The art of communication is the language of leadership. -James Humes
Communication is the most powerful tool when it comes to building strong and productive teams. A good leader must possess powerful communication skills so that he can bridge the gaps between the team members, handle miscommunications, and make the move forward in the best possible direction. So, what’s a good way in knowing whether or not you have communication skills needed to become a good leader?
In this article, you will read about communication secrets every leader must have in order to manage teams effectively.
The entire purpose of business communication boils down to trust. If your team members don’t trust you they would simply put a blind eye to what you say. That’s why it is highly important for every leader to build trust amongst its team before he begins to communicate. Building trust in the team will make your job easier. For instance you believe a project management app is a good way to manage projects and deadlines. But your team will only begin to use it when they have developed faith towards you.
Know your Audience
An effective communication with your team members is possible only when you know them inside out. Once you know your audience then you can accordingly build strategies to convey your message to them. Also, knowing the people around you is an important part of project management as it helps you to decide who can handle a particular role in the best possible way.
Honesty is one such tool which can make your team members trust you both in good times and bad times. On the other hand, you may be able to impress your team for a short-time by being dishonest but in the long-run you are likely to lose the game. Thus, it is highly important for a good leader to make sure he is honest with his team which eventually helps to build trust as well.
Be a Good Listener
Leadership to me means duty, honor, country. It means character, and it means listening from time to time. George W. Bush
If you want to communicate and connect with your team members then make sure your communication is a two-way street. You must pay attention to what your team members are trying to tell you instead of always waiting for your turn to speak. A good leader is an active listener and pays full attention to what the other person has to say.
If you want to explore new opportunities and want your team to fully participate in every project then it is important to be open-minded. As a leader, you must be able to understand the strongest and the weakest team members.
A leader doesn’t rule out the ones with the contradictory opinions instead takes the entire team to the next level where they all can work together.
So, here are the top five secrets of effective communication for leaders for building great teams. Apart from this, don’t forget to use an online project management app which can help you to communicate with remote teams as well.
Everyone on the internet is sharing tips for good project management at their workplace. Good project management can happen through a good task management software. Don’t you think so?
Imagine a situation where you are working on a project and your team is sitting at a different geographical location. Now, you cannot afford to send out emails for every single task. Also, it is impossible to communicate tasks and project requirements over phone.
So, what’s the alternative? A project management software can save you from the trouble of sending and receiving a lot of emails. Using the dashboard of such a tool, your team can keep pace with the requirement of the project and accomplish tasks before the deadline arrives.
The benefits of a cloud-based project management tool aren’t just restricted to managing tasks and deadlines. It is much more than that. In the following article, you will read about why you should switch to a project management application and how it can create a difference to the way you are currently handling work.
Round the Clock Accessibility
The major benefit of an online project management software is its 24/7 accessibility. This allows everyone involved in a project to work from anytime, anywhere provided they have a good Internet connection.
Almost every web based project management application can work on cross-platform which ensures that users can use it on various operating systems and computers. You can also find mobile versions, using which you can manage your projects from your smartphone or tablet.
A good project management software doesn’t require huge capital investment. You can easily buy an online task management software by paying few hundred bucks every month. In fact, you don’t need I.T. specialists to install and use a project management app. Most vendors provide easy technical support to help users fix issues.
Easy Sharing and Collaboration
As already mentioned that a project management software can be accessed from anywhere which makes team collaboration quite easier. Such an online solution makes it feasible for your team members to share files, discuss important stuff and do a lot more. In fact, a cloud-based platform helps keeping everyone in the loop and send out real-time updates and notifications. This feature is quite useful in managing remote teams.
Full Access to I.T. Support
In case of any issue at any point of time, you can easily reach out to the I.T. support. The team is ever ready to address technical glitches and provide you the best solutions. This eliminates the need to keep a technical team at your end because you have access to expert support all throughout the day. to troubleshoot or address technical glitches. For a small business without a technical team that means a lot.
A good project management software works well with popular tools like Zendesk, Google Docs, Salesforce, MailChimp, and a lot of documentation and accounting apps. So, that means importing and exporting files becomes quite easy.
These were some of the key points to remind you that a cloud management software can simplify your life. A good project management tool also acts as a good time tracking software making it easy to track time invested by each user. Avail more benefits of such a platform by installing it right now.
