Too much on my plate

  • Hi,

    How do you handle this situation?

    I’m a head of IT Department running operations and projects for Group of Companies. I have very big project that is my 1st priority. Then somewhere - additional project pops out, 2nd project from 2rd important boss in the company, 3rd project from 3rd important boss, 3 more major issue from operations that becomes a project as well. Another project from 4th important boss. I feel even my Asana cannot keep up anymore. Then another project pops out which I wanted to do but I just don’t have time for now.

    Now I’m planning to ask the company to have it source out even we all know I can do the project if I just have time.

    How do you handle my situation and please someone remind me or shake me on how to handle this properly?

    It’s just so much on my plate now and I end my day by doing work until I sleep on my table only to crawl back at 4 AM to do the same thing again.

  • @AshKetchum

    Wow, lots of work.
    You are the director, so I assume you have others that are helping and you are in more of a directive role.

    If you are deeply involved in all aspects of every project then that is tough. Certainly you can get it done, but not in a reasonable time frame.

    I would ask for temporary management help (if your alone) until some of the projects are completed. I'm thinking an experienced project manager. (Scrum, Lean)

    Let them take one or two of the projects, they can do the main work, thinking and bring you updates which take less time for you to make decisions on. Then you will have time to focus more on the other projects.

    You have "boss #1, boss #2, boss #3 etc..."

    Each boss has his own function and reports to someone higher in the ladder, who then makes a desicion. When they needed help that structure was developed. You need the same thing just temporarily.

    I wish you the best with this.

  • The big thing here is to let your direct boss know that you need help. I'm not talking about boss #1, boss #2, or boss #3... I'm talking about your direct supervisor.

    If, however, you report to multiple people (such as boss #1,2, and 3)... Then call a meeting with them and tell them that you need help. As @prcssupport also suggested, part of the help that you bring in should include someone who can help you manage all of these projects.

  • Triage. Are there projects that are more important then others?

  • I would schedule a meeting with all of the Bosses, and explain to them that you either need help, or to prioritize the projects amongst themselves.

    If they all understand that they are all asking for a big-do at the same time, then they should be able to understand the work-load for those jobs.

    As such, they'll either get you the help you need, or set a schedule for which each project should be completed in order of priority.

  • @prcssupport said in Too much on my plate:

    You are the director,

    He only said head. Director implies that only managers report to him. SMBs don't have directors.

  • Who sets the budgets and controls the hiring? You need to loop them in and discuss.

  • You need to do two things....

    • Prioritize. Either figure out or get guidance from above as to what matters. Don't base this on what you "can" do, only on what the company wants. Then figure out what you can actually do and put a timeline on the available things so that they know how long this will take. Months, years, decades? Never let them set the schedule, that's always set by you. If they try to change it (shorter, longer is okay) say "well, you can write that down, but the speed at which it can be done doesn't change by lying about it, so you are only setting yourself up for prediction failure - the time it takes will still be longer."
    • Hire. Once you know how long it will take, discuss if they want to shorten the time frame by hiring more people or bringing in an outside firm. Put a dollar value on the projects as to how much they will cost to have done (either by hiring or outsourcing) and let them adjust the timeline and priorities based on that.

  • @scottalanmiller said in Too much on my plate:

    @prcssupport said in Too much on my plate:

    You are the director,

    He only said head. Director implies that only managers report to him. SMBs don't have directors.

    Thank you SAM,

    I have alot to learn about the corporate world and their terminology It isn't something I have lots of time working with. I will learn more about that world more in time.

  • The situation that you are facing here is that you are being forced to act as a Project Manager (PM) and you need to step into that role mentally and work as one in the context of addressing the scheduling.

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