Elon Musk quotes every professional can get inspired from

Elon Musk quotes that every professional can get inspired from.

A creator, an innovator, a visionary; these words don’t even begin to describe who Elon Musk is.  CEO and CTO of SpaceX, co-founder, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors, chairman of SolarCity, co-chairman of OpenAI, co-founder of Zip2, and co-founder of PayPal; Elon’s success story seems almost too good to be true!

His ideas and concepts (SpaceX, for instance) look like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. It takes amazing level of confidence to be as extraordinarily ambitious as he is.

He has left all of us wondering; what’s the secret of his success? Most importantly what does he has to be say about career, success, and the world of business? We all want to know.

Below are some of the most inspiring quotes by him that will give a lot of food for your brain. Managers, entrepreneurs, and leaders in particular should listen to his pearls of wisdom –

  • “I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”

Feedback fosters communication. And when people are communicating regularly, they are more aware of project’s current status. Also, feedback sharing facilitates an exchange of knowledge and more room for improvement.

  • “Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up.”

This is the only antidote to procrastination, which majority of us struggle with. Persistence and perseverance are the keys to success in life. Because often we end up giving just when we were almost near to the goal.

  • “It is a mistake to hire huge numbers of people to get a complicated job done. Numbers will never compensate for talent in getting the right answer (two people who don’t know something are no better than one), will tend to slow down progress, and will make the task incredibly expensive.”

Project managers in particular should take this advise seriously. Employing way too many people to do a job is only going to make it more complex. More number of people is never a replacement for talent. One skilled person who knows what he/she is doing is way better than two who are clueless.

  • “A company is a group organized to create a product or service, and it is only as good as its people and how excited they are about creating. I do want to recognize a ton of super-talented people. I just happen to be the face of the companies.”

It’s the people that make a company. And a company is only as good as those working for it feel about it. Project managers need to always remember that it’s humans working for them; not robots. Feeling good about being associated with the brand name is important.

  • “If you’re co-founder or CEO, you have to do all kinds of tasks you might not want to do… If you don’t do your chores, the company won’t succeed… No task is too menial.”

You know what they say – there are no small roles, only small actors. For a true leader, no job is ever too menial. The most important thing in a project is meeting with the deadlines. And that may sometimes translate into breaking the shackles of hierarchy and doing what is not expected of you.

  • “Don’t delude yourself into thinking something’s working when it’s clearly not, or you’re gonna get fixated on a bad solution.”

Sometimes we ignore the fact that there’s a problem because that would imply dealing with an unpleasant situation. Admit it when a problem has begun to creep in and be quick in implementing corrective measures. Otherwise it won’t be long before a series of small issues starts making big impacts.

  • “It’s very important to like the people you work with, otherwise life [and] your job is gonna be quite miserable.”

This applies to everyone who is part of professional world. Every job has a dynamic aspect. You’re never functioning alone. You are always in interaction with people. And interactions will be at their best when there’s harmony in professional relations. Any sort of sourness in relationship with those around you is eventually going to impact the quality of your days.

  • “Starting and growing a business is as much about the innovation, drive, and determination of the people behind it as the product they sell.”

Simply having a product that sells is not enough. In order to keep innovating and keep refining the product you are going to need people who are driven towards success, determined, and allowed to think outside of the box. Innovation is the only thing that will avoid you and your product from falling into a rut.

  • “Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.”

Embracing change; that one is the most important of all. Nobody likes change. But things happen for a reason. And, while you may not see it in that very moment, just stay assured you will be thankful for it later on.

  • “You have to be pretty driven to make it happen. Otherwise, you will just make yourself miserable.”

True that! In fact I would say that being driven to succeed is probably a bigger trait than talent. There’s no lack of talented people. What companies lack is people who are driven.

  • “My biggest mistake is probably weighing too much on someone’s talent and not someone’s personality. I think it matters whether someone has a good heart.”

If it’s coming from one of the most ambitious and successful entrepreneurs, then it must be right. I think it’s about time companies worked on retaining good-hearted people.

  • “If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”

Establishing a sustainable habitat on Mars. That’s the level of impossible that Elon has set his mind to achieve. If he can be determined about something with this magnitude of complexity, I’m sure it shouldn’t be too hard for managers to fight the odds against what sometimes may seem like impossible to achieve.

  • “Patience is a virtue, and I’m learning patience. It’s a tough lesson.”

