How to handle Parallel Tasks in a Project?

Any suggestions on how to handle parallel tasks in a project.  For example: let's say you're doing vendor evaluations.  Multiple vendors are found and the steps to complete with each vendor is: Initiate Discussion, Gather Capabilities, Evaluate, Negotiate.  The final step is to Award the Contract.

Project A - Find Vendors providing xyz Services.  [You find 3 Vendors]
Project A - Initiate Discussion with Vendor 1 
Project A - Initiate Discussion with Vendor 2
Project A - Initiate Discussion with Vendor 3

Some tasks could occur in parallel [Initiate Discussion, Gather Capabilities, Evaluate, Negotiate].  Any suggestion on how to structure this?  Keeping in mind you will have notes on this project at an overall level and at a vendor level.

With vendor level tasks, you would be changing the subject as you move through the tasks.  For example:

Project A - Initiate Discussion with Vendor 1 when completed would become
Project A - Gather Capabilities of Vendor 1 when completed would become
Project A - Evaluate Vendor 1 when completed would become
Project A - Negotiate with Vendor 1 could close this vendor level task out.

What would you do at the overall project level as a subject (Project A - Vendor Evaluations see other tasks)?


Using Toodledo, Lotus Notes on an iPad and PC.


  • I think that the obvious path computing will take is geared toward parallel processing.  And though mobile phones are already boasting of dual cores in them, there is a short list of apps making full use of the advantage.  Even with desktop programs, they are still being processed in a linear, sequential manner which is a mile away from being able to do so side by side with multi cores.
  • edited September 2011


    coaches -- Any thoughts on my question?  [removed]


  • edited September 2011
    @imaitguy, I would typically shave parallel steps off as separate tasks. Keep the list of next steps in the main task and just create new tasks for anything you'll do in parallel. If you find that certain types of projects recur frequently and are done entirely in parallel you might consider whether you actually have a context, not a project (in which case you would want to use a tag for those things instead of "Project - Next Step" titles).

    Sometimes it doesn't matter that multiple things can be done next, because there is only one you. You can only do one of those things next. The only truly "parallel" case is the one where you will be waiting for someone else (every delegate out is a waiting-for in). Anything else is usually switch-tasking, which will destroy your productivity.

    @Coach_Nate, any different ideas?
  • This is covered in our TRO training in the processing section and especially in the section about dealing with large projects. 
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