Project Management Hacks That Are Highly-Rewarding

Shubham Rajpara

Shubham Rajpara

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: August 31, 2021

According to Monday.com, 89% of organizations now have at least one project management office (PMO), and 50% have more than one. In addition, 71% of PMs surveyed believe the perceived value of their role is increasing, up from 55% in 2019. These offices are busy. 59% of project managers run between 2 and 5 projects.

This goes on to say the necessity of project managers and the responsibility that falls in their lap. Project management is a job that requires hard and soft skills and both of which need to be updated regularly considering the dynamic nature of a project management job. 

Looking for Project Management Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best Project Management Software solutions.

In this blog, we are here to talk about 11 project management hacks that are guaranteed to offer you results and help you enhance your capabilities as a project manager. You might know some of these, and some may be news to you. However, going through all of them will surely help you in ways more than one.

1. Getting the right credentials 

right credentials

Well, this might sound needless and commonsensical, but trust us, having the right project management credentials helps in two major ways. 

  • They can help you gain or brush up on your skills. Project management is a dynamic field; you will always have new things to learn and apply.
  • Good creds can help you gain the trust of your stakeholders and also the team working under you. Trust helps in streamlining the entire project. 

Here are some of the best project management credentials you can bag in: 

  • Google Project Management: Professional Certificate
  • BVOP Certified Project Manager
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
  • Certified Project Director
  • Certified Project Management Practitioner (CPMP)
  • Certified Project Manager (CPM)
  • Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
  • CompTIA Project+
  • Master Project Manager (MPM)
  • PRINCE2 Foundation/PRINCE2 Practitioner

2. Having an end-to-end look 

end to end look

This is what you first do when you are assigned a new project. You leaf through the brief, related documents, sheets, and presentation. Diving right in the project without the necessary insights will only lead to failure.

While you might be eager and excited to start the new project quickly, surprises down the line can be unpleasant and costly — negatively impacting the project as well as your reputation. The time spent in advance to plan out the forecast will only save you time, effort, and surprises (the kind you’d not want) in the future.

3. Defining the right priorities 

right priorities

Once you completely understand the project’s scope, you can begin to map out the top priorities. You must be able to help team for identifying the tasks that must be addressed in the early stages of the project, what ones can wait and what tasks require advanced planning.

You never want to be caught off guard. The minute the project slows down, it creates a bottleneck disaster that can lead to a complete collapse and utter chaos. Project disasters are typically due to not prioritizing tasks. Prioritizing tasks can also help you choose the kind of project management methodology and technology you need to use. 

4. Choosing the right project management methodology

right project management methodology

While it’s not easy to choose one right project management methodology. The below-mentioned factors may determine the right methodology or methodologies you need to choose: 

  • Project focus (e.g., task activities versus final product)
  • Customer and stakeholder involvement
  • Industry
  • Flexibility of timeline
  • Allotted budget
  • Number and type of teams working on the project
  • Complexity of projects
  • Resources needed versus resources available
  • Scalability of project
  • Rigidity of structure
  • Specialization of roles
  • Set start and end dates

Considering these points, you will get a clear idea of which project management methodologies to choose. 

5. Investing in technology 

Investing in technology

Ensure that you are loaded with the right project management techniques before starting a project. Project management tools should be in line with what project management techniques you are going to use, amongst other things. 

As a project manager, it is imperative for you to have an in-depth understanding of the importance of the project management software stack you will be using for the project at hand. In case you are using something you are unfamiliar with, take the time to learn it and suggest that your entire team does it as well.

If you’re allowed to select software as the project manager, opt for a stack that you are familiar with and can provide training on and software that has a strong technical support team in place. Having your project management software gives you issues is an unnecessary and avoidable inconvenience.

6. Being real and not romantic

Being real and not romantic

The point is not to get too excited and overestimate your and your team’s capacity. You need to have an empirical understanding of your past history in project management, especially when it comes to deliver project within deadlines, budget, and your team’s skills. You want the project to move along steadily and without any hassles or surprises, therefore set goals that you can meet, or even better, exceed.

