If you've been following this blog for any amount of time, you know that I advocate frequently for using a project management tool such as Trello or Asana to keep track of all of your tasks.
In fact, I have various Asana boards to which I am assigned on behalf of my clients and I use my own series of Trello boards for a number of different projects. I have several different Trello boards, all operating at the same time, some of which are for my personal use but mostly for my team.
How to Know You Need Help with Project Management
I recently discovered that while Trello or any project management tool can significantly help you in figuring out what you need to outsource and what everyone's working on at a time, if you have many balls in the air, it's too difficult to keep track of if you do not have a way of streamlining what is the highest priority. This came up recently on my own team when I was in and out of the office a lot and my team members had about 20 tasks assigned to each of them.
They had no way to identify what was most important and trying to juggle all those deadlines only led to more confusion. Furthermore, it was difficult for me to sign in and see where anyone was at on a given subject so I ended up being confused and then dropping in for an hour and overwhelming my team with way too much information. That's why we've begun implementing a new tool that has helped a lot in terms of clarifying what the team is individually responsible for and what they should be focused on at any point in time.
This is a Trello board dedicated to a weekly sprint.
What is a Weekly Sprint?
A weekly sprint is a board that you have the goal of clearing off every single week. You will only list a number of tasks assigned to you or various team members for them to focus on during that particular period. In an ideal world, you and your team will complete all of the tasks on that board and move them to a more general board or archive them when complete.
I started using this strategy when I noticed that our general project management board on Trello was extremely cluttered. There were projects that we'd have started, things missing instructions, and overall no one could tell what they were supposed to be working on. Furthermore, it was difficult for me to tell who was assigned to what and who I'd accidentally given too many tasks to as well.
A weekly sprint board is something that remains relatively clearer. You can move cards from other boards, such as a cluttered project management board like mine, over to the weekly sprint board to tell people exactly what they are responsible for. When the project is complete, you as the owner of the project can decide what to do with it next.
A weekly sprint board helps to clarify responsibilities and to ensure you haven't overloaded someone. It also helps you see when you haven't given enough assignments to someone so you can dig through that cluttered other board or list of tasks that you haven't been able to outsource for some time and determine what that person should be mostly focused on during the week.
A weekly sprint Trello board is a powerful tool for explaining to your team what is most important at any given time and making sure you don't overwhelm someone or forget to assign something to a VA who is on retainer.