Patience is a rare commodity. Definitely one of the toughest things to practice, it’s is something that can take you a long way not just career wise, but in every aspect of life. It’s often impatience that makes people give-up midway or just when they were real close to the finishing line.

Although, there are a lot of Elon Musk quotes floating around on the internet. But, these are some of my favorites and most interesting ones. Hopefully, they will give you some direction career-wise and bring about a positive change in your professional life.

Are you looking for ways to inspire your team and make them more productive? Try out ProofHub – the complete project management tool that helps teams to plan, collaborate, organize and deliver projects on time.

Image Credit: Ted Conference on Flickr




Bottom divider

7 things a project manager should never say to the team-members

things managers should not say

They say speaking comes by nature, silence by understanding. A manager must understand what to say and what not to the team. After all, being a project manager is a lot like being a parent – you’ve got to take care of your team members just like your kids. But, only a few managers take this thing into consideration while communicating with their team.

As a result of this, the manager-team relationship does not gel, there is a lack of understanding between the two, and projects never go as planned. If you want to build a strong foundation in the team, then you as a manager must be really careful about the words that come from your mouth and more so careful about the words that ought to never utter in front of your team.

In this post we are going to take a look at the things, which a project manager must never say to his team-members. So, let us take a look –

1. “Monday sucks!”

Keeping your personal and professional life separate is the key to being a successful manager. When you post on the social network “sighhhhh…weekend is over :(“ while tagging your team member in it, it puts a really negative impression of you on the team. Remember, your team would never love the work unless you do. Being the manager, it is your responsibility to keep the team motivated at work. As long as you are voicing out hatred towards starting things anew after a break, this will never happen. Stop regretting that weekend is over and letting the world know about it. Stop posting such statuses on social media, rather share something inspirational for the team to get to work with full zeal and enthusiasm. Start the new week with some motivational quotes, bring in some tricks that can kill the monotony and continue to drive the team towards better performance.

2. “You should do it like that”

Having knowledge of various facets of IT can be a big advantage for a project manager. But, imposing their ideas on their team-members is not something that smart managers do. ‘That’s how you should do it’, ‘I would have done it like that if I were you’, ‘You should do it like that’ etc. These are some of the statements that you as a manager should stay clear of. You have got a really smart bunch of people in your team, who know their job well. Let them work the way they like and you will see the productivity levels rising up in no time.

3. “Statistics say this”

It is a well-known fact that managers have this thing for numbers. But, success in a project is lot more than just numbers. You need to look at the bigger picture. What can you learn from the project outcomes? Even if things did not go as planned there can be some great lessons for you to learn from the outcomes. You can learn from the mistakes so as to avoid them in the future. This is not to say that numbers don’t matter, but only as long as they are serving the purpose to motivate your team.

4. “Don’t be a spectator in meetings”

Being a good listener is perhaps one of the most important traits that one can have these days. It is a big misconception that people who don’t speak much at a meeting are not contributing to it at all. In fact, such people let their work do the talking. If a team member does not speak much in meetings, don’t ask him to. If he/she is not comfortable for a verbal performance, don’t compel him/her to do that. Try to understand their natural behavior and let them work just like the way they want to. After all, it’s all about getting projects completed on time and in the rightful manner in the end.

5. “It shouldn’t take long to complete this”

Having confidence in your team to get things done on time is good. But promising to deliver things in short-time without having a word with the team members, who are the subject matter experts, is really a bad idea. This is because the time taken to complete any activity related to the project is going to vary as the scope changes. When there is scope creep in the project due to the client’s ever changing requirements, it is always a wise choice to discuss things with subject matter experts rather committing anything to the client without consent of your team.

6. “I’m going to take the day off”

Support, respect and collaboration are the building blocks for a happy and successful team. There can be times at work when things do not go as planned. Taking a day off when the deadline is hanging like a dagger on the head can put the entire team in doldrums. You have to stand besides your team to inspire them and get things done in such critical situations. If you cannot stand with the team when chips are down, then how can you expect them to be serious about their work? As Cornelius Fichtner has said, “The P in PM is as much about “People Management” as it is about “Project Management”. You’ve got to be good with people if you want them to deliver what’s expected, if not more.

7. “Do as you are said to”

Micromanagement is one of the biggest reasons why employees are unable to gel with the managers. According to a survey by Trinity Solutions69 percent of the employees said they considered a job change because of micromanagement. In fact, 36 percent actually changed jobs because of the same reason.” Giving the team members freedom to do things the way they want to shows the level of trust you have on them. It lays the foundation for a successful relationship between the manager and the team-members.

