Many professionals we deal with appreciate the importance of a disciplined approach to managing work, but are overwhelmed by all the project management ‘stuff’ they’re supposed to do. The problem is that most of their projects seem just too small for all the tools and things … they want something simpler.

Even small and simple projects need some structure. If it really is a small project (vs. a to-do list), you can take a lighter approach but still make sure everything gets the right amount of focus.

Identify the Tasks

List or brainstorm all the tasks that need to be done to complete the project. Try to list them in the order they need to be done.

Analyze and Assign Tasks

When all the tasks have been identified end-to-end, review them to see if anything has been missed or if there are tasks you can drop. Then decide who you need to work on them.

Check and Balance

Review your ‘plan’ in terms of resources, funding, materials, systems, equipment, etc to make sure you’ve covered everything you’ll need.

Work Your Plan

As you work your project, keep track of any learnings or things that could have been done better. These learnings can become your documented process for the next time you need to manage a small project!

Just because the job is very small, doesn’t mean you have to abandon your project management ethics – just right-size them for your project!

Want to super-size your project management know-how? Sign up for Painless Project Management online training at  and get $50 off from now until September 28th 2012 at midnight with our Back to School Special. Coupon Code BTS2012.