50 Nuggets of Wisdom for Project Managers

At Proggio, we’ve been on the project management rollercoaster long enough to know that it’s not always a smooth ride.

In the world of project management, knowledge is power. In celebration of our 50th newsletter, we’ve gathered a wide array of project management wisdom. One thing that’s clear is that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to successful project management.
From the importance of effective communication to the significance of risk assessment and the value of a well-defined plan, we’ve seen that the key to success lies in a combination of skills, strategies, and adaptability.

Whether you’re a PM newbie or a seasoned pro, these golden tips are your secret weapon to conquer projects like a champ. So, put your GANTT aside, and dive into our top PM hacks from seasoned PM pros – both Proggio-grown and from all over the globe:

Teamwork makes the dreamwork

  • “Focus on relationship building. As a project manager, you need a lot of collaboration from a lot of people. It’s easier to ask people to get stuff done if you have a good relationship with those you are working with. Chances are that if you have a good relationship before you ask, people will respond faster and in a more positive way,” Stephen Clark, SDR/PM Influencer @ Proggio
  • “Remember, your role as a project manager is to support the team in how they manage their work,” Joanna RothmanAha Moment Feature/PM Influencer
  • “Treat people with respect and dignity. Show team members they’re appreciated. Ask their opinions. Include them in solving problems on the project and then recognize them for their contributions. And don’t forget to celebrate when major milestones are reached,” Neal Whitten
  • “Always give people some context when assigning tasks – explain the parent activity, the priority and the value achieved with the task completion,” Yaniv Shor, CEO/Man behind the machine @ Proggio
  • “In Project Management, the biggest challenge is always the people around you – and the people you cannot see! That’s why I am a big advocate for Project managers to educate ourselves continuously in psychology,” Mike Clayton, Aha Moment Feature/PM Influencer
  • “Get the work done and keep the team engaged …..all the rest is just noise,” Nir Wald, Aha Moment Feature/PM Influencer
  • “Communication is KEY,” Lior Ganot, CS superstar @Proggio
  • “Take charge of your attitude—don’t let someone else shape it for you. As a leader, your attitude has a direct impact on the attitudes of your team members, stakeholders and execs. Choose your words and actions accordingly,” Neal Whitten  
  • “Make sure your team understands the high level plan, and only then go into details,”Yaniv Shor, CEO/Man behind the machine @ Proggio
  • “Ensure that your team speaks the same language. Collaboration is crucial,” Yael Oshman, Solution Engineer @ Proggio
  • “Develop agreed priority drivers and rank new initiatives accordingly. This will ensure focusing on the right priorities and avoid focusing on who shouts lauder,” Yaniv Shor, CEO/Man behind the machine @ Proggio

Document Document Document

  • “Good documentation and data gives you the best analysis and outcome. You need both to confidently make the right decisions for your team and projects,” Eric Theurer, Head of Solution Engineering @ Proggio
  • “Detailed and accurate plans are important, but not as important as plans that people understand. If people understand, they engage and they will help you. If they don’t, you will operate you highly detailed plan alone… “Yaniv Shor, CEO/Man behind the machine @ Proggio
  • “Plan Thoroughly. I believe in investing time in creating a comprehensive project plan. Identify milestones, deliverables, dependencies, and resources. A well-structured plan serves as a roadmap and helps in proactive resource allocation and risk management, Marcus Weiss, Solution Engineer @ Proggio
  • “When presenting to management, turn data into decision making support by preparing the right visuals and reports. Don’t just show data, show the way data impact value and org goals,” Yaniv Shor, CEO/Man behind the machine @ Proggio

Power your Productivity

  • “Purposefully schedule a few minutes a day to pull your head out of the weeds. It’s easy to get busy and lose track of the purpose of the work you are doing. Take those few minutes to check your work and your mindset to make sure you are still focused and getting the most important work done,” Angelica Lopez, Product Marketing Manager @ Proggio
  • “Be a continuous learner. It’s easy to stick to what we are good at (a methodology, an elicitation tactic, etc.) but if we don’t afford ourselves opportunities to be uncomfortable and learn something new, we won’t get any better,” Kathleen Schwaber- Aha Moment Feature/PM Influencer
  • “Don’t waste too much time on status updates,” Milat Dvir, Sales Superstar @ Proggio
  • “Learn as much as you can, and don’t limit yourself to just one area (i.e. just doing scrum-type software development projects),” Ethan Schwaber – Aha Moment Feature/PM Influencer
  • “Take it easy,” Lior Ganot, CS Superstar @Proggio
  • “Make the time for short, productive breaks throughout the day,” Naomi Friend, Marketeer @ Proggio
  • “Life is too short to let the little things get to you and cause you to overthink, worry or just get annoyed,” Eric Naiburg – Aha Moment Feature/PM Influencer
  • Use meetings wisely. Set coordination objectives to the meeting focusing on critical hand shakes. Don’t waste time getting updates during the meeting. Push people to contribute between meetings,” Yaniv Shor, CEO/Man behind the machine @ Proggio
  • “Determine your top three priorities at the start of each day. They define your value, your contributions and your career. Then tenaciously drive to resolve them throughout the day,” Neal Whitten
  • “Keep it short and precise,” Milat Dvir, Sales Superstar @ Proggio
  • “I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: Try to please everybody all the time,” Herbert Bayard Swope, Journalist
  • “Don’t forget the big picture view of your project,” Itay Saban, CS Superstar @Proggio/former PM
  •  “Your project’s success is directly tied to your actions. You decide if a solid project plan is created, if effective tracking meetings take place and if problems receive the appropriate attention,” Neal Whitten

