Project Management

4 Ways to Improve Your Organizational Skills

Michael is a technical project/program management manager.

Throughout my career as a project manager, one of the biggest challenges I have faced is successful organization within my projects. This is very frustrating for me, since outside of my project work, I am an excellent organizer and have my life organized almost to a fault.

After giving this problem serious thought, I feel that the challenge lies within some forms of project management—especially IT projects (for me). These types of projects have fewer tangible pieces associated with them. Even when I do get organized and start to develop good habits, I tend to backslide into my old ways.

This problem has motivated me to take action to not only improve my weakness, but share tips to help others overcome this hurdle.

1. Becoming a creature of habit is a great way to force organization into your life. It takes most of us three weeks to develop a habit, be it a positive or negative. Many changes and attempts at improvement often fall short.

The key is to be disciplined in performing something for three to four weeks until a positive habit is ingrained in you. Some of the best habits I have found that stick with me are:

  • Always take notes during all meetings, especially the less interesting ones.
  • Ensure conference calls/meetings you lead have an agenda and action items with resources accountable to include dates of completion.
  • Update your project plan and …

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"A closed mind is like a closed book; just a block of wood."

- Chinese Proverb

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