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Team Productivity

7 Easy Tips for Managing Multiple Projects (and Keeping Clients Happy)

Stephanie Gonzaga
November 14, 2016
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Imagine having a full queue of client projects for the rest of the year. Sounds like a dream come true, right?

Juggling multiple clients at the same time is a heavy responsibility. Unless you have the resources, staying organized while managing multiple projects for clients at once can be a challenge.

Without an effective system in place for keeping track of tasks and projects, you risk losing your clients and tainting your business’ reputation. Your money, time, and emotional stress could be on the line too.

The good news is, it can be done. Here’s what we recommend:

1. Set clear expectations when handling multiple client projects

Always set the right expectations with a new client when organizing multiple projects. You want to establish trust and loyalty with your client from day one, and the quickest way to destroy that is to fail to meet the very expectations you’ve set out for them.

Asking your client or stakeholder a few simple questions can ensure everyone’s on the same page. Make sure you understand how your client’s business goals inform project priorities, how flexible timelines are, and what the client expects from you.

2. Organize multiple projects by client

A quick and easy tip for better organization is to sort and create a timeline for each client project. This gives you a full overview of your daily, weekly, and monthly workload. Tasks, milestones, files, and discussions can then be organized and segregated from other client projects.

TeamGantt gantt chart timeline showing multiple client projects

3. Mark or tag projects and files by client

The last thing you want is to send that project brief to the wrong client. An easy way to avoid this is to categorize projects by client and attach project files to the right client project.

Client file uploaded to the project's discussion board

In TeamGantt, you can stay organized by tagging projects with the client’s name and using different task colors for each client.

4. Track time spent on each client project

Time tracking is a great way to determine how much work is being done for each client project.

Time tracking enables you to:

  • Better predict turnaround times
  • Bill your clients more accurately
  • Identify inefficiencies and resource gaps

TeamGantt’s advanced features include time tracking so you can track time spent on client projects and bill your clients accurately. Want to see how it works? Sign up for a free trial of our advanced plan!

 

5. Schedule client meetings, tasks, and milestones in your calendar

A common cause for disaster is never keeping track of what’s due to your clients. To prevent this from happening, always schedule client meetings, tasks, and milestones in your calendar. This keeps everything in check so nothing important slips through the cracks.

TeamGantt enables you to sync your projects to your favorite calendar app. You can use this handy feature to stay on top of what’s due and what’s up next.

TeamGantt projects synced into Google Calendar

6. Plan and prioritize the next day’s project tasks

One productivity tip that can help you stay organized is setting aside 15-30 minutes at the end of each day to plan out the following day’s agenda. By putting all of your next-day tasks in writing, you have direction in terms of what needs to be done.

In TeamGantt, you can pull a ready list of the next day’s tasks from your MyTasks page. Then it’s simply a matter of setting priorities. We recommend scheduling time to knock out your most important tasks earlier in the day and focusing on lower-impact tasks later in the day.

7. Learn to say no to additional client work

Would rejecting additional client work mean losing opportunities? Yes, but it also means allowing you and your team to focus your time, effort, and energies on producing the best work for your existing clients.

These questions can help you determine when it’s time to say no to a client:

  • Would the project require skills or expertise you don’t currently have?
  • Does the client or the industry have little or no opportunity for growth?
  • Is the client unwilling to spend what you’d typically charge for the work they’re looking for?
  • Have other vendors or agencies had negative experiences dealing with the potential client?
  • Does your personal chemistry with the client just feel off?

Managing multiple projects is easy with TeamGantt

Want to know the easiest way to put a smile on a client’s face? Use TeamGantt to handle all your projects! With TeamGantt, you can create organized project plans in minutes—and track progress in real time—so managing multiple client projects is a breeze.

Give TeamGantt a free try today!

Project management milestone examples

Milestones make it easier to keep projects on track by calling out major events, dates, decisions, and deliverables. Here are a few examples of project milestones you might include in your plan:

  • Start and end dates for project phases
  • Key deliveries
  • Client and stakeholder approvals
  • Important meetings and presentations
  • Key dates or outages that may impact your timeline

Let’s dig a little deeper and explore 3 specific examples of how using project milestones can benefit your projects.

Monitor deadlines

No plan is ever complete without a list of deadlines! The best way to make them noticeable is to use the project management milestones and deliverables technique. What does this mean? Make the deliverables project milestones!

Why do this? Well, it’s no secret that not everyone wants to pore over your beautiful project plan to find key dates. Most people—your teammates included—want a top-level view of key dates and events. Milestones are great for this purpose because they’re called out in a special way—usually with a diamond—in project plans.

While you should list the tasks and effort leading up to a project milestone, be sure to present the milestone at the end of those tasks to signify a delivery, or even a presentation of, the deliverable.

Here's an example of how Washington Hyperloop uses milestones to track an important deadline in their project.

Spotlight important dates

Are there days from now until the end of your project that could impact your project in some way? Maybe your team will need to be out of the office for a mandatory training. Maybe there’s a board meeting you’re expected to attend.

It’s important to keep all of these important events in mind when you’re planning a project because they could possibly impact your project schedule. So why not include them as project milestones so you can track them all in one place?

In this example, the team’s off-site strat-op meeting has been added to the project plan as a milestone so work can be scheduled around it.

date milestone in gantt chart

Identify potential project bottlenecks

Many projects rely on the work produced by external teams or partners to make forward progress. If you’re not tracking those external factors somewhere, there’s a great chance you’ll forget to follow-up on it.

That’s why it’s important to list these deliverables as project milestones if you’re working on a project that depends on someone or something outside of your project. Here’s an example of what that might look like for a client approval.

deliverable milestone in gantt chart

Want to hit major milestones on time more often?

We’ve got a free class to help you get everyone on board with your plan! Register for Plan Up: How to Create and Sell a Winning Project Plan to see why planning sets the stage for project success, and get a free Guide to Project Planning when you sign up.

How to create a project milestone

Creating milestones for your project plan can be simple, especially with TeamGantt. Once you’ve mapped out your overall process and plan with your team, you can easily add tasks, identify gantt chart milestones, and determine task owners. Adding a milestone (or converting a task to a milestone) is very easy in TeamGantt.

Once you’ve signed up for a TeamGantt account, here’s a quick video on how to create milestones:

Project milestones are easy to create and even easier to track because you’ve called out the most important points in your project.

How to share project milestones with clients and stakeholders

Want to give clients and stakeholders a high-level view of the project? Simply follow these steps to share a PDF of key project milestones in your gantt chart.

1. Filter your project by milestones.

From your gantt chart view, click the All Dates menu at the top of your gantt chart, and select Only Milestones from the drop-down.

filter gantt chart by project milestones

2. Export your filtered project to a PDF file.

Navigate to your project's Menu, and select Print/Export PDF from the drop-down.

export gantt chart with project milestones to PDF

Customize your PDF settings, then click View PDF to complete the export. From there, you can download and/or print your PDF to share with clients and stakeholders.

share PDF of gantt chart filtered by project milestones

Who would have thought such a critical step could be so easy?

Hit every project milestone with ease

TeamGantt makes it easy to create, track, and collaborate on all your project milestones so nothing slips through the cracks.

You’ll have all the features you need to ensure projects finish on time and under budget—from drag and drop simplicity and team collaboration to customizable views and workload management.

Best of all, it’s all wrapped up in a simple and intuitive interface your whole team will love. 😍

Give TeamGantt a free try today!

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