“Enjoy the ride! Be excited about the challenges and about the value that may be driven from your project. People like to join successful efforts and they avoid desperate attempts. Make them feel that the project is a shiny object, and then they will be highly engaged and will enjoy the ride too,” Yaniv Shor, CEO/Man behind the machine @ Proggio

Assess your Risk

  • “Planning is important, but without a risk assessment it’s only half job done,” Yaniv Shor, CEO/Man behind the machine @ Proggio
  • “Tackle Risks Head On… Together! Early on, as you’re creating your risk management plan and initial risk register, start identifying risks as a group,” The Digital Project Manager
  • “PMs primarily fail to meet need to adapt as the expectations or the situation changes and the project progresses,” Annie MacLeodAha Moment Feature/PM Influencer
  • “Expect changes, don’t be naive, and make sure to take a buffer for extra time,” Yael Oshman, Solution Engineer @ Proggio

Choose the Right Tool & Techniques

  • “Use Proggio 😉 Remember that project management is both an art and a science. While following best practices is crucial, the ability to adapt, communicate effectively, and lead a team is equally important for success in this field,” James Walker, SVP of Global Sales @ Proggio
  • “Choose a Project Methodology That Fits The Work – agile, waterfall or a hybrid of the two,” The Digital Project Manager
  • “Define the right process so that everyone on your team knows what they’re doing tomorrow, next week, etc,” Milat Dvir, Sales Superstar @ Proggio
  • Choose an amazing tool to manage your projects and make sure that everyone understands it,” Yael Oshman, Solution Engineer @ Proggio
  • “Make sure your organization’s internal systems and processes are standardized and streamlined to create clarity. When everyone knows the plan before you start executing, it’s easier to get everyone working efficiently,” Alex Baird, Account Executive @ Proggio
  • “Make sure you have the right reporting tool to hand, to save time on creating repetitive powerpoint presentations,” Milat Dvir, Sales Superstar @ Proggio

Practice Adaptability

  • “If you’re discontent with the progress on your project or the infrastructure and processes that support you, dig in and address the problems. Don’t wait until the next project or organization. Be a catalyst for necessary change, Neal Whitten
  • “Even the same project can be planned and executed differently each time, depending on internal and external factors, ” Moira AlexanderAha Moment Feature/PM Influencer

Drive Efficiency

  • “Focusing on scheduling only will make you the project admin, no more. Adding scope, risk, resources, success criteria, budget and coordinating all that will turn you into a project leader position,” Yaniv Shor, CEO/Man behind the machine @ Proggio
  • “Use this ‘equation’ to build capability: Capability = Talent + Knowledge + Experience + Judgement,”Adrian Pyne, Aha Moment Feature/PM Influencer
  •  “Your project’s success is directly tied to your actions. You decide if a solid project plan is created, if effective tracking meetings take place and if problems receive the appropriate attention,” Neal Whitten
  • “Coordination plans are the essence of project management. Identify the hand shakes and focus on it. Make sure people are prepared for the hand shake and reduce surprises,” Yaniv Shor, CEO/Man behind the machine @ Proggio
  • “Having perspective to understand each of your customers is paramount to supporting their successful journey through a project,” Phil Rocheteatu, Aha Moment Feature/PMO Consultant
  • “Are you making the same mistakes over and over? Are your team members? Look at each day’s accomplishments, as well as the missed opportunities, and apply these lessons to the next day,” Neal Whitten 
  • “Project Delays – learn from them in order to improve,” Milat Dvir, Sales Superstar @ Proggio
  • “If you love a challenge and are always striving to push yourself and learn more – VOLUNTEER!” Deby Covey – Aha Moment Feature/PM Influencer
  • “Rather than fearing and fleeing from conflict, meet it head on, mitigate it and move on. If you have difficulty mustering the courage, fake it—you can become brave over time,” Neal Whitten,

And there you have it – our handpicked pearls of wisdom for project managers, spanning an array of crucial topics. Of course, at the apex of this game is the need for an effortlessly efficient project management tool. Book a call with one of our seasoned PM pros to discuss your needs in more detail!