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Project Management Hacks presents:

Project Management Hacks
How to Reduce Administrative Glut and Get More Done!

In this presentation, you'll learn several project management hacks to improve productivity, methodology, meeting management, schedule management and make email and communication easier. After reviewing this presentation, you'll understand how to reduce administrative glut and get more done.

After all, we've got projects to deliver!

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Project Management Hacks

  1. 1. Project Management HacksHow to Reduce Administrative Glut and Get MoreDone!4/25/2013 1Dr. Andrew Makarandy@tacticalprojectmanagement.comTwitter: @andymakarFeel free to tweet using hashtag #pmhacks
  2. 2. Start with the Outcome in Mind• Share project management “hacks” to improve PMproductivity• Provide you with resources to put these hacks intopractice• Links• Articles• Tools• Share your own PM hacks4/25/2013 2
  3. 3. The Productivity Challenge• Do more with less• Reducing resources yet more work is expected• “No” is not an acceptable answerResponse• Superhero mentality• Working long hours is not a badge of courage4/25/2013 3
  4. 4. How do you deliver more with less?• Consultants will sell “Accelerators” or “Enablers”• We need short cuts• What hacks allows us to be more productive in 8hour day?4/25/2013 4
  5. 5. Gathering the hacks• Based on professional experience• Identified several project management hacks• Surveyed the PM community• Promoted via LinkedIn• Tactical PM Blog• Facebook Discussion Group4/25/2013 5
  6. 6. One Simple Question• What is your favorite tip, tool or technique toreduce a project’s administrative burden?4/25/2013 6
  7. 7. Response Rate• 11 pages of qualitative responses• 86 responses• How do you summarize all this information in apresentation?4/25/2013 7
  8. 8. Project Management Hacks Summarywww.wordle.net4/25/2013 8
  9. 9. Qualitative Observations• Common themes for• Methodology• Standards• Templates• Checklists• Centralized Tools• Do these increase or decrease administrativeburden?4/25/2013 9
  10. 10. The survey doesn’t end here• Write down your favorite PM Time-saving tip, toolor technique that improves PM efficiency• Gather at the end of the talk• Publish results to the blog• Augment this presentation with the results4/25/2013 10
  11. 11. The PM Hacks• Methodology Hacks• Meeting Hacks• Schedule and Task List Hacks• Email and Communication Hacks• Tool Hacks4/25/2013 11
  12. 12. Methodology Hacks4/25/2013 12
  13. 13. PMO pre-populates the templates• Does the PM methodology have too manytemplates?• What If…• Enterprise PMO publishes the template standard• Department PMO pre-populates the standard withdepartment boilerplate information4/25/2013 13#1
  14. 14. PMO & the PM Plan• Requires minimal customization by the projectmanager.• Consistent process & tools• document risks• issues• change requests• quality management• configuration management.• Same Org = Same Tools• PM can then tweak a PM plan that is alreadycustomized for the immediate organization4/25/2013 14#1
  15. 15. How am I going to get the PMO todo that?• Talk to them!• Effective PMOs want to help their PMs deliverbetter• Too Many Templates 15#1
  16. 16. PowerPoint the PM Plan• Skip the massive treatise that no one will read• Implement a format you can use• Include slides for each component of PM plan• Use in your Project Kick off meeting and new teammember training• Rinse and Repeat for future projects4/25/2013 16#2
  17. 17. PowerPoint the PM PlanProject Management Plan Slide DeckGoals and Objectives Change (Scope) ManagementProject Scope Cost ManagementOrg Chart and Stakeholders Quality ManagementCommunications Management Document (Configuration) ManagementSchedule (Time) Management Resource Management *Issue and Risk Management Vendor Management *4/25/2013 17* Include and share with appropriate audience as necessary#2
  18. 18. Survey Feedback• Team members were not aware of all the processesneeded to run the project• The PowerPoint format quickly sets expectations ina consumable format4/25/2013 18#2
  19. 19. Draw the Communication Plan• Use mind mapping software for PM deliverables4/25/2013 19#3
  20. 20. Draw the Communication Plan• IdentifyCommunicationFrequency• Assign to mind map4/25/2013 20#3
  21. 21. 21#3
  22. 22. Replace templates with mind maps• Communicate in pictures rather than words• Easier to communicate visually• Faster to document• Better organization of thoughts• Improved collaboration4/25/2013 22#4