Running a high-performance team in any business culture is a competitive task. Building a team is based on tactics, strategies, skills, and tools that a team and a boss use. Team collaboration is a sign of effective team to bring individuals together so that they perform better. Over the past few years, collaboration is scaling up to new heights. And leaders are investing in tools like project management software to maintain relationships throughout the organization. The best weapon that you can have to win against your competitors is a collaborative team.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” HELLEN KELLER
Collaboration helps in creating an environment that would guarantee job satisfaction of an employee. In order to reach a common organizational goal, teams need to harness their strengths, use the right collaboration tools, participate in team building activities, engage into brainstorming and creative intelligence and a good work culture. In this post, we all talk about the tools that are critical and will make the magic happen.
Managing the work
Sometimes, a few tasks are hard to define and you may often have trouble with prioritizing the tasks and managing the tasks. Who does what? What is the project plan for today or for the week?
Tool: ProofHub is a project management software for small teams and large teams. It will let you stay under ultimate control and have a check on all your tasks. It empowers a team to work together, deliver the tasks on time and deliver productive results. You can break the project down into various tasks and assign the tasks to individuals. The teams will know how to execute the tasks and it will allow teams to focus on how to get things done on time.
Every user has different needs, there is a need of making spreadsheets, organizing tasks, saving an important document, presenting information and writing down things.
Tool: Google docs will allow you to make a document of your style, save the information you want to include and format the documents. Google docs can be used to write a resume, draft a project proposal, design a brochure and formalize meeting notes and much more. You can also add comments on the text in the document and people can reply to it there.
Communication is an important part of building team relationships. It is crucial between all team members to make sure that all the relevant ideas are shared between the teams and small queries are answered immediately.
Tool: You can find many communication tools like skype, hangout and much more but ProofHub is a collaboration tool that also builds great communication among teams. It sets a great communication channel for remote and virtual teams for seamless connection. It avoids the need of wasting time in face to face meetings for little discussions and saves a lot of efforts. ProofHub is one place for projects, teams and communication.
Collaboration is an indefinite need of today's teams and these tools will boost all your efforts. It makes teams better and works faster. So, good luck for your efforts.
The job of a project manager is like a roller coaster ride which is full of excitement, stress, fear, chaos and a lot of fun too. Even if you have never single-handedly handled a project, you still know that when the deadlines approaches, the nervousness reaches its peak and the anxiety to complete your work almost doubles. However, one cannot always afford to rely on the last minute adrenaline rush to fetch good results.
Being an amatuer project manager, you will have to take risks, expand your knowledge and skills, make mistakes and then learn from them. This article is not meant for professionals but new project managers who are looking forward to take on the big responsibility.
Work like a NASA Engineer
So, what if you have been handed over a big project and this is your first time? Not a big deal. Take this new challenge like a NASA astronaut, build your focus, and start working on the project. Start with big things first and don’t get stuck in minor details. Make sure you develop a plan first and then make adjustments as and when needed. But don’t forget to work with a pro attitude.
Be Clear about the Goals
Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. -Tony Robbins
Before you begin working on a project, it is important to define goals. Defining your goals clearly will help you to channelize your thoughts, efforts, and time for accomplishing it. But there are few things you need to keep in mind while defining your goals.
It is good to have an ambitious goal but make sure it is genuinely realistic and has a deadline with it. Unrealistic goals and the ones which are not bound by time are never accomplished. On the other hand, a well-defined goal enables you to visualize basic requirements, necessary dependencies, and milestones.
Don’t Ignore Team Collaboration in Project Management
"Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success." – Henry Ford
You cannot even think of making your plans successful without a team. In fact, you would need a well-collaborated team at every single step of your project from completing tasks, answering clients, satisfying the stakeholders, and so on. However, handling a large team whether in a local environment or remote location isn’t easy.
Using a good collaboration tool can help you in communicating with your team members about every little thing. Also, it makes it easy to share important information with them or track project status.
Take Time to Define Requirements and Estimate Time
Once you have discussed your plan with your team and received customer feedback, now it’s time to get into details. Surveys and feedback will help you know customer requirements clearly, set project milestones, and also estimate the time that would be required to achieve it.