A bossy manager is not liked by anyone in the team. And, we all have been through this feeling at some point in time in our career. Don’t forget that before being a project manager you are a leader and a team-member first. And, it is your duty to ensure that the team-members are feeling great. That’s how great things are done!

And, if you want to do great things as a manager and are looking for some amazing ways to take your team’s productivity to higher levels, then give ProofHub a try!




Bottom divider

ProofHub Bolt : It’s bigger and better than ever

ProofHub Bolt

We are really pleased to announce that after more than ten months of wait, ProofHub Bolt is finally here. And, it brings along some wonderful surprises for you. With a bundle of new features and a completely new look & feel, ProofHub Bolt is set to make your project management experience better than ever.

We at ProofHub have always focused on making your work-life simpler with our project management tool. The simplicity, ease of use and powerful features are some of the reasons why we are loved by everyone, be it small teams or large corporations from all over the world. And, it’s no different this time around as well. We’re dedicated towards making your project management experience delightful with Bolt.

Here’s a little peep into some of those additions that you will get in this launch –

  • File versioning: end of the email volleyball
    ProofHub Bolt lets you store different versions of the same file. So you don’t have to play the email volleyball with the client or other collaborators whenever working on a new design or any other creative work. You can always store more than one versions of the same file, original work and changes done, and check them whenever you want to. File versions let you store a history of files which you can look up to, and compare.
  • Timer: time will always be on your side
    Keeping track of how many hours are spent working on tasks/project is imperative for billing the clients. That’s why timer in ProofHub Bolt is designed to make your time-tracking easier than ever. Whenever you have to bill a client, or need to track the number of hours spent working on a task/project, you can simply switch on the timer and maintain the record in neat and beautiful timesheets. These timesheets can directly be fed to accounting software to prepare invoices, or can be shared with the client if needed. No confusion, no hassle!
  • Me-view – it’s all about you
    With the all new Me view, it is now going to be easy to figure out what you have in store for today and the upcoming days at work. The all new Me-view tab provides you the list of upcoming tasks, events and milestones that are assigned to you. So if you don’t want to get confused about the work that’s been assigned to you, simply take a look at this section. Me-view will help you become accountable towards your responsibilities, and get things done on time!
  • Everything: a place for everything and anything
    ProofHub Bolt has got a single place for everything. In the Everything tab, you will find All Tasks, All Time and All Gantt. It’s like everything about the projects has been clubbed together at one place so that you can view it easily when in a hurry.
  • New overview section: get over and/or under every project
    Want to have a quick look at what’s happening in the project? You can peep into the overview section and check out what’s going on. Recent discussions, upcoming events and milestones, lined up tasks, recently opened notes and almost everything about the project is presented in simple tabs.
  • Projects: all your projects put together at one place
    ProofHub Bolt projects are designed to give you a clear and concise view of all the work that you are doing. Projects section has been further broken down into four subsections: Projects assigned to me, Projects managed by me, All projects, and Project templates. And, you can check out all the recent activities in the project under the ‘Activities’ tab! If you have been juggling multiple projects, then you can mark the most important ones as starred and keep them on top.
  • People: team members are just a click away
    Want to add a group of people in ProofHub Bolt? Simply upload the CSV file and get them on board. Need to shuffle people in between groups? Simply drag and drop them. Don’t want someone to access the project? Suspend them. ProofHub Bolt gives you a lot of options to control the way you handle your team-members!
  • New tasks: let’s get to work
    We’ve revamped the tasks section completely! Making it easier to use than ever, we’ve left no stone unturned to keep the number of clicks to the bare minimum. Add tasks and sub-tasks, set due date, add estimated hours, assign people to the task and a lot more; all at one place.
  • New discussions: give shape to your ideas
    Got a new idea? Have a question in mind? Confused about something? Create a discussion topic. And, see what others have to say about it. Simple, quick and easy way to gather people, get to know their thoughts, and collaborate. With a simple and intuitive interface, discussions in ProofHub Bolt have been designed to help you come out of the shell and start collaborating.
  • New calendar: don’t let anything slip away
    ProofHub Bolt comes with a new and improved calendar. We’ve introduced a new filter named “View” in order to provide you more specific results. We’ve also added the option to associate a milestone with task list. So, you can be sure to never miss any deadlines. And, making it easy for you to download and share the calendar with others, we’ve given the option to download calendar in PDF format too, apart from iCal and CSV format which was available earlier.
  • Notes and Notebooks: the right way to write
    Simply write and forget. The all new notes will automatically save everything you’ve jotted down; and you can even view their history as well. Everything is plain and simple. And, the best part is that you can pin the most important notes so that they always remain on top. Not to forget the drag and drop feature in notes, which you can use to organize and shuffle them in your notebooks.
  • New reports: a new way to analyze your projects
    ProofHub Bolt comes with all new and improved reports section. We’ve segregated reports further into three segments – Overview, Projects and Resources. So it becomes easier for you to extract information for your projects, resources, and the overall account.
  • All Gantt: don’t let anything slip
    With the All Gantt feature in ProofHub Bolt, we’ve given you option to view gantt charts of all projects in a single view. And, the best part is that in these charts you can mark tasks and sub-tasks as complete directly rather than having to visit the tasks section first. Also, you will now be able to view these charts in a full screen view.
  • Quickies: quick fix to jotting down important stuff
    We all love quickies; the quick notes that come in handy when we have to jot down something important in quick time. In Bolt, we’ve taken quickies to the next level by incorporating the option to add your important topics, task lists, notebooks/notes, folder and timesheets to them and access them with ease.
  • Universal search: no need to adorn the detective’s hat now
    Lost documents. Misplaced quick notes. Unorganized files. All this will be a goner with Bolt. Because, it will be the Sherlock Holmes who will find everything you are looking for in the tool. Simply type the keywords in search box and get the results in an instant, no matter where it is!

