How to Manage Projects in a Team Environment Successfully

As Instructional Designers, our workload looks a bit different than the average person. We tend to work project by project, and if you’re anything like this team, you work on multiple projects at once. Sometimes it can get confusing and overwhelming – not to mention a little chaotic with multiple people on one team! In order to successfully manage your project(s) there are several things that you should know. Being project based – things get a little tricky. So, I broke the tips into what you should be doing daily and weekly. These helpful tips are invaluable to you as an Instructional Designer.

Daily Tasks – The following tasks should be looked at or reviewed daily to ensure that projects are running smoothly and your team is not overworked or stressed.

  1. Monitor Urgent Tasks – these tasks need to be taken care of right away. A helpful tip is to create a list and sort it in order of importance. So, the tasks that are far more important should be at the very top of your list, then less important or urgent following. This ensures that you are staying on top of tasks and keeping your clients (and bosses) happy!
  2. Follow up on late tasks – if you are drowning in work and a few things slipped your mind – make sure that you touch base with those clients and let them know your situation. We all understand being overloaded and overworked, so your clients will likely understand your situation too! As long as you communicate with your clients in a professional manner – they should treat you with the same respect.
  3. Daily review your team’s workload – Make sure that you check in or at least monitor your team and how their workload looks. Does one person seem stressed or overloaded? Then ask how you can help that person. Sometimes a simple question can go a long way. If one person is swamped – assign the work to another team member. You don’t want to place all the work on one person while the rest are twiddling their thumbs.

Weekly Tasks – these tasks should be completed on a weekly basis.

  1. Provide weekly updates for your team – Make sure that you are communicating with your team on how each project is coming. Over communicate with your team so they know what you’re feeling or experiencing. If you’re struggling with a project – then ask for help from someone who has a light workload right now. I recommend having weekly meetings where you go around the table and talk about what you’re working on.
  2. Provide weekly updates for your clients – Check in with them weekly to see if they still like the direction that you’re going with their project. This way they feel involved in the process. Not only that, but they’re the Subject Matter Expert, so it’s good to fact check yourself every now and then, right? I recommend emailing your client once a week with what you’ve been working on and any questions that have come along in the week.
  3. Transfer all tasks into a project management software – it’s important that you not only communicate with your team and with your clients, but it’s also important that you document what you’re doing on an online software. I say this because – let’s think worst case scenario – but you have a family emergency that requires you to take 3 weeks off. What happens to your projects? If an emergency comes into play – your team members now know exactly where you left off on the project and can pick it up while you’re away tending to important matters.

With these project management steps, you’re providing excellent communication between your team and your clients. You can never over communicate, right? Do you have any tips or resources that you want to share? Comment below!


Ashlee is an Intermediate Instructional and Graphic Designer on the Learning and Professional Development team and has a background in Graphic Design and Photography. With over eight years of Photography and Graphic Design experience, Ashlee brings a unique talent and perspective to the team. She joined the Learning & Professional Development team in 2014 as a student worker and now works full time as an Instructional & Graphic Designer. She primarily works with Adobe products and is using her knowledge to help develop exciting new trainings. This opportunity allows Ashlee to reach out to the NAU community and create interactive ways students and staff can learn.

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