Don’t ignore the importance of time estimation for every task involved in a project. If you haven’t defined deadlines clearly then don’t expect your team members to deliver tasks in time. Deadlines are a powerful method for maximizing team productivity.
I hope the above points will help you handle your new project with vigor and intelligence. Don’t forget to invest in a good online collaboration tool and avail maximum benefits of it.
“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year — and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!” – Anthony Robbins
Every week, day, hour, we are losing the most precious asset-Time. No one in the world can bring you back the lost time and no one can add a little extra hours to the time left with us. Sounds too vague. But this is true. We are simply running out of time by every week, day, hour. Everything in the world is bound by time and there’s no option than to accomplish it in a given time-frame.
Now, let’s come to the real world. Time management is the most important aspect of project management. As a manager or business leader, it is your responsibility to keep a check over your employees’ performance and make sure they are utilizing every business hour efficiently.
That’s why a time tracking tool is much-needed to ensure every moment is utilized in the best possible way. The following article will guide you about the benefits of time tracking software for your projects.
1. Facilitates Aggressive Time Tracking
As the name goes, an online time tracking tool enables aggressive tracking of time for employees which eventually helps managers keep employees engaged in different types of projects. With this software, a manager can easily gain deep insight about the way each team member executes his tasks.
This helps the manager to find out how much time is being spent on each task by an employee in a day. This information helps him to improve project workflows and ensure time, money and human resources are being properly allocated as per the requirements of a project.
2. Assign Right Tasks to the Right Person
A project manager can easily identify the working pattern of all his team members. He gets to know the capabilities and skills of every individual working in his team which makes it easier for him to channelize them for maximum productivity and results. This enables him to assign right tasks to the right person so that the entire work gets delivered in time.
For instance everyone in a team cannot with the same speed. Some people need more time to research, understand, and then start working on a project. Tracking individual time will help you to find out whether a person is fit for a particular task or not.
3. Manage Remote Teams with Ease
Managing remote teams is the most crucial part of a project management. Communicating about deadlines, allocating tasks, and tracking individual performance is a daunting task while handling remote teams.
A time tracking tool can take you beyond geographical boundaries and time zones and keep you and your remote team on the same page. You can collaborate with your team easily and centralize their to-do list and attendance system. Delegating tasks remotely is another advantage of time tracking software along with monitoring every little activity of your remote team.
I am sure by now you would have definitely realized the importance of an online time tracking tool for your business. Don’t forget to use it for your next project.
As the technology is growing, projects are getting bigger and bigger. Large projects involve more cost, more planning, and puts whole organization in jeopardy if things are not done on time. Large-scale projects frequently deliver disappointing returns. There are many challenges associated with managing these projects. A project manager has to look after several things to make sure that delivery is on time, value and in a budget. But due to lack of necessary resources, a project manager will have to face several hardships.
Long time ago, project managers used notepads, pen, and a methodology to manage their projects. But now a project management software is becoming a necessity. Today, the software is among the most useful tools for companies in becoming as productive as possible. It is being used for several reasons from project planning, time management, resource allocation and so on.
Here are some secrets of using a project management software for large scale projects. Let’s have a look:
There are a lot of sensitive data project-related information, files, and documents that demand the highest level of security. And a large scale project has a more of data to be kept safe. Online project management software will provide you guaranteed protection for all of your data and information. All the information that will get into the software will be secure and also making sure that all communication and businesses are protected. The software today promises to deliver dynamic solutions for 100% secure transmission and unauthorized admission.
Improved operations of planning
Large scale projects have a complex flow of information and PLANNING is everything for its success. A project management software will define how to achieve the objectives of a project. When the goals are known, building project schedules will be easy and can be done under ultimate control. The software holds the accountability of making clear plans and will help to make budget decisions easier. To plan the tasks and resources you can get an effective roadmap to keep the things on track.
Large scale project cannot work without communication with teams and clients. And a project management software offers instant communication through messaging tool and enables group chat. Everybody can be updated on what is happening within a project and get notified on what’s important on the go.
Every project brings along many changes. You need to have a tool that can quickly modify the scope of a project. An online project management software will help you set clear goals, set deadlines, reduce meeting time, update and assign tasks to team members, and set milestones within seconds. This will help to improve the productivity of team members, and help you to enjoy the positive mood.