Our pricing starts from as low as $18/month for unlimited users. Yes, we don’t charge per user basis. Prices are flat and you don’t have to pay a single penny extra for any new user that’s added to the account. Get to know more about pricing plans here.

ProofHub Bolt is our biggest launch so far, and it has got so much for you. Take it for a spin during the 30-day free trial and see it for yourself.

And, this is just the beginning. We will continue to roll out more features from time to time. You can check our roadmap here. For the time being all we have to say is give ProofHub Bolt a try, and don’t forget to share your experience with us!

This post was originally published by ProofHub at Medium.




Bottom divider

How to make most of your 30 day free trial of ProofHub?

I love the whole ‘free trial usage’ concept, whether it’s for a computer antivirus software, or a project management software for your company. It’s like test driving a car to make an informed decision whether the vehicle is worth buying or not.

We at ProofHub also live by the philosophy where we allow everyone to see what our project management tool feels like for a complete 30 day period absolutely free of cost. So, they can decide for themselves whether ProofHub is a match made in heaven for them or not. Don’t forget that trial period is the one when you need to pan out the details of how to make the most of those 30 days, so no feature is left unexplored. It’s crucial that you have a roadmap to exploring ProofHub down to the very last of its functionality and feature.

How to go about it? Well, you can start by doing a little homework. Here’s how to begin –

You can begin even before enrolling for the free trial period. But before that, make a list of the areas where you would like to see ProofHub reduce the workload and make work management easier. This will allow you to draw a comparison between how things were before using the tool and after the end of the trial period. You will be able to see if the tool actually helped you in the areas where you really needed help the most.

Also, before you get into actually using the product, visit the help section on the website explaining the product in detail. That should give you a good head start. You will get the hang of interface and the whole layout of the software. YouTube videos are the perfect way to get to know the product inside out. It’s an initial evaluation of just how handy the tool is going to prove in its real time application.

After having watched the self-help videos and having done fair amount of homework, next thing you need to do is create a week-by-week layout. Be sure you have a plan ready for each week of the month before starting off with the trial.

  • First week – get to know the tool

Projects section

Use the first week of the trial period to scan the tool completely. Add a few projects. The idea is to get comfortable with the tool, the way we get comfortable with using a new phone within the first week. Have a discussion with everyone who will be part of this collaborative effort. Also, keep a notebook and write down all the queries you will go on to accumulate once you get started with it. Not just the project manager, make sure everyone participates in this process who will be using the tool.

Any doubts, questions, difficulty in navigating the tool – make a compilation of all such queries.
Be sure that by the end of the week, each of those queries have been resolved and you have found an answer to those by either contacting the support team or by watching more product demos.

The goal of the first week should be to become a fluent ProofHub user. Or at least, you should have gained fluency in using the fundamental features of the software.

By the way, you can always contact the support team for a demo of the tool.

