The Most Popular Project Management Hacks Articles of 2016

2016-year-in-review

A news screen at the gym informed me that there are less than 30 hours left to go in 2016! In that spirit, it’s time for me to write my final article of the year.

I’m going to revisit the most popular articles of the year. All of these articles attracted over 2,000 readers this calendar year. It’s great to see that many articles in the archives continue to attract attention including a few from 2014. I still remember the urge to create the business after reading “The Four Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss for the second time.

As I write this entry, I’m currently reading “Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers” by Tim Ferriss. It’s outstanding and one of my favorite Christmas gifts.

1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective Meetings

This is my most popular blog post of all time. It lays out exactly how to get the most out of meetings as an attendee and as the chair person.

I was inspired to write the article as I reflected on a terrible corporate meeting I had one Friday afternoon that just kept going and going!

2. Project Manager Salary: 4 Key Insights To Earn $100,000 Per Year

Many readers are interested in earning more money as a project manager. This article answers tells how to put the odds in your favor to earn $100,000 per year in project management.

Here’s the bad news from the research: you are unlikely to earn over $100,000 until you have ten years of experience. What if you’re determined to get there faster? Well, read the article to find out more!

3. Conflict Management Techniques From the PMBOK Guide

What comes to mind when you think about conflict? For me, the first mental image is war. Fortunately, conflict in the workplace doesn’t take the form of bullets for most of us.

In this article, I explain the fundamental techniques for managing conflicts. As project managers, you are changing¬† the organization. That will upset some people! That’s why you need to develop conflict management skills.

4. 6 Steps To Successful Vendor Management

As a project manager, you will end up working with vendors many times over the course of your career. Do you know how to work with vendors effectively?

Once you read this article, you will be better equipped to avoid common vendor management mistakes like getting surprised by the use of sub-contractors.

5. How To Build A Checklist In 6 Steps

When it comes to tools and techniques, most of us think about buying a new app or some other piece of technology. That’s not always the right solution however.

The simple checklist is one of the best ways to improve quality and reduce errors. Did you know that many of the world’s best surgeons, nurses and pilots rely on checklists to avoid life threatening mistakes? It’s true!

The best news? You can build a checklist in 6 steps!

6. 51 Training Resources For Project Managers

If you have the PMP certification, you are obligated to earn PDUs. But what will you learn? What resources are available?

Read this resource to discover the wealth of resources available on the Internet. One of my favorite suggestions: #19 (the book “Getting Things Done” by David Allen)

7. 10 Books To Become A Better Project Manager

You’re looking for project management books? Glad to see you. Everybody knows about the standard texts in the field like the PMBOK Guide. What do you read next to keep growing?

Dive into this list to expand your skills and horizons in the new year. “The Effective Executive” by Peter F. Drucker is a gem – you can read it multiple times and profit from the effort each time.

Tip: Your public library (especially if you live in great city like Toronto) is a great way to explore books like these for free.

8. How To Improve Quality With Standard Operating Procedures

If you have ever worked at a large company, you have probably encountered standard operating procedures. They’re often mandatory for high risk activities (e.g. working on a nuclear reactor).

Here’s the key – you can write YOUR OWN standard operating procedures. I have created several over the years to improve the quality of financial reports. I can’t recommend the practice highly enough.

9. 6 Success Principles From Elon Musk (PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors)

Reading biographies of successful people offers unique insights on the world. As a long time science fiction fan, I was delighted to learn about the struggle to build SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space company.

His thought process and determination to achieve incredible goals like settling Mars are inspiring. Learn more about the methods and mental models Musk uses to achieve his success.

Tip: Musk recommend thinking from first principles, rather than by analogy, to solve complex problems. It’s a harder path to follow because it will be unnatural for many of us but there are great merits in that approach.

10. 16 Podcasts To Grow Your Career In 2016

A recent survey I read claimed that about 1/4 of Americans listen to podcasts regularly. That means millions of people have yet to discover this incredible medium.

Are you tired of TV style “sound bite” interviews? That’s one area where podcasts shine. For example, Russ Roberts, author and economics expert, has published 60+ minute in depth interviews on his podcast EconTalk for a decade.

For details on which podcasts are best to develop your career and get you promoted, check out the article.

11. How To Develop Business Acumen

If you came up through the ranks in a technical or corporate area (technology, engineering, human resources etc), then your business acumen probably has some gaps.

In order to make understand the business decisions being made around you, use this article to develop business acumen.

News Hack: For a quick yet comprehensive briefing on what’s happening around the world, I recommend reading an issue of The Economist. It’s one of the world’s best news magazines.

12. 12 Ways To Use Email Better

To round out the list, let’s work at doing email better. Here’s one principle to start with: make clear requests.

For example, do you want somebody to approve a request? Make it crystal here: “Please approve the attached business plan” or “Please approved the attached project change request as discussed at the governance meeting.”

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