m. to plan for my day and re-review all the material needed, I’m much less stressed about my schedule.
    • Focus on the big things you need to accomplish.  I often ask PMs, “What are the three main things you absolutely must accomplish today?”  Once you identify those, focus on them. Don’t become distracted by noise, countless emails, scores of texts, or tons of people popping in your cube. If you need to work on a single task for two hours, do so. Put your phone in the desk drawer; turn off pop-ups. Better yet, use technology to your advantage – set your phone and any other apps to “Do Not Disturb”. You need to find what fits your personal work style.  At the end day, you’ll feel better knowing you accomplished what needed to be done.
  • Plan for fires. If you have more than a handful of projects happening at the same time, odds are, something is on fire. PMs try to be as predictive and prepared as possible, but in the world of IT, things happen. I don’t let it throw off my day too much, by reminding myself, there’s a solution to every problem.
  • Use small segments of time wisely. In 15 minutes, I can review a few docs, open up one or two support tickets, and return a few emails or a quick phone call. If you’re truly jammed, those 15 minutes of time can be a lifesaver.

Time management is a vital skill to develop, no matter your role at a company. These tips will help get you started, but it’s your job to persist. I assure you the benefits will be worth it.

About the Author
Catherine Roy is currently the Director of PMO for Contegix. She has more than 20 years’ experience in IT Project Management that includes consulting on projects in technology, biotech, medical, energy, finance, academic, software, retail, real estate, government and marketing environments in both the U.S. and Europe. She holds her PMP, ITIL and CSPO certifications.