  • Second week – Get to know the features

Overview section

Now is the time to take baby steps and start off with a few sample projects. The project does not have to be a real one. It could be something as simple as ‘purchasing the supplies for Christmas celebration’. Or, it could also be something like ‘plans for the next potluck party’.

Add and invite people to various groups. Manage roles such as that of project manager, admin, and normal user. Assign tasks. Set time limit for each task. Define milestones. Let everyone participate in the project. Label projects on the basis of their priority. Start online discussions with people. Let everyone share their opinion. To-Dos, files sharing, group chat, all these major features should be covered during this week.

This is where you will get to know key areas like project creations, viewing pending and completed tasks, and getting an overview of multiple projects in just one look.

  • Third Week – Time tracking, reporting, and analyzing

Reports section

This is the time to delve as deep into the tool as you possibly can. Edit/change tasks, priorities. Make some modifications to experiment with the tool a little. It’s about time when you start to analyze the project progress by accessing Gantt Charts, and by pulling up the reports. Take a look at how much time it took to complete a project, and how much it would have taken otherwise in the absence of ProofHub. Analyse the progress by looking at multiple ongoing and completed projects. Do you notice a difference? Is it a positive and substantial one?

Be sure that by the end of third week, make it a point that there is not a single feature of the tool that you didn’t explore.

  • Fourth Week – Evaluating

What were the key areas that everyone found most helpful? Let everyone pool-in their views. What was the level of ease of accessing the tool? What are all different ways in which the tool helped people? Create a list. Weigh-in all the aspects. Are you better able to plan projects? See if during this time period ProofHub was able to help you across all the areas that you had in mind at the beginning of trial period.

It’s important to utilize trial period to the maximum potential. After all, those 30 days are eventually going to influence your decision of buying a paid subscription of the tool. And, it could completely change the way everyone around you works. By increasing productivity, reducing workload, and speeding things up, it will bring a paradigm shift in your working style!

So, what’s the wait? Begin with the evaluation during the 30-day free trial now!




Bottom divider

What project managers should ideally be doing?



What is it that project managers do? The thing is, there’s no one definition in particular that will fit the job description of every manager out there. It’s because the nature of their job varies depending on the type of organization they work for.

But, even then, there always seems to be a lot of ambiguity in this context. Nobody really knows for sure what a project manager’s job is. Sure, they can give you a textbook definition of what project managers do (such as organizing, planning, allocating resources, managing processes, communicating, etc).

The ugly truth is that most people think of managers as those who don’t make any real contribution. Sadly because nobody knows for sure exactly how they contribute in a project. Everything they do is looked at or perceived to be a barrier to productivity.

Conducting meetings (a class time-waster), asking for status reports, not to mention the constant interfering and micromanaging that majority finds annoying. All of these things are a manager’s responsibilities, and all of it is largely seen as counterproductive stuff.

So, what are they really supposed to do?

Or, should I say what they really should be doing. Let’s just say the role of a manager is highly relative. Meaning, it can take different shapes and forms depending on the nature/scale of project and the type/size of the organization. But, generally speaking a manager’s real job is to make the worklife of others as easy as they possibly can, and not the other way round.

Their job is to remove all the unnecessary distractions from team’s way, so people could remain fully devoted to their work and meet deadlines every single time. Managers are supposed to be always passionate about increasing other people’s productivity. And for that they have to put on multiple hats. They have to be a counselor, communicator, subject matter expert, and what not. Basically they have to act like a jack-of-all-trades.

 

Let’s break it down to simplify things even further –

 

#1 Being the boss

That’s true. A project manager is a boss on so many levels. But, he is not the boss of the team; he is the boss of the project. Manager is the one accountable for any and all problems that a project may bump into.

As a manager your job is not to dictate employees on what type of technology to use (unless you happen to have a solid technical background), and stuff like that. Your job is to communicate with clients, ask for their requirements, and work with teams to collectively figure out how the same can be accomplished within the said timeline and resources.

It’s important to leave the how and all the other technical details in the hands of the team/experts. Collaborate with them and let them contribute. Your job is to meet the requirements on time. That doesn’t mean that you have to get involved in the doing part.

#2 Maintaining the balance

Talk about project and you talk about changing priorities. In the middle of so much that goes, it’s the project manager who has to strike the balance. Sometimes two departments can be fighting for different things (even though they share the same goal). There can sometimes be a disagreement between designers and developers. But a good manager is the one who knows how to walk that fine line so that no department feels neglected. Do not let any one party win, but at the same time don’t let any of them feel ignored either.

