First, three tips for remote teams…

  • Have everyone submit a picture that shows something they’re passionate about and then have one of them talk about it in an upcoming meeting. This is a great way to build personal relationships even if you can’t meet them at the water cooler.
  • Have a dedicated virtual lunchtime or coffee break chatter time for people to discuss the weather, news, sports, etc.
  • Have celebrations for major project milestones or the end of the project with an invitation like this: “Join us for a virtual celebration with your drink/location of choice.”

Dealing with the difficult situation? Don’t ignore it. Try these three tips:

  • At the start of the meeting, share a story about yourself where you failed and what you learned from it or read a canned story about someone famous in a similar situation.
  • Start with something funny (“Trunk Monkey” YouTube videos are awesome).
  • Another approach: Hand out monopoly money for anyone who comes up with an idea and mention a prize for everyone who earns at least $### in this session (be sure to say no one goes to jail).

How about some good old-fashioned Project shortcuts? These work with Project Professional 2013 and 2016. If you’re on an older version, results may vary.

  • Hold Ctrl and roll your mouse wheel to adjust the zoom on the timescale.
  • Right-click on any icon on the Ribbon to quickly add it to the Quick Access Toolbar (great for your favorite features). Also, in the Quick Access Toolbar drop-down, choose Show Below the Ribbon to give yourself more room for features.
  • Need a new custom column? Simply start typing where it says, “Add New Column,” and Project will automatically assign your friendly name to the custom field Text1. (My clients love this tip!)
  • To restore a table to its original layout, go to the View tab, pick the Tables drop-down and choose Reset to Default. (Nice so you don’t have to memorize the way it used to look).
  • To deep dive into your critical path, you might consider turning off the calculated Summary tasks so you can focus on the tasks driving your end date. Format tab, check Critical Tasks, and clear (uncheck) Summary Tasks. (It’s not necessary to uncheck Project Summary Task because that will be turned off when you turn off Summary Tasks).

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

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