  23. 23. Survey Feedback“I’ve used mind mapping tools and have created tonsof templates that REDUCE the time it takes to workwith most common project documentation”- David Esko, Symytry, http://www.erp-blue-diamond.com4/25/2013 23#4
  24. 24. 4/25/2013 24Traditional VisualProject Scope StatementWork Breakdown StructureOrganization ChartIssue ManagementLessons Learned#4
  25. 25. Scope Statement Mind Map4/25/2013 25#4
  26. 26. Work Breakdown Structure4/25/2013 26#4
  27. 27. Team Organization Chart4/25/2013 27#4
  28. 28. Issue Log4/25/2013 28#4
  29. 29. Lessons Learned Mind Map4/25/2013 29#4
  30. 30. One Page Status Reports• Create One-Page Status Reports per workstream• PowerPoint• Excel• Mind Map• Forces brevity (Good)• Or a smaller font size (Bad)• Roll up status reports for large project, programs orportfolios4/25/2013 30#5
  31. 31. One Page Status Reports4/25/2013 31#5
  32. 32. Even better…• Use a centralized project management system togenerate status automatically4/25/2013 32#5
  33. 33. Meeting Hacks4/25/2013 33
  34. 34. Daily Standup• Isn’t just for Agile projects• 15 minutes every day is a good checkpoint• Enforce the time limit• Focus on the important items4/25/2013 34#6
  35. 35. Survey Feedback• 10 Minute Stand Up meeting in the morning• 5 Minute Wrap up end of the day4/25/2013 35#6
  36. 36. 15 Minutes with Stakeholders• Busy staff are open to a 5 to 15 minute checkpoint• No one wants a 60 minute meeting• Be prepared with your list of important questions4/25/2013 36#7
  37. 37. Meeting Bombs = Major Time Waster• Use an agenda with time limits and item owner• Set expectation item owner brings answers to themeeting• Provide enough notice to get the answers• Avoid the Meeting Bomb• No one is surprised• Everyone has a chance to bring answers to the meeting• Avoids scheduling another meeting to get answers4/25/2013 37#8
  38. 38. What if there was a tool…• Set an agenda• Assigned item owners• Allowed owners to collaborate on agenda BEFOREthe meeting• Automated follow-up actions after the meeting• Generates agenda items based on the past meeting• And it was FREE!4/25/2013 38#9
  39. 39.• Tool Shop: AgreeDo 39#9
  40. 40. Mind Map Your Meeting Minutes4/25/2013 40#10
  41. 41. Mind Map Your Meeting Minutes4/25/2013 41#10
  42. 42. Action Items and Notes in the Map4/25/2013 42#10
  43. 43. Related PM Articles on Mind Mapping• A Better Project• Mind Mapping a Better WBS• Mind Mapping a Better View• Mind Mapping Your Project Schedule• Don’t Fear the WBS• Project Schedule Control with MindManager 43#10
  44. 44. 3 Minutes to Effective Issue Management• How much time can you spend reviewing 12 issueson a project log?• 20 minutes…not 90!• Anyone have a project status meeting run over?4/25/2013 44#11
  45. 45. 3 Minutes to Effective Issue Management1. Sort issue list by priority and next review date2. 3 minute time limit per issue3. Quickly and succinctly describe• Issue status• Actions in-progress• Required help4. Exceed time limit – talk after meeting4/25/2013 45#11
  46. 46. 3 Minutes to Effective Issue Management• Kitchen timer• Stopwatch• Smartphone4/25/2013
  47. 47. Schedule and Task Hacks4/25/2013 47
  48. 48. Top 3 Things• How can I move the project forward today?• Neil Whitten – What are the Top 3 things to do?• Focus on those items for the day• Did I Move The Project Forward Today? 48#12
  49. 49. Convert Mind Map to a Schedule• Brainstorm Scope in a mind map• Organize into a WBS• Assign high level durations• Export to MS Project• Refine schedule4/25/2013 49#13
  50. 50. Work Breakdown Structure4/25/2013 50#13
  51. 51. 4/25/2013 51#13
  52. 52. Use pre-built and custom MSProject filters• Apply custom filters and graphical indicators toproject schedule• Custom views and tables can short cutadministration• Deadlines• Quickly identify late tasks• Traffic Light indicators4/25/2013 52#14
  53. 53. Survey Feedback“My specific tool is to setup a Red, Yellow, Greenradio button to show individual task status at aglance” – V. SrinivasanEveryone can perceive status immediately4/25/2013 53#14
  54. 54. Deadlines in Microsoft Project4/25/2013 54Managing Deadlines in Microsoft Project
  55. 55. Late Task Indicator4/25/2013 55Add Late Task Indicator Tool
  56. 56. Highlight Late Tasks by Resource4/25/2013 56Using VBA to Find Late Finish Dates
  57. 57. Finding Late Tasks FilterThe Behind Schedule Filter 57#14
  58. 58. Apply Social Task Management• Eliminate manual task tracking• No more Command and Control• Centralized Tools• One Version of the Truth• Work Management and Notification• Derive Organization from Chaos• Low Administration4/25/2013 58#15
  59. 59. Social Task Management4/25/2013 59