#3 Co-creating the product

The type of contribution that managers make in the development of a product is not very direct. It’s always indirect. They don’t sit down and start writing down the code, or design the website (unless your job demands so). But, they are the co-creator of the final product. They do so by guiding others in the same direction.

After all, a team’s performance and efficiency depends on how well the manager communicates clients’ requirements with the team. And, brings everyone together to create an environment that ensures timely delivery of the same.

But, in the attempt of trying to do so, a lot of project managers end-up micromanaging things. After all, they have to present the details in front of the clients. But, that’s a mistake. A good manager will always have the details of the project on his fingertips, but will never micromanage (unless he happens to be a hybrid manager, and a really skilled one at that).

#4 Being the representative

As a mediator, a manager is basically representing one party to another. That implies communicating client’s expectations and requirements with team. It means breaking down the requirements into little details and pushing the team members and inspiring them to go above and beyond to meet them. While representing a client, a manager has to convince the team that the goal is achievable even when it may look challenging.

This was one side of the story. The other side is the one where managers are representing the team by presenting their work/contribution in front of the client. This is something that’s very critical, because you must know how to play your cards right. The key is not to turn against your own team even when you are agreeing with the client. Remember, you are representing your team and not yourself. An ideal representative  is the one who does not let his personal differences or prejudice come in the way while acting like one.

That way, a manager serves as a representative for both the parties.

#5 Being a catalyst

A manager’s real job is to make it easier for everyone else to function effortlessly in a collaborative environment where different people’s jobs are interconnected. A manager’s true job is to act like a catalyst (a positive one) that speeds things up. He has to act like a guide, a mentor, a guru, telling others how to make a positive shift in the right direction while looking over the entire project from the eagle’s view.


So, yeah! That pretty much sums up the kind of role that every project manager should ideally be playing in any organization. How well a manager is doing his or her job is not measured in terms of busy or how much work he/she is doing. It does not matter whether you’re watching videos on YouTube half the time. As long as teams are working efficiently, meeting deadlines on time, and things are going smoothly; you’re doing an excellent job!

To go one step further with your endeavors and to bring the best out of your team, give ProofHub a try. 

 




Bottom divider

ProofHub – The story so far!

It’s been more than five years since the first version of ProofHub was launched. We are proud to have grown in leaps and bounds throughout these years. And, thanks to the love and support of our happy customers, we are definite to continue doing so in the years to come as well. Now that we are on the verge of launching our new version, ProofHub Bolt, we thought of sharing the story behind ProofHub. How did we begin? What we are today? How everything came into being? Hope that you will like it.

How we began?
ProofHub was launched in the year 2011. So, in a way we are pretty young! We are really proud of what we have managed to achieve in such a short span of time. While the market is still crowded with many project management tools, but ProofHub has managed to carve a niche of its own.

Where we are today?
We’ve got some big names in our kitty who have been using ProofHub and loving it to the core. Names like Google, Housing.com, NASA, Disney, Norwegian Airlines, Netflix, Intuit, and AOL, to name a few, are all part of our never ending list of happy customers. We are proud of the fact that so far more than 83000+ small groups to large teams are being powered by ProofHub.

How we came into being?
The idea behind developing ProofHub was to give people that could simplify the way they managed their projects. Something that went beyond the usual project management gimmicks present in the market.

When we entered the market, people were stuck with the drudgery of managing their work via emails. And, the snail speed of internet was adding to the misery. Although the market was flooded with project management tools that claimed to make work life easy for businesses, but there was something missing. Almost all the options present in the market lacked in being the complete project management software; each one of them missing out on one feature or the other.

Having had the experience of working with multiple clients in the past made us aware of the problems that teams face when handling projects. So, we put up all the features of project management and online collaboration, bundled them in one and came up with ProofHub. Task lists, Native chat, Native calendar, Gantt Charts, Proofing, Discussions, Notes, and what not… ProofHub has got all this! And, lots more.

And, within such a small time duration, ProofHub has gone on to become a highly admired tool in the industry. In fact, people and businesses from all races of life use ProofHub to simplify their work life. The survey conducted independently by ProofHub clearly reflects that we score really high when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Our new version – ProofHub Bolt
We are coming up with our latest version ProofHub Bolt in a few days time. ProofHub Bolt is all about change. Our vision is to become better with every passing day. We’ve have been learning things with our experience and doing it by bringing frequent changes and updates in the tool for all these years. And, with the launch of ProofHub Bolt, we promise to give you something that will take your project management to the next level.

