29 One-Sentence Project Management Tips to PM like a Pro

Be the Best PM You Can

For everyday people like you and me, not those with the title of Project Manager, we need project management tips that will help us to manage projects amongst the other one million tasks we have to do. As well as meetings, emails, and getting the job done. We need practical and simple project management tips. See below…

Tips 1-8

  • 1. Don’t be intimidated by talk of projects being managed by Gantt charts, Prince 2 qualified people, and thoughts of gargantuan projects with endless excel scheduling charts, consider a project to be just another task, but a larger task, with an objective for you to achieve.

 

  • 2. Procrastination is the real enemy for projects and the watchwords are ‘Just begin’ because once you start the ‘snowball will roll down the hill’.

 

  • 3. A simple 1-page template will help you to organise your thoughts into what you need to achieve, by when, and what’s needed to get the job done.

 

  • 4. Projects fail for one or a combination of 7 reasons, so identify why yours will fail before it does, and make a change:
    • #1 – Putting Off Getting Started.
    • #2 – Letting the Day Job Get in the Way.
    • #3 – Lack of Preparation.
    • #4 – The Ostrich Effect When it Comes to Identifying Risks.
    • #5 – Scope Creep.
    • #6 – Being Over Optimistic with Timescales.
    • #7 – Lack of Buy-in with Senior Management.
  • 5. Agile is used as a word to criticise any project not going well and you need to know what it really means by reading ‘agile‘.

 

  • 6. Your project needs to have a SMART target otherwise it’s like playing darts with no number to aim for.

 

  • 7. The key soft skill in project management is the ability to influence because if you cannot get others to do what needs done, you’ll fail.

 

  • 8. Have shorter and more regular meetings as people mostly do their actions just before a meeting or just after.Businessman explaining a project to his colleagues

Tips 9-15

  • 9. Each project risk can be managed by MAT; Mitigate the risk – Can you reduce the risk? Accept the risk – Can you do nothing and accept the risk? Transfer the risk – Can you transfer the risk to another party?

 

  • 10. Use a project title that is clear enough to be understood and also balances this with great PR – Using the newspaper headline of the day can work well.

Female coach showing project management studies over glass wall

  • 11. Include ‘(Quick Win)’ if your project is chosen as a quick win project.

 

  • 12. Understand the importance of ‘ARCI’; ‘A’ is Accountable, ‘R’ is Responsible, ‘C’ is Consulted, and ‘I’ is informed.

 

  • 13. ‘Scope Creep’ occurs a lot in projects when the stakeholders want to now include x, but it wasn’t in the original plan, so if x is now included then the timescale, and resources must be extended.

 

  • 14. Discuss ways of working with your team regularly and aim to make one improvement in the way you work together at least once per month.

 

  • 15. Don’t believe that the software will do it all for you, and the project, because it is only a tool and only a good as the people who use it.

Tips 16-23

  • 16. Project milestones are essential to help the team to feel that they are winning.

 

  • 17. Take direction from Tom Cruise in the film ‘A Few Good Men’: ‘Poker faces. Don’t flinch in front of the jury. Something doesn’t go our way, don’t hang your head, don’t shift in your seat, don’t scribble furiously. Whatever happens, you have to look like it’s exactly what you knew was gonna happen.’

 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book cover

  • 19. Avoid perfection.

 

  • 20. Learn to use the skill in negotiating of conditioning, which is all about managing expectations.

 

  • 21. As an airline pilot once said, ‘For over 80% of our flight we are off course, always trying to get back on course, due to wind, other planes, and so on, but that’s ok because we are still ‘on course’.

 

  • 22. Understand the change formula to know the psychology of why your project might not succeed.

Tips 23-29

  • 23. Appoint one of your team to be PM for the day.

 

  • 24. As a Project Manager, you will feel like you are ‘herding cats’, so get a torch and shine a light on something for them to follow.

 

  • 25. Rocky was probably talking about Project Managers when he said, “It’s not about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward.”

 

  • 26. Finish each project with a simple pragmatic evaluation, use P.M.I. to take learnings forward that are Positive –  do more of, Negative – avoid if possible in the future, and Interesting – stuff you didn’t see happing and may want to be aware of.

 

  • 27. Scope your project with what’s ‘in’, ‘out’ and to be ‘considered’, and be prepared to be flexible.

 

  • 28. Consider the cost of not doing this project.

 

  • 29. Read the 7 reasons why projects fail.

There you have it, 29 easy and simple project management tips so that you can get started with being the best PM your team has ever seen.

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