Project Management - work plan help needed

Jan 29, 2018


I am employed in a public sector as an e-learning coordinator and a team leader of one of our admin offices.  I enjoy my job role and feel fully supported by my manager and team.

I am wondering what you use to help manage the projects you have on-going? 

At the moment I have 43 projects on the go - and two more that came through this morning!  These are all at various stages (some are only updates) however at least half are waiting for me to make a start and I am finding it hard to prioritise. 

I have been developing e-learning now for nearly 10 years and the increased popularity means I am having more and more queries coming through.  I have attended the Prince2 project management training (back in 2007) but I need more practical advice on how to manage the workload.

I have asked the subject matter experts the reason for the training, how many staff members this affects and what the rational is for the due date so I have a good idea what to prioritise, however there are 2 'non urgent' projects that have been on my plan for around 18 months and 13 that need completing before April.

My concern is that I am asked how long it will take to produce their course - however it is hard to quantify when I already have so many projects.  Also I do not want the non urgent courses to be forgotten about and pushed down the list for years.  I want to help the SME's to set realistic deadlines.

I am the only e-learning developer - I am going to be training a colleague on editing existing content soon, which will help in the long run, but I don't know what to do with the projects.

Any advice would be gratefully received. 

Thank you

3 Replies
Chris Cole

Hi Clare -

We use Smartsheets for our Project Management. Smartsheets has a function called Sights that may help you with your specific need. Click the link below and scroll down to Sights and you can read up on it. I have no affiliation with Smartsheets except as a satisfied user.

Good luck! You have a lot on your plate!

Smartsheets Overview


Dave Goodman

Clare - this sounds like a task that you need to forward to your senior manager for their decision on prioritization - this may be too much burden for you as a sole practitioner. At the rate of your project workload, you will become the blockage in your organization rather than the facilitator of progress. At this stage, you should not rely on a project application as a panacea.

If I were in your place, I would prepare a simple Excel table listing all of the projects on col1. Col2 is the date of project original submission; col3 is requested delivery date where known; col4 is a work-effort projection (minor revisions, intermediate revisions, complete new development). You could develop your internal time standards (minor revision = 1 week; intermediate revisions = 3 weeks; and full development = 6 weeks). Place these on col5. Col6 is your known priority of delivery. The spreadsheet will then show the open priorities. Call a meeting with your manager, send the spreadsheet in advance and  then, face to face, ask the manager to prioritize/reprioritize all of the projects.

Whatever you do, make it simple and straight forward for the manager to see, not only the need for prioritization but also your heavy workload. Good luck.


Bob S

David's approach is sound. My twist on it is to create some columns/rating scales for things like "critically" and "reach" too.  Simple 1-5 scale.

For example....

  • It's a minor typo (1 on criticality) but tons of employees or external customers see it (5 on reach)
  • We are now out of regulatory compliance (5 on criticality) but only a handful of veteran users access the course (1 on reach)

You get the idea.  Combine these two need scales with the effort required scale (reverse order 5 = easy) and possibly the aging of the original request, and you have a simple, practical approach for prioritizing that is defensible and easily understood by stakeholders.

3 criticality, 4 reach, 4 effort = get 'er done!

Hope this helps and good luck.



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