I have recently been promoted to a new job in hardware development, which has two different aspects:
The first one is to lead a small fast prototyping team (3 people including me at the moment, expected to grow to 6-7 in a year or two). The basic idea is that designers who want to test an idea come to me with schematics, and I am in charge of quickly building a prototype for them to test.
Concurrently, I am the lab manager, which means that I have to tend to a lot of small tasks, handle logistics and keep an eye on order and safety.
Before that I was a technician, assigned to a single project for weeks or even months, so I do not have a lot of planning experience.
Because I know the team, I am quite confident regarding the people-management side; but the planning/project management has me confused. I have read about Prince2 and PMBOK (which are the PM solution used in my company), but those solutions seem to be quite heavy for what I am doing. Aside from that, I know next to nothing about project management.
How do I manage many small projects (a few man-days each), many small tasks (15 minutes each, about 5 a day) and general vigilance without forgetting something, burning out or running around like a headless chicken?
I am slowly starting my new job, and work has started piling up, I would like to bring some structure to it before it gets out of hand.
As a bonus, I would like to orient my career towards a technical PM path, so building experience in recognized PM methods, or even better, experience that would lead to PM certifications would mean a lot to me.