'Y'

Time Management for IT Projects – 9 common mistakes and how to avoid them

Mistake 1: Life without plans

In spite of frequent changes appearing in the IT business anyone who wants to be successful should have a documented To-do list (day, week and month). No matter what system you use – MS Project, Excel or notes on your desk, it should be valid and up-to-date.

Mistake 1: Life without plans

In spite of frequent changes appearing in the IT business anyone who wants to be successful should have a documented To-do list (day, week and month). No matter what system you use – MS Project, Excel or notes on your desk, it should be valid and up-to-date.

Mistake 2: Way of the Samurai

Talking with many IT guys, most of them had the following message in their heads: “Do this task alone or Die!”. In reality, when you consider that a large part of the project is driven by teams, not individuals, it does NOT work. Set a time limit for each coming task – one hour for instance and if there are any challenges seek the advice of your colleagues. It saves you time and you avoid having to reinvent the wheel for the millionth time.

Mistake 3: Pleasure – first!

It’s so exciting to start implementing features - from putting copyrights, to coding concrete class or running tests. WRONG! Take a look at the WBS (work breakdown structure) made by the team lead. Find the most critical, heavy-weight, or unclear ticket and start with it. I can guarantee this approach will increase the success of your current working day, sprint or long development phase. In addition your visibility among your colleagues will automatically increase.

Mistake 4: Center of the Universe

So many times IT guys are focused on their tactical activities and they forget about the full picture. Hey, your piece of application is not the entire project. The platform might include many applications with dozens of components. Please don’t forget to figure out all dependencies, come to the person (or teams) responsible and discuss (and agree!) all integration points. From my experience, the root causes of dozens of serious crises was due to integration – too much time and energy was wasted.

Mistake 5: Traffic jam

All work activities can be divided into two categories: individual and group. To be more productive on individual tasks I would recommend allocating 1-2 hours before your colleagues come to the office or after they leave. It gives you an environment free of distractions (!) and as a result, the ability to come up with new ideas without extra noise around you.

Mistake 6: Definition of Done

Writing code or running the script is not enough and you shouldn’t allow yourself to be relaxed until your effort estimation has passed. Remember the Definition of Done and track every single sub-item of the epic: writing code, compiling, unit testing, asking colleagues for code review, deploying, analyzing logs, documenting on Confluence. All (not just some of these steps) must be done!

Mistake 7: Time slots

A schedule that is full of meetings is an example of incorrect time planning. Production incidents, incoming requests from your boss to do something else or other unplanned but critical requests might destroy your initial plan. The idea is to have a buffer between key meetings. This buffer isn’t there to help you relax but to allow you to go forward with long tasks, while at the same time being ready for any potential interruptions. This rule will become more important as you receive positions with a higher level of responsibility.

Mistake 8: Priority failures

People who aren’t using the Eisenhower Matrix in IT projects will soon discover that they have become like a firefighter or even worse that their projects might fail.

Quick hint for smart guys:


Mistake 9: Unbalanced work hours

We can often see developers working on challenging tasks for 12 or more hours a day. This is worth doing for short periods of time: preparations for exhibition; key releases; project start-up. However the more these situations happen the more it will lead to performance decreases, health problems and potential challenges in their personal life. Be 100% focused when in the office and make sure you allocate time for your hobbies, children and resting.

Mikhail Gedzberg
Senior Program Manager

Share the knowledge

Still have questions?
Connect with us
Thank you.
Your request has been received.