ProofHub Bolt brings some of the most exciting features that you can get in a project management tool. The list of new features includes an Automatic timer, File versioning, All new notes section, a completely reworked tasks section, Me-view, a completely fresh look and feel and a user-friendly and neat layout.

What’s in store for the future?
Besides everything mentioned above, there’s a lot of stuff going behind the curtains. We have got a long list of features that you can expect to get in ProofHub in the coming time. It won’t be long when Kanban, and completely new Proofing tool will be available in the software. We are also going to come up with completely redone mobile apps in the not so distant future.

At ProofHub we are focused towards making your project management experience serene and hassle free. With Bolt, we’ve taken just the first step in our voyage. And, we will continue to sail through these strong winds to come up with innovative additions to our tool that will help you make the most of your resources at work.

Originally published at Medium.com

 




Bottom divider

51 Powerful Leadership Quotes for Project Managers

Leadership quotes
Project management does not come easy. You might have the finest project management tool for your team, have all the latest technology available for them, and everything, but unless you have a powerful project manager to lead them, everything else is of no use. However, becoming a successful project manager requires willingness to understand your team members and bring the best out of them.

But seldom do managers understand this fact. Majority of them are here to assign tasks and then leave the employees in doldrums without paying heed to where they are headed in the project.

The best way to do it – learn from the experts. See what they have done, and follow their advice. And, to help you in doing so here is a list of 51 powerful quotes that will help you to become a better project manager –

  1. It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently. – Warren Buffett
  2. One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency. – Arnold Glasow
  3. Everyone has a plan: until they get punched in the face. – Mike Tyson
  4. A goal without a plan is just a wish. – Larry Elder
  5. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou
  6. The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. – Ralph NaderLeadership quotes
  7. Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. – Charles Swindoll
  8. On design – “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein
  9. If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. – Booker T. Washington
  10. When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps. – Confucius
  11. A meeting moves at the speed of the slowest mind in the room. – Dale Dauten
  12. I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. – Stephen Covey
  13. Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. – Peter Drucker
  14. Data is like garbage.  You’d better know what you are going to do with it before you collect it. – Mark TwainLeadership quotes
  15. The key to successful leadership today is influence not authority. – Kenneth Blanchard
  16. Plans are worthless. Planning is essential. – Dwight D. Eisenhower
  17. The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. – Amelia Earhart
  18. To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. – Anatole France
  19. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant. – Max de Pree
  20. It is not the strongest of the species that survive, not the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. – Charles Darwin
  21. The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails. – John Maxwell
  22. If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today. – Rotarian
  23. Long-range planning works best in the short term. – Euripides
  24. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. – Theodore RooseveltLeadership quotes
  25. Organization charts and fancy titles count for next to nothing. – Colin Powell
  26. The conventional definition of management is getting work done through people, but real management is developing people through work. – Agha Hasan Abedi
  27. The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake. – Meister Eckhart
  28. You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do. – Henry Ford
  29. Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless. – Thomas Edison
  30. Remember the two benefits of failure. First, if you do fail, you learn what doesn’t work; and second, the failure gives you the opportunity to try a new approach. – Roger Von Oech
  31. The relationship between talent and management is uneasy, at best.Jessica Savitch
  32. There are no failures – just experiences and your reactions to them.  – Tom Krause
  33. Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people. – John D. Rockefelle
  34. Failure is nature’s plan to prepare you for great responsibilities. – Napoleon Hill
  35. Managing to have a sense of humour makes it a lot easier to manage people. – Steve Wilson
  36. I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. – Bill CosbyLeadership quotes
  37. If you always blame others for your mistakes, you will never improve. – Joy Gumz
  38. Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships. – Michael Jordan
  39. Change before you have to. – Jack Welch
  40. The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. – George Bernard Shaw
  41. In this business, by the time you realize you’re in trouble, it’s too late to save yourself. Unless you’re running scared all the time, you’re gone. – Bill Gates
  42. Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything. – John Galbraith
  43. People are more easily led than driven. – David Harold Fink
  44. If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. – Isaac Newton
  45. High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation. – Charles Kettering
  46. Measure twice, cut once.- Carpenter’s Maxim
  47. How does a project get to be a year late? One day at a time. – Frederick Brooks
  48. Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing. – John D. Rockefeller
  49. Goals are dreams with deadlines. – Diana ScharfLeadership quotes
  50. If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on. – Sheryl Sandberg
  51. Any person who selects a goal in life which can be fully achieved, has already defined his own limitations. – Cavett Robert

Hope you will benefit from this post. Cheers!