Personalize your tools
If you have a system to manage your projects by customizing your files, management becomes simpler. When you are using a software, you can access and share your files in Google drive, Dropbox, and with a host of other work tools from there itself.
The ultimate outcome of using a project management software is a successful delivery of any kind of projects.
Kanban boards is one of the tried and tested tools for successful project management. A kanban board is the best way to track the entire lifecycle of a project visually. It makes it possible to follow every single task involved in a project from the beginning to end. In fact, working on Kanban board is as easy as working on a whiteboard and sticky notes. It helps you represent the information in a simple and scalable form further making it easier to define project requirements and set schedules.
Originally, Kanban boards were a plain whiteboard used to monitor tasks and projects. Today with technological advancements, we have digital Kanban boards which has made it possible for project managers to handle projects with more transparency and better communication.
Using Kanban boards for Work
Kanban boards have been known for helping individuals and teams deliver high productivity at workplace. They can help you maintain balance between production and demand. That’s why Kanban is a popular choice among small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Working in an organization along with a lot of other people makes it challenging to keep oneself motivated and track one’s progress. On top of that, when you are leading a team, you will have to boost your team and make them realize the value of their work. But this is not possible with verbal communication always. Your team members need to know how their work is creating a difference in the entire project.This is possible through Kanban boards.
When your employees see cards moving in the Kanban board then they are able to work with more enthusiasm and interest. Online Kanban boards make it possible for team members to know where a project stands. It is even a powerful tool for team collaboration as it allows everyone in the team to discuss the project, share new ideas, and track progress.
As an entrepreneur or team leader, an online Kanban board makes it easier for you to focus on important aspects without feeling disoriented. The main idea behind using a Kanban board is that it makes it possible for your team members to achieve larger goals in shorter amount of time. This cuts down the wastage of time and prevent slowdowns.
There are a number of advantages of a using a virtual Kanban board. In this article, we have tried listing the top benefits of digital Kanban boards for your business. If there are more benefits you know, feel free to share them in the comments below.
Our team of project managers was mostly engaged in managing files, documents and papers to look after the projects. It’s been years we are pushing our limits to move and work forward. If you are a marketing agency or an IT professional or any other industry relying on online software is becoming critical for business success.
What is a task management system?
Task management is the process that manages tasks by following the whole cycle of planning, testing, tracking, and reporting. The task management tool is for project managers of any industry who are looking to get their teams on one page through effective methods. This tool will allow managers to quickly see who is working on what and when. It will help the team to achieve their goals on time and also collaborate with their remote workers, if any. Task management is actually a part of project management and is the foundation for efficient workflow.
Why use a task management software?
When working on projects, there are many tasks to manage like meetings, phone calls, appointments, business trips, status, and reports. Every task needs to be planned to completion using a task management software. By using a task management system, you will have the ability to track your tasks, deadlines, and teams. It is a crucial tool for all your business needs.
How a task management software will help business?
As the workload is increasing day by day, it is becoming impossible to look after more than two or three tasks at a time. When it comes to getting things done at work, juggling deadlines and managing time constraints, there are a number of ways in which a task management tool will help your business.
To-do lists – You can prepare to-do lists to prioritize and complete tasks on time
Mobile support – Mobile apps enable users to access the system on the go
Document control – Control access to documents based on user role
Break down tasks - Breaks down big projects into smaller related and dependent tasks
Manage Tasks- Manage tasks assigned to one or more members of your team.
Categorize Tasks- Categorize your team's tasks with simplicity and ease
Task Deadlines- Create deadlines for tasks with automatic reminders
Assign Tasks-Assign tasks in a click, making delegation easy & effective.
Attachments-Integrations with third party apps and upload files from your computer, Google Drive & Dropbox
If you are struggling to keep up with your employees, you really need a task management tool for your business. A task management tool will have a monthly or yearly subscription pricing system. Be clear about your requirements and then select a suitable system for your needs.
Are you always keeping every aspect of your tasks in a loop? No? Start with what are your daily routine tasks? Write a to-do list. Set reminders. Send emails. Ever thought of choosing those things at work that makes each day count. Are you good at setting goals? By goals, it means planning those things that can help you save time. Project planning hacks will make your life much simpler and manageable.