When setting your project milestones, break your goals into several micro-goals that are highly measurable. Then, when all your team members can step back and see the progress, it leads to high team morale and higher productivity. Moreover, it’s better to slightly underestimate your team’s capacity to finish the project successfully, keeping some safe leeway in between. 

7. Taking ownership 

With power comes responsibility. One of the basic, most profitable, as well as the right things to do, is to keep yourself 100% accountable. 

There is always something you could have done better. You could have always foreseen an unpleasant turn of events. When you do this, you don’t indulge in the blame game and keep leading the project in the right direction. However, please know that the point here is to grow and learn and not wallow in self-pity. 

Also, not every project is going to run smoothly. There will be obstacles that you can do nothing about, for instance, a key team member getting sick a night before the presentation. However, maneuvering around such issues successfully should come easy to you. As the project manager, your team is going to look up to you for advice and guidance, so be prepared to take charge and lead and always appear confident. 

8. Actively nurturing the sense of team

Actively nurturing the sense of team

Team-building is a subtle and nuanced task. It is not having the entire team in a group chat. You can’t build a team by mandatory corporate team-building activities. A project manager has the utmost power to build a team. And it would help if you had a good Emotional Quotient (EQ) to do this.

Ensure that a sense of justice and equality prevail under your leadership and everyone is given equal opportunities, rights, and responsibilities. Beyond the project at hand, you also have to see your teammates as humans who require complex care. For instance, when you see bullying, passive aggression, derogatory behavior, etc., in your team, actively call that out and make amends. 

Moreover, there are going to be times that you’re going to need team members to go above and beyond. It could be working longer hours or taking on additional tasks. If you’ve built a deep relationship, then asking them to go the extra mile won’t be difficult. 

9. Tuning in to the client’s frequency 

Tuning in to the client's frequency

Enough about you and the team, the most important party is the clients. The requirements of clients must be carefully identified, communicated, and taken care of. Adhering to their needs and wants should be of utmost importance.

Here are some tips for managing client expectations.

  • Create a channel for communication between your client and team members.
  • Talk real to the clients before beginning a project. You don’t want to give them unrealistic expectations. 
  • Leave sufficient time in advance of a project for key individuals to delve into and discuss issues and goals before the project begins.

10. Cultivating leadership hyperopia

As a project manager, the most important and rewarding thing to do is have a far-sighted vision. Though far-sighted vision does not come naturally to all — it is something that can be cultivated. And, to do so, you need to understand its importance. 

As a project manager, you do not want to face issues and complexities more than you are supposed to. However, when you think two steps ahead of all, you can successfully mitigate and maneuver around those issues. You can at least be well prepared to face them if not mitigate them completely.

This also includes always being focused on the long-term goal. The goal should be to finish the project and time ensure their product is up to the mark and satisfactory to the client. This will keep you from wasting too much time and energy on short-term tasks and issues.

11. Evaluating yourself critically

Evaluating yourself critically

Finally, as a project manager, you should be humble and very adaptable to change. Not even in the slightest manner should you develop a sense of entitlement or bossism. Be kind and understanding in order for your team to co-operate with you and thrive. Welcome more naysayers than nods. Yes, it’s good to have agreeable team members, but it’s better to have ones that think independently or even critically.

Getting different points of views is precious, and who better to give you these than the people you’re working with. Make sure that you promote productive conversations and debates and not a passive permissive-agreeable culture or even an argumentative one. More importantly, acknowledge and learn from different opinions.

Conclusion 

Project Managers have a lot on their plate, and therefore a brief guide as above can be very useful in brushing up their skills, remind themselves of the basics, and help them steer once again in the right direction. 

We hope you found this article of good value. In case you’re looking for more advice on project management, find insightful articles on project management software on SoftwareSuggest.

Shubham Rajpara
"Shubham Rajpara is a blogger for IT companies and creative agencies who writes extensively on AI, ML, NLP, Big Data, IoT, Blockchain, and all things Sales & Marketing. He is an aspiring clinical psychologist, who also loves to cook, and do poetry. Reach him out at shubhamrajpara1995efilwen@gmail.com."

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