Dear PM Advisor,
What are the ideal numbers of projects a PM should be conferred upon simultaneously to effectively manage the projects?
Overworked in Lagos
The first answer to this question is: It depends. It depends on how big the projects are. If you are working on a huge new drug development project, this may be your only job for the next seven years and you may have a project coordinator/administrator who keeps track of status and updates your Gantt chart and budgets for you.
If you are managing a self-sufficient team on a small project you may only require an hour a week to stay on top of this.
Typically you are somewhere between these two extremes and you end up being placed on multiple projects.
If you plan your projects properly, they Gantt chart should be able to show your manager how many hours of your time are required by each project on a weekly basis and that should be the primary indicator of how many projects you can work on.
However, keeping all that information from getting mixed up in your head brings you to a practical upper limit of the amount of projects you can manage simultaneously: FIVE.
Don't let anyone assign you more than that.
Send your questions to Bruce@RoundTablePM.com