  60. 60. Social Task Management• Future is moving to true collaborative projectmanagement systems• Best-in-class will feature• Ease of use• Scheduling engine• Collaborative work and communication features• Organize information easily• Desktop schedule management tools are dinosaurs4/25/2013 60#15
  61. 61. Survey Feedback• Use a central project management system forstatus and reporting• Organizations need to invest in EPM tools toeliminate the PM burden for schedule tracking• Use Microsoft Project Enterprise for advancedproject tracking• Let the tool generate the templates and reports• Of course, the information still needs to be kept upto date4/25/2013 61#15
  62. 62. Social Task Management Thought LeadersSolution Provider LinkAtTask http://www.attask.comLiquidPlanner http://www.liquidplanner.comMindjet http://www.mindjet.comTrello http://www.trello.comAsana http://www.asana.comMicrosoft Project Online with ProjectPro 62#15
  63. 63. Email and Communication Hacks4/25/2013 63
  64. 64. Survey Feedback• Use a detailed Responsibility and CommunicationMatrix• If every task has clear agreement, the headachesdisappear• Communicate with a Project Wall• WBS and Schedule• Resource Assignment• Track progress on the wall daily• Update computer schedule weekly based on wall4/25/2013 64#16
  65. 65. Happiness is an empty inbox• Too much email creates too much stress• Hoard emails like a cache of knowledge• Search, sort and hunt and peck• Ineffective and really can’t find anything quickly• Email Processing Rule• Delete, Do It, Delegate Defer4/25/2013 65#17
  66. 66. Happiness is an empty inboxSwitch to a simpler folder system1. Create a Archive and Follow Up folder2. Move attachments to Archive folder3. Archive or delete everything else in your inbox4. Clear the Follow Up folder each day5. Delete the Archive each month4/25/2013 66#17
  67. 67. Happiness is an empty inbox• PDF any important emails• Sent items safety net• You can always go back to the original sender• 800 unread emails does not equate to braggingrights4/25/2013 67#17
  68. 68. Email Ping Pong Rule• Email should be used for facts, figures and meetingnotices• Not discussions• If there is more than 4 email exchanges• Pick up the phone and call• Original – Response - Clarify – Response - CALL4/25/2013 68#18
  69. 69. Are we too connected?4/25/2013 69
  70. 70. Evolution of DistractionWe’ve implemented the perfect distraction system4/25/2013 70
  71. 71. Project SquirrelsDing!Squirrel!Losing Focus How to Avoid Project Squirrels 71
  72. 72. Turn Off Email and Instant Messaging• Want to work effectively?• Turn off the Big Distraction Machine4/25/2013 72#19
  73. 73. Turn Off Email and Instant Messaging• Thinking time is not communication time• How much more could you get done?• Just avoid the inbox for an hour or two(It will still be there waiting for you)• Establish core hours so you can FOCUS!4/25/2013 73#19
  74. 74. Check Email 2 times per day• Tim Ferris, author - Four Hour Work Week•• Check email at 11:00 a.m. and 4pm each day• Inform colleagues• Set out of office reminder to indicate yourespond to email 2 times per day• If it is an emergency, call cell4/25/2013 74#19
  75. 75. Tool Hacks4/25/2013 75
  76. 76. Siri is your friend4/25/2013 76#20
  77. 77. Use Microsoft OneNote• Use OneNoteas a one placefor all meetingnotes andactions4/25/2013 77#21
  78. 78. Evernote Your Notes• Checklists• Tagging• Task list in Evernote• Private folders• Some organizations block Evernotevia the firewall4/25/2013 78#22
  79. 79. Evernote in Action• Snapshot business cards and throwaway the business card• Forward emails to your Evernotebox• Whiteboard Photo and tag it4/25/2013 79#22
  80. 80. Evernote and The Secret Weapon4/25/2013 80
  81. 81. Evernote• Dave Engberg, Chief TechnologyOfficer, Evernote• Multi-tier security model with strongauditing controls.• SAS70 compliant with regular audits• Use common sense• Review your corporate security policy• Send only what you feel comfortableresiding on another email server4/25/2013 81
  82. 82. Use the Pomodoro Technique• Time management method• Decide on the task to be done• Set the pomodoro (timer) to 25minutes• Work on the task until the timerrings; record with an x• Take a short break (3-5 minutes)• Every four "pomodori" take a longerbreak (15–30 minutes)4/25/2013 82#23
  83. 83. The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working• 90 minutes and always took a renewalbreak in between sessions• We need activity and rest to perform atour best• Intense periods of focus and activity• Consistent periods of renewal if we areto perform at our best4/25/2013 83#24
  84. 84. Questions?4/25/2013 84
  85. 85. Download the presentation• Slides• Article links• Recommend Toolswww.tacticalprojectmanagement.com4/25/2013 85