Task lists are the foundation of your project plan. Without a good task list, it will be much harder to produce your project schedule. After all, how will you know what to do? Every project should start out with a comprehensive task list. Here are our 5 tips for creating stellar task lists on your projects.
Tip 1: Work with your team
You cannot create a full task list for your project by yourself, so enlist the help of your project team. Schedule some time to sit together and brainstorm ideas as your colleagues will no doubt come up with different tasks to include on the project list to add to the ones you have already thought of. At this stage, simply record everything, either on paper or directly into your project management software. Try to get down as much detail as you can, but don’t worry too much about allocating tasks to people right now. You can do that later, again with input from your subject matter experts.
Tip 2: Structure your list
When you have a complete task list, upload it to your project software if you haven’t already so that you can start working with it. Group together tasks that are related and add some sub-headings to make it easier to navigate through the list. Having similar tasks logically grouped is the next stage to creating a comprehensive project plan. All of this gives you the chance to create some structure to your list so that you can easily find individual tasks and your list makes sense when you review it.
Tip 3: Prioritize tasks
A great task list will instantly show you the most important tasks. It doesn’t matter if you are documenting the activities you need to include on your project schedule or your daily To Do list, some tasks will have a higher priority than others. Use your task management tools to highlight the most important tasks, perhaps by using a different color, making the font bold or adding some stars next to those items. You’ll instantly be able to see your priorities for the day.
Tip 4: Store your task list centrally
It’s so easy to get confused about your priorities and lose the complete picture if you have tasks written on sticky notes, on your calendar, in your project notebook or on email. Using the task management features in ProjectManager.com makes it easy to keep all your tasks in order, in one central location.
This is also a great tip if you are sharing your task list with the rest of the project team. It can save you a lot of time if you all work off one list, and you’ll never get confused about what is on the list and what isn’t! When it is all in one place, everyone shares the same, comprehensive view of the work that needs to be done.
Tip 5: Mark tasks as complete
What is the best thing about task lists? Marking the tasks as complete, of course! There’s nothing more satisfying than ticking off a task that you have finished. Whether you draw a line through it, tick a box, delete a row in your software or any other way of marking your progress, make sure that you go back to your list and celebrate each completed task (and therefore your progress towards a bigger project objective) by crossing it off your list. Then you can move on to the next task!