Project management can feel like directing an orchestra of a thousand musicians.
Each person has his specific talents and weaknesses, and it’s up to you to extract the most harmonious masterpiece while maintaining your own sanity.
If you feel overwhelmed as a project manager, you’re not alone. This is the ultimate multi-tasking position, and delegating countless tasks is not always easy.
The key to a productive outcome is to stay organized on a daily and weekly basis. With inspiration from the following project management quotes, you’ll be inspired not only to stay on track but also to become a more confident and productive project manager!Project management can feel like directing an orchestra of a thousand musicians. Click To Tweet
1. Manage with a sense of humor
“Managing to have a sense of humor makes it a lot easier to manage people.” — Steve Wilson
First and foremost, as a project manager, you can’t take everything personally. Having a sense of humor not only makes you an easier person to approach, it improves communication and will undoubtedly decrease your levels of stress.
2. Have clear objectives
“First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.” — Aristotle
The wise Aristotle may not have been a project manager, but his philosophy extends into the area of business quite well. Before you start any new venture, have a clear goal in mind, and make sure that all of your resources are directly being concentrated toward this objective.
3. Make lemonade
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt
On a similar note, don’t get in over your head. Be aware of your limitations when creating your goals and do the most you can with the team power and funding that is available to you. Sometimes limitations help us get focused and achieve our goals!
4. Create a framework for processing information
“Data is like garbage. You’d better know what you are going to do with it before you collect it.” — Mark Twain
When beginning to research for a project, it is important not only to brainstorm but also to narrow your focus and keep specific ideas in mind. Don’t hoard data with the illusion that everything could be used for your campaign; this is surely the easiest way to become disorganized and overwhelmed.
Limit yourself to two or three prominent themes, and use project management templates. Encourage your team to do the same.
“Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein
As a project manager, the last thing you want to do is make life more difficult for yourself. Make everything as straightforward as possible, and cut out the unnecessary frills. Delegate side projects efficiently. Meanwhile, develop the ideas you have as thoroughly as possible. In other words, work smarter, not harder.
6. Focus on small wins
“You can get a great deal done from almost any position in an organization if you focus on small wins and you don’t mind others getting the credit.” —Roger Saillant
As your project develops, it may seem at times that the end goal is impossibly out of reach. Stay on track and inspired by learning to enjoy the process. Celebrate minor successes, as these are what will contribute to the eventual realization of your end product. Also, make sure to recognize others’ efforts along the way and give credit where it is due.
7. Be unreasonable
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” — George Bernard Shaw
One of the most important concepts you have to embrace as a project manager is that of change. Not everything will go according to plan, and sometimes better ideas and paths will appear along the way. Don’t be stubborn in thinking that your project has to turn out exactly the way you envisioned in the very beginning; allow it to grow into something better.
8. Become a good juggler
“Project management is like juggling three balls — time, cost and quality. Program management is like a troupe of circus performers standing in a circle, each juggling-three balls and swapping balls from time to time.” — G. Reiss
If anyone ever said that management was simple, they obviously didn’t have any experience in the matter. Recognize your job for what it is – a delicate, sometimes bizarre, balancing act – and accept that, every once in a while, a ball might slip out of your hands.
9. Kill bad projects
“If you have never recommended canceling a project, you haven’t been an effective project manager.” — Woody Williams
Sometimes, no matter how great your intentions were, how hard everyone on your team has worked, how much money you have poured into a stellar idea, you will recognize that your project is not materializing. When the time and funds you have invested far outweigh the quality of what is being produced, the smartest thing to do is to stop, analyze, discuss, and even stop the project altogether. An effective manager knows when to kill a bad project.Don't be afraid to kill bad projects Click To Tweet
10. Find harmony between your project and your people
“What we are looking for is managers who are awake enough to alter the world as they find it, to make it harmonize with what they and their people are trying to accomplish.” — Tom DeMarco
Ultimately, your job as a project manager is not just to keep an entire team organized and produce as much revenue as possible. It is also about creating something beautiful and long-lasting that will leave the world a little bit better because of it.
Are you a project manager? Do you have any favorite quotes that keep you organized and inspired? Please share them with us in the comments below!