6 Project Management Hacks You Wish You Knew Before

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If you have a goal, you need to have a plan and to execute that plan, you need a project manager, who can take care of every little detail and design a strategy that allows you to achieve the desired goal without delay.

To run or manage a project, it is important for one to plan, initiate, implement and carefully monitor the work assigned to the team to achieve end goals.

In today’s workplace environment, employers want to hire people who can prioritize, plan and manage their work diligently. ‘Do More’ is often demanded and even expected from employees. Your abilities as a project manager are laud when you accomplish more with limited resources. The key here is to find creative ways to save time and money and still get everything done.

Before you start regretting why you signed up for this mountain of a task, let’s talk about some project management hacks that you can still use to get optimum productivity levels and desired results.

Prioritize and Focus

Prioritize all your tasks, because it makes life and works easily. It also helps in figuring out the amount of time you can allocate to each task. Usually, the most crucial tasks are not the most urgent ones. Avoid treating every task as urgent, because that way you will not complete any of your tasks. Make your life easy and organised by creating a daily, weekly or monthly to-do list, depending upon your needs.

When making a to-do list, mark your tasks as important or urgent. Having a prioritized to-do list will help you stay closer to your vision.

I love the idea that Moz team uses in-house. Every department does a quick meeting in the morning where they create a team level to-do list for the day and then each person when knowing their tasks can create his persona to-do list accordingly.

Apply Social Task Management

6-project-management-hacks-you-wish-you-knew-beforeIf you want productivity and want to reduce administrative glut, you need to move from the classic command and control project structure to a more adaptive and social task management structure.

According to an analyst, social task management (STM) software groups social interactions around tasks, and tasks can be associated with deadlines, progress milestones, and other structured data to track the project.

This means that project management teams should make use of tools that represent one trustworthy, updated review of the project progress that supports management and sends relevant notifications too. These social task management tools greatly help in bringing some order to project chaos.

Manage Interruptions

Many people have a hard time in saying “no” to others. If you or someone from your project team says ‘yes’ to anything that comes your way, then trust me there will be no end to your work. You need to learn and manage workplace interruptions.

By saying ‘yes’ to other’s tasks, you will only end up having too many projects and commitments which can lead to poor performance, compromised results, low morale, and work stress.

Just put your phone on silent mode, facing down, set messengers to ‘Do Not Disturb’, hang up a board that says ‘I am busy’ and do whatever else it takes to convey your busy schedule to interrupters. There is another thing you can try, I call it the headphone rule and it looks something like this:

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The idea is simple, just print this photo out and place it in front of your desk so that everybody can see. This way they will ‘no’ when you are available to talk or discussion and when you are busy and can’t talk about anything.

Delegation of Work

The word delegation means to assign responsibility for a task to someone else, so you can have the time to focus on a task that requires your expertise. Even if you are good at multi-tasking, you still need to delegate some work to your team to produce optimum results.

As a project head, you should know the strengths and weaknesses of each of your team members so you can delegate tasks accordingly. Let skilled people assist you in your projects as it will not only save you time but will also bring excellence to your work.

We in our team use Basecamp as primary project management tool. I delegate work to my subordinates and use a simple tool that integrates with Basecamp and track the time of each member called Minterapp. This helps me understand the progress as well as the skill level of each member. If I want a quick post on some latest new or development, I probably pick Tim over Cindy.

Avoid Procrastination

Don’t feel bad about procrastinating, because at some point, we all do it! Procrastination happens when you avoid a task or activity that you should be focusing on. There could be multiple reasons for this behavior; probably the task is unpleasant or just too overwhelming.

If the task is too much to handle, break it down into smaller, manageable chunks. This way you will be able to complete small parts of it at a time. Put them on your usual daily to-do list, and then tackle it one at a time.

Another way to go about is to build a strong and personalized relationship with your team members. This will help you understand the likes and dislikes of each person. When you get a task to write a detailed report on current political developments, I probably find it difficult and boring but I know who in my team cannot stop watching Fox News J.

Keep everything in one Place

It is always a good idea to make use of a project management software. Capterra provides an extensive listing of applications and software are available in the market and can make work much easier for you and your team.

Alternatively, you may find a different way to keep the work going like spreadsheets, Google Drive, etc. Also, automate as much work as possible so you and your team can focus on what you all do best.

Automating things will allow you to be more focused towards your goal and probably win accordingly.

Conclusion:

Managing your work effectively is primarily your job and no one else’s. Project management requires continuous planning and alteration in the plan. The more efficiently you manage your work, the more you increase your chances of success.

Alma Causey

Alma Causey

Alma is a professional blogger. She has completed her masters in English literature from the University of Groningen. As a blogger she writes posts on health, technology as well as management. She loves to discover new places and share experiences in words. Find her on Twitter: @Almacausey

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