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Conflicting areas of management

Every company deals with issue of prioritisation every now and then. This is because we record work in different places. Typically in each company you find the following areas managed individually:

- a list of things to do, with their priorities as the business,
- then you’ve got a layer of project deadlines as project manager planned
- and then you’ve got a bulk of work that urgently needs to be done.

Even if you track them some of the details get lost in between chats or meetings. You might even record them in “one place” (meaning one system) but you still find yourself in trouble every now and then… What is the solution?

Issues with prioritisation are not people issues but are simply management issues. This can be alleviated or aggravated with better or worse systems but it’s worth saying up front: if you don’t have one place to record those then sooner or later you’re going to be in trouble.

The solution is in the timeline, a single view of all projects running, the sort of project runway that graphically displays all the projects, tasks and actions.

The timeline needs to be reviewed and updated regularly, taking into account the changes like critical work, priority changes, time for meetings and holidays and even the time required to do the planning itself.

That sort of timeline has been implemented in TaskBeat, being one of our examples, where all your work is on one timeline and that list has only one view that is correct for all team members.

The list represents “now” of the whole business including technical, scheduled and unscheduled work. The list is essentially dictating the order and the deadlines for all work to be done and visually communicates both progress of tasks and the delivery dates.

Features of “zooming” in and “zooming out” allow different business units to take a closer or more wholistic view on what is happening with individual projects or even individual complex tasks.

Having the wholistic view on things organised in a way that describes the objectives gives a piece of mind of having all work recorded, prioritised and even estimated to some extent by default.

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