Workplace productivity can be greatly improved with project management application that is an essential resource for delegating tasks, resource management, monitoring productivity, and making timely deliveries. There are certain productivity hacks in a project management app that can make your every day amazing. Try out the following hacks:
From work project to personal tasks, there is daily a long list of tasks in our hands. Make a sensible order to deal with all these tasks. Always make a plan to prioritize your tasks. You can use a project management application to tackle your daily tasks by taking into consideration the amount of time every task requires. Complete those tasks that are most important but do not keep on procrastinating the things. Try to finish the tasks that you’re dreading the most and prioritize the rest by order of deadlines.
Start and Plan Early
Devote our first few minutes of the day in planning and prioritizing your daily tasks. Your team’s tasks should be planned as per the requirement. This simple to-do will help you to have an idea of what all things you are going to do for the day and what are your goals. If possible try to plan you Monday tasks on Friday before you leave office or on Sunday evening. This will save your time on Monday and make you prepared before hand about your tasks.
Email Daily Thoughts
Email is a simple thing that we use daily for managing things. With the help of a project management application, you can share your daily thoughts easily and in a go. You can share your content ideas, thoughts, and daily ideas and can be nicely stored in a central place.
Keep Realistic Goals
Make sure that your goals are attainable by keeping your goals realistic. Tackle the tasks in simple steps by using a project management app. Do not be afraid of delegating the tasks to teams, you do not have to do everything on your own. Learn to say No to things and do not be overly occupied with daily tasks.
All the above hacks will surely improve your personal productivity. Project management app will provide you these productivity hacks for your growth. Make these your habits and you will see the difference. You will have a sense of achievement and you work quality will also show an improvement.
What are some of your favorite personal productivity hacks?
Using Gantt charts in a proper way can make the process of project planning and implementation quite easier. Before you begin to use online Gantt charts for planning your next project, here are a few tips you must consider.
Know the Project Purpose
Before you create a Gantt chart, first find out whether you need it for a project or a process. The reason is simple. A flowchart is a better alternative to diagram a process than a Gantt chart. That’s why it is important to determine the ultimate goal of the project before you begin planning for it.
Define the Timelines
Once you are done with the determination of project goals then next is to figure out how you can set the project timelines for the entire duration of the project. This should include the start date, end date along with the duration required to complete the project. If you are using a spreadsheet for the same then you would need a calendar as well. But if you want to automate things then using online Gantt charts would be a good idea. Also, this will help you keep in consideration weekends and holidays and avoid scheduling deadlines on the same. Another advantage would be saving of a lot of time and avoidance of big blunders at work.
Know the Inside Out of Project
To simplify the process of project planning, the best thing is to divide the project into small manageable components. The idea is to break the tasks into subtasks and so on till you can find out straightforward tasks which are easier to implement and consume less time. You can use Gantt chart table for a hierarchical list of work divisions which has tasks and subtasks and accurate timeframes to achieve them.
Create Progress Bar for Each Task
So, the timeline is set and the project has been divided into tasks, the next crucial step is to create a progress bar for every task. A progress bar is nothing but a horizontal bar which is in line with a particular task name and begins beneath its start date and ends beneath the end date. Make sure you do this for every task. Also, some of them may overlap which means two or more tasks occurring at the same time.
Define the Longest Path
The longest path or the critical path is about looking at all of the activities in the Gantt chart in way that you take into account the timing and dependent relationships. This helps you to determine critical steps which you cannot afford to risk else they would lead to delay in your project. In order to define the critical path, you can use lines to connect one task to another in case they are inter-dependent.
It is important to set milestones in every project as completing them keeps the sense of achievement alive in your team. Therefore, represent the milestones using a symbol that provides clarity to you and your team.
I hope the above points will help you in planning for your next project in a better way using Gantt charts. If there are any other tips you would like to share, feel free to quote them in the comments below.
Sharon Thomson is a project management expert and writer. Through the years she has written about a myriad of project management topics and has successfully managed countless projects on her own. A big believer in ‘work smarter, not harder’ philosophy; Sharon keeps including her own personal lessons in her writing from time to time.