Project Management Hacks, Tips and Tricks

project management hacksWith these project management tips and tricks, you’ll learn how to reduce administrative glut and get more done!

As project managers, we are often asked to do more with less.  Replying “No” to a request from your leadership team isn’t the wisest career move.  Instead, we need to find creative ways to save time and get more done.

This presentation contains 24 different management hacks that will improve productivity, methodology, meeting management, schedule management and make email and communication easier.   Throughout the presentation, there are various links and references to other websites to further augment your knowledge of practical, prove in practice tips.  I encourage your to check out the links mentioned in the presentation and apply them to your projects.

After all, we’ve got projects to deliver!

Project Management Hack Categories

These project management tips are organized in to the following categories:

  • Methodology Hacks
  • Meeting Hacks
  • Schedule and Task List Hacks
  • Email and Communication Hacks
  • Tool Hacks

Project Management Hacks, Tips and Tricks

Links Mentioned in the Presentation

Articles

Too Many Templates
http://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/241688/Too-Many-Templates

Developing Useful Organization Charts and Communication Plans with MindGenius
http://blog.mindgenius.com/2013/02/developing-useful-organization-charts.html

ToolShop: AgreeDo
http://www.projectsatwork.com/content/articles/274092.cfm
A Better Project Map
www.projectsatwork.com/article.cfm?ID=229167

Mind Mapping a Better WBS
http://www.projectsatwork.com/content/articles/251386.cfm

Mind Mapping a Better View
http://www.projectsatwork.com/content/articles/251522.cfm

Mind Mapping Your Project Schedule
http://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/249260/Mind-Mapping-Your-Microsoft-Project-Schedule

Don’t Fear the WBS
http://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/252435/Don-t-Fear-the-WBS

Project Schedule Control with MindManager
http://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/250052/Project-Schedule-Control-with-Mindjet-MindManager

3 Minutes to Effective Issue Management
www.techrepublic.com/blog/project-management/three-minutes-to-effective-issue-management/3151

Project Manager Challenge: Recognizing Your Contribution
https://www.liquidplanner.com/blog/project-manager-challenge-recognizing-your-contribution/

Managing Deadlines in Microsoft Project
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tech-manager/managing-deadlines-in-microsoft-project-2007/5141

Add Late Task Indicator Tool to Microsoft Project
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tech-manager/add-the-late-indicator-tool-in-microsoft-project-2007/3616

Using VBA to Find Late Finish Dates
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/project-management/use-vba-to-find-late-finish-dates-in-microsoft-project-2010/4748

The Behind Schedule Filter
http://www.tacticalprojectmanagement.com/finding-late-tasks-microsoft-project-custom-filters/

Losing Focus How to Avoid Project Squirrels
https://www.liquidplanner.com/blog/losing-focus/

How to check email twice a day or once every 10 days
http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2007/03/22/how-to-check-e-mail-twice-a-day-or-once-every-10-days/

Take More Than Notes on your Table with Evernote
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tablets/take-more-than-notes-on-your-tablet-with-evernote/

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About Andrew Makar

Dr. Andrew Makar, PMP is a IT manager who actively promotes useful project management techniques that work in the real world. He is also an author, adjunct professor and lecturer on a range of project management topics.

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5 Responses to Project Management Hacks, Tips and Tricks

  1. Neale May 7, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    Andy: as usual, I enjoy the clarity and practicality of the information you provide! The presentation is quite interesting – but a lot to digest in one sitting! I attended a session by Neil Whitten once, (whom you refer to in the presentation), and his “Top Three Things” has made a huge difference in my approach to work. If you had to digest your presentation into the Top Three Things, what would they be?

    A large part of the presentation had to do with Mind Mapping. I have been using that for a couple of years now to help me develop my projects’ WBS’s, and find it very useful. I use a tool called “MindPlan” by Weilgut, (http://www.mindplan.com/weilgut2_en.nsf/id/pa_home_mindplan) which translates the Mind Plan into a Gantt chart within the tool. I actually find it easier to do a manual move to MS Project than an export, or rather than using the tool as an MSProject substitute. But that could be because I’m too busy (aka lazy?) to learn it thoroughly. I find it very intriguing how you are suggesting using mind mapping for nearly everything.

    I couldn’t find the link for downloading your slides. Also, is there a link where there is audio associated with them?

    best regards,
    Neale

  2. Andrew Makar May 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    Hi Neale – Thanks for the comment. The slides are available on this blog post. It is a slideshare embedded presentation that you should be able to download.

    I haven’t worked with MindPlan but tools like Mindjet and MindGenius provide similar functionality. For small projects, the mindmap and supported Gantt Chart are all you really need. I find for larger projects, you need to export the structure and do the detailed planning in Microsoft Project.

    I’m a big fan of Mind Mapping and try to apply it to a lot of my PM deliverables when applicable. Even if it doesn’t replace the standard template, I use the visuals a lot in my presentations to communicate.

    I don’t have a narrated version yet but I’m working a few of those ideas.

    Thanks!

    Andy

  3. Sean June 6, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Excellent. I’m a big fan of “hacking” PM work into simplicity. In fact, I’m doing a PMI presentation that centers around hacking your way to a project plan and building stakeholder buy-in along the way.

    • Andrew Makar June 7, 2013 at 11:11 am #

      I would be interested in seeing your presentation on that technique! I mention one approach to the PM plan in my talk.

  4. Simon June 10, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    Andy,

    Thanks for taking the time to put together this useful resource.

    Slide 13 resonates with me. In the different PMO’s that I have set up, I always stress to the team that we do as much as we can with the available data. Then ask the project teams to review, fill gaps and sign-off. So I have a slightly different take where you say “ask them”, I find that I am usually the one offering the service.

    Thanks

    Simon

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