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SQL Server Task Management Best Practices


By:   |   Last Updated: 2006-12-13   |   Comments   |   Related Tips: More > Professional Development Management

Problem

Do you feel like all of your projects are going in circles with little progress being made on a weekly basis?  Do these projects prevent you from working on the latest and greatest technologies?  If so, consider taking the first step in trying to move forward with your projects in a more straight forward manner.

Solution

What is probably missing in your projects is a simple plan.  It is probably the root of misunderstandings between group members and your personal frustration with your projects.  To nip this in the bud, the first step that should be taken is building a simple plan. The plan does not need to be anything complicated or generated in a sophisticated tool.  The plan just needs to answer simple questions like:

  • What are we trying to do?
  • Why is this important?
  • What are all of the steps we need to take?
  • When do we need to get this done?
  • Who is responsible for what?
  • What portion of the tasks are completed?

Simple Plan Template

To address this need, check out this sample plan in Excel format.  This plan includes the following columns:

  • ID - Unique identifier for the task
  • Task - Description of the task that needs to be completed
  • Responsibility - Person responsible for the task
  • Due Date - Date when the task needs to be complete
  • Status - If the task is 'open', 'closed' or 'pending'
  • Additional Notes - Valuable information related to the task

This template can be completed with the tasks and distributed to the team to let them know what needs to be completed, by whom and when.  Once you have this information, then it is time to meet with the team hash out the details and make an agreement to move forward. 

Next Steps
  • Although today's tip is not necessarily a technical tip on a new SQL Server feature, it is a critical tip to be able complete your SQL Server projects in an efficient manner. 
  • Assess your current projects and determine if one of the reasons they are not moving forward is due to the lack of a plan to outline the steps to get from point A to point B.
  • If you are in the correct position on the team or if you want to put yourself in the correct position to see the project be successful, consider building a simple plan with one of the templates available for download above.
  • Determine if the time it takes to build the plan will reduce the wheel spinning, frustration and misunderstanding among the team members.
  • Figure out ways to meet with your team to find out the status for the projects without getting bogged down in meetings preventing you from working on the latest and greatest technologies.
  • See how you can take the steps you learned from building your current plan to benefit future projects.
  • If you are faced with more complicated projects and want a resource that is designed for DBAs, check out the Start to Finish Guide to IT Project Management.


Last Updated: 2006-12-13


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About the author
MSSQLTips author Jeremy Kadlec Since 2002, Jeremy Kadlec has delivered value to the global SQL Server community as an MSSQLTips.com co-founder and Edgewood Solutions SQL Server Consultant.

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