When the Number of Projects Gets Out of Control

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 18/09/2023

This article is aimed at project managers who are slammed with multiple projects and are having a hard time staying on top of them all. Our focus is to help you find a solution to manage them with more ease and improve your team’s efficiency simultaneously. Hint: SaaS technology is your best bet.

Keeping just one project on track is a challenge, given how many moving parts are involved. From staying within the budget to allocating the resources where they are needed at the right time, project managers have it rough. And it all becomes even more difficult when the number of projects to oversee grows. Not only does it mean more work, but also more room for mistakes, especially when the projects are vastly different from one another. Not all is as bleak as it sounds, though. There is a way to ease this burden. 

Through the years, project managers have come up with multiple approaches and strategies how to stay on top of their game. However, the world is changing and so are the requirements, deeming some of the past best practices irrelevant. And so this article’s focus is all about what’s a go-to approach today.

How Do You Deal With Too Many Projects?

If you are being crushed by the volume of projects, consider taking these measures:

  • Sort the tasks by urgency and time consumption;

  • Ensure each project is tracked;

  • Use cloud-based document storage to stay organised;

  • Manage expectations of both the client and the team;

  • Automate and regularly analyse reports;

  • Set up automated reminders for upcoming tasks and deadlines;

  • Update your to-do list and stick to it.

These are some quick fixes that will help you cope temporarily. For more long-term solutions, continue reading - we are going to deep dive into some strategies you will want to adopt for years to come. 

Ease the Workload

The problem that comes with an increased number of projects is the increased workload. Simply put, this is the component that’s most difficult to manage. Namely, how to get it all done within the given timeframe without sacrificing the quality. Below, we have some fool-proof tips.

Ensure You Have the Right Tools (And They’re Interlinked) 

Preparation is the key to a successful project. The right footing is especially important when you’re dealing with multiple of them simultaneously as it’s very easy to make mistakes. Sometimes, your brain simply won’t switch when project-hopping. Sometimes, you get simply lost on what task, metric or worker is affiliated with what project. We get it. At the end of the day, we are only human. And that’s why we need tools to help us.

From general project management software to track the progress and allocate your resources to timesheets to correctly bill your clients, there’s a plethora of digital tools to help you weed out tasks that pile up easily. It’s important the said tools are also linked to one another, so you have centralised access to them. Otherwise, having too many digital solutions can prove to be as tasking as having too many projects. Clicking from tab to tab or manually transferring data across the platforms won’t make your life easier - it will complicate it further. 

Automation and Smooth Workflows

Since we’ve started talking about the importance of integrating your tools, we must emphasise it’s an absolute necessity for creating smooth workflows. And they, in turn, are vital when managing big volumes of projects simultaneously. An effortless handover of tasks from one team member to another that happens at the right time and without needing a middleman significantly reduces the risk of errors. Additionally, when you throw automation in the mix, it can take away a chunk of tasks required to complete.

Speaking of automation. It is, hands down, the best thing for project managers at all stages. Whether they are juggling a huge number of projects or just a couple. Not only does it take over tedious and time-consuming tasks that are prone to human error, but usually deals with them in mere minutes. Incorporating automation into workflows adds a layer of smoothness, letting you be more hands-free when it comes to ensuring the process is being followed. And coming back to integrations, it’s worth pointing out that they often unlock new automation opportunities. It’s often up to your creativity how these are used. 

Tools for External Operations

Not only do your internal processes benefit from a touch of automation. How you communicate with the clients and deliver projects can also be strongly impacted by your choice and use of digital tools. Let’s expand on the topic. 

Remain Flexible When Possible

Project forecasts are not set in stone - even if we’d love them to be. That said, many things can go awry in just one project, causing headaches. But when they don’t go according to the plan across multiple projects and it’s all happening simultaneously, it’s nothing short of havoc. The solution is simple. Don’t be married to the forecast and, if anything, be ready to change the course of action at any given moment. Easier said than done. But not when you have the right tools, to enable quick damage control. 

Prioritise tools that allow you to stay flexible. For example, a team management platform that enables you to quickly relocate workers from one task to another if such need arises. A holiday management system is great too, for you will know in advance when you’ll need to shift your workforce. Don’t forget communication channels and collaboration platforms - they are vital in providing flexibility to your team too.

Organise, Track and Make the Right Decisions

As a project manager, you need to be on top of everything, at all times. Unless you are organised, this is not an easy task. Especially jumping from project to project, each of which is likely to have different specs, requirements and goals. Software that allows you to organise files, documents, financial transactions and many more in one place is an absolute must to stay both aware and compliant. 

Not to mention, you need to have a firm grasp of how is the overall project going, as well as the progress of each team member individually. Time tracking is a great method of that. Not only do you identify potential issues early on and can address them at once, but it can also better your forecasting for similar projects moving forward. It enables an easier allocation of resources, points out less efficient processes and enables you to act quickly. What’s more, there are plenty of ways to incorporate that into your company’s day-to-day life. Tools like desktop time trackers, digital timesheets and many others have a huge market, filled with solutions to all kinds of unique needs. 

Reflect on Your Experience

Finally, the hardships are only truly worth it if you are able to learn something from them. Being swarmed by projects is a learning experience - and we mean in terms of how to handle it in the future, not how to avoid it!

Analyse Your Reports 

One massive advantage that comes with the majority of SaaS tools, whether you use them for automation or other purposes, is their ability to capture data. Simply put, the more you use them, the more insights they record. The said insights are normally shown in graphs upon opening the platform, the dashboard serving as a live snapshot of your current progress. You can normally customise the metrics you see.

And then there are more in-depth reporting modules available that enable you to have a deep dive into the data acquired. You can organise and filter it however you require, although different solutions offer different levels of granularity. These insights become the foundation of your decision-making process, ensuring your next steps are calculated and optimised, as opposed to shooting in the dark and risking missing. As you apply optimisations based on the data gathered, the process continues. Meaning you then see the impact of your changes and discover new patterns for further improvements. 


Project management is predominantly a difficult profession that requires strong organisational and communication skills. It can also get even more complicated when the volume of work taken grows, bringing all kinds of issues. One way to stay on top of your game at all times and to avoid massive burnout is to change your approach to that focused around the use of integrated digital tools. 

Using the right tools, you can smoothen internal processes by creating automated workflows, making handovers and resource allocation much easier, quicker and less prone to human error. Additionally, the use of digital tools helps you remain flexible and organised, especially when dealing with clients and suppliers. Most importantly, each project will award you with heaps of data you can analyse and learn from, bettering your performance non-stop.

Don’t wait till you’re burdened. Get ready today.

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