In the early stage company the most important resources that you need to track with great precison is Money and Time, both are like "Air and Food" to the body, both are critical and without any one of them you are dead in the water with no following wind.
Time is the most worrying of resources, you can never get any back, what you misuse you loose. I have been running multiply projects in the past and had that "middle of the night experience" when the realization slaps you in the face, we are starting to loose major time on this one. I have been involved indirectly with projects that feed into my programs and lost track of there progress, only to be supprised when I find out that they have slipped and are now delayed. I may be the only one who has those problems and if so you can stop reading now and go read Guy's Blog, but I find as you take on more resposiblity and your focus becomes more strategic than tactical you become further removed from the projects, you get updates on projects but sometimes you don't get the whole picture, you may have less experinenced project managers running programs who miss something critical, and all of a sudden you find that a project goes into delay, sometimes this will actually kill the project/program.
Some thoughts on saving your precious resource:
- Sometimes spending money can draw back some time.
- Do not take to much on, decide on how many projects the company can commit to at any one time and do not over extend, if you need to take a new project on then drop one of the others or find more resource.
- Make the project status visble to all, and use the 20 second rule and KISS.
- Mandate that the the company only works on the key projects, that there is no stealth projects running in the background.
- Be realistic on your list of projects and timescales, better to under commit and over perform and delight your customers.
- Have weekly by exception meetings with your key project managers, most SME's can run 10 key projects on top of the daily business, so these weekly meeting should take no more than 90mins, if it runs to more then there are more serious issues.
I would say be aware, and always keep an eye on time, it is too easy to loose track when you are busy.