10 Quick Tips for Project Managers

updated 16 Feb 2023

Group of Project Managers working

As a project manager, it’s important to be aware of tips and tricks that can help you work more efficiently and effectively. Whether you’re managing a remote team, dealing with difficult situations, or simply looking for project shortcuts, there are a variety of quick tips you can use to streamline your work.

Here are 11 quick tips for project managers:

  1. Use personal photos to build relationships with remote teams

If you’re managing a remote team, it can be difficult to build personal relationships with team members. One way to overcome this is to have everyone submit a photo that shows something they’re passionate about. Then, have one team member talk about their photo in an upcoming meeting. This is a great way to get to know team members on a personal level, even if you can’t meet them in person.

  1. Schedule virtual lunch or coffee breaks for casual conversation

In a remote work environment, it’s easy to lose the casual conversations that happen naturally in an office setting. To combat this, schedule a virtual lunch or coffee break time for team members to discuss the weather, news, sports, or any other casual topics.

  1. Celebrate project milestones with a virtual party

When you reach a major project milestone or complete a project, it’s important to celebrate your team’s hard work. Invite everyone to a virtual celebration, and encourage them to bring their favorite drink from their location. This is a fun way to celebrate as a team, even if you can’t do it in person.

  1. Share personal stories to build trust

At the start of a meeting, share a personal story about a time when you failed and what you learned from it. Alternatively, you can read a story about someone famous who faced a similar situation. This is a great way to build trust with your team and show that you’re not afraid to be vulnerable.

  1. Use humor to lighten the mood

When dealing with difficult situations, starting with something funny can help to lighten the mood. Consider sharing a humorous video or story at the start of a meeting to help everyone relax and focus on the task at hand.

  1. Use gamification to encourage participation

To encourage participation in a meeting or brainstorming session, consider using gamification. For example, you can hand out Monopoly money for anyone who comes up with an idea and offer a prize for anyone who earns a certain amount. This can help to make meetings more fun and engaging.

  1. Use keyboard shortcuts to work more efficiently

Project Professional 2013 and 2016 have a variety of keyboard shortcuts that can help you work more efficiently. For example, you can hold Ctrl and roll your mouse wheel to adjust the zoom on the timescale. You can also right-click on any icon on the Ribbon to quickly add it to the Quick Access Toolbar.

  1. Use custom columns to track important information

If you need to track information that isn’t included in the default columns, you can create custom columns in Project. To create a new custom column, simply start typing where it says “Add New Column.” Project will automatically assign a friendly name to the custom field Text1.

  1. Restore tables to their original layout

If you’ve customized a table in Project and want to restore it to its original layout, you can do so by going to the View tab, picking the Tables drop-down, and choosing Reset to Default. This is a quick way to get back to the default layout if you’ve made a lot of changes.

  1. Focus on critical tasks with a deep dive

To focus on the tasks driving your end date, consider turning off calculated Summary tasks. You can do this by going to the Format tab, checking Critical Tasks, and clearing (unchecking) Summary Task

Have your own favorite tips? Share them with the MPUG community in the comments below.

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Written by Cindy M. Lewis
Cindy Lewis is an awarded Microsoft Project MVP and an expert in scheduling with a long history in project management. She holds numerous credentials in the field including: PMP, PMI-SP, MS, MOS, and MCT. She serves on the board of the MPUG Detroit chapter and is a frequent speaker at conferences and events across the country . Cindy’s personal passion is sharing knowledge with others and helping them grow and achieve personal success. Her training philosophy is known as the 4 Pillars of Success® which is also the name of her company. Feel free to connect with Cindy on social media or contact her directly through her website www.4pillarsofsuccess.com.
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1 Comment
  1. Very good Tips. I will likely use them all. Thanks.

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