If you are looking for ways to collaborate better with your remote teams, and deliver more projects on time, then you must try ProofHub.




Bottom divider

8 things that productive managers do differently

uniqueness

 

“Winners don’t do different things. They just do things differently.”

This famous quote gives up a lot on the secret recipe for success. The quote holds true for those managers as well who happen to be extraordinarily productive. Let’s see exactly how such managers do things differently and what all we can learn from such individuals –

They don’t follow the ‘Yes Man’ philosophy

Remember the movie starring Jim Carrey? While he followed the approach of saying yes to everything, productive managers do the opposite of that. It can be tough to say no to something that’s not your territory at workplace. But it is important that your learn the art of saying no when situation demands so. In fact, people who face a hard time rejecting every single request are more likely to experience burden and stress. Saying no to other commitments that are really not your business shows your concern towards the ones that are really important at the moment.

They don’t believe in busyness

Busyness doesn’t necessarily translate into success or productivity. Productive managers know that. Gone are the times when super busy people were perceived as super humans who were capable of doing the impossible. Let’s get real. It’s humanly impossible to keep sitting consistently for eight hours and have each and every minute equally productive. It’s simply not going to happen.

In fact, people who seem the busiest would agree how easy it is to be drifting away at work and have those moments when you are doing absolutely nothing but just constantly staring at the screen. Productive people leave some breathing room between two activities to keep their focus through. They don’t believe in giving the impression of busyness, but believe in productivity.

They prepare the to-don’ts list

Everyone creates a to-do list to have a sort of timetable to stick to, which is indeed a very good practice. But, how about we make a to-don’t’s list as well. We all would agree just how much time is wasted by repeating checking up on emails, or watching videos instantly shared on social media, or just feel distracted by the constant buzzing of the phone every now and then.

Productive managers realize that these small distractions eat-up a lot of their productive time and disrupt the flow of work. That’s why they put in efforts to come up with that list of to-don’t things which they follow religiously. It’s the things they are strictly going to say no to, especially during peak hours when they should be doing nothing but work.

They do monotasking

Monotasking is the new multitasking.

Productive managers are very clear on the fact that multitasking is the way to do multiple tasks poorly. Human mind can only focus at one thing at a time. Switching between two tasks pressurizes your mind into putting in more efforts, leading to exhaustion more quickly. So, while multitaskers feel that rush for a few brief moments, they succumb to burnout very quickly.

After a while the focus is completely out of the picture.

Since managers can’t afford to be highly productive for one hour and then lose focus after some time, they make sure to say no to doing multiple things together. One thing at a time is their mantra to keep every single hour of the day equally productive or at least to escape the feeling of burnout.

They prepare for the next day before leaving the office

Remember how we were taught in school to prepare our schoolbag the night before, just so we could avoid that last minute rush in the morning? How easier it used to make the mornings and saved us from accidentally leaving the homework notebook at home? Plus, it used to be one less agenda from our morning rituals.

Productive managers follow the same philosophy at their workplace too. Before leaving the office in the evening, they already have a blueprint of the next day’s schedule in their head. While it’s not possible to predict the future or what might happen the very next minute, productive managers do everything within their reach to be prepared for the next day.

They use technology for smartwork

This is not to say that those who are not tech-savvy cannot be productive. But, productive managers are well-versed with the technology they have to use on a regular basis. For example, they would use project management tools to assign tasks, monitor progress, generate work reports, etc and would be fully familiar with its usage. Productive managers make it a point to know the software they use on a daily basis inside-out, along with every single feature down to the very last shortcut. It enables them to simplify complicated things which also allows them to come-up with ways to finish them more easily.

They recognize the key work area that needs their attention

If you started to take care of every single little detail all by yourself, it could take ages before the project comes to fruition. That’s why instead of getting involved and stuck with minute details, productive project managers recognize the key areas that truly need their attention for other pieces of puzzle to fit in together. They don’t involve themselves in anything that is not really their business. One way of putting is to say that they don’t get involved in micromanaging things. They do their job and leave others to theirs.

They don’t rely on their memory

I’m sure every single one of us has been there, where we relied too much on our memory and didn’t write down an important piece of information, thinking that we would recall it when the time would need it, only to realize that we have completely forgotten that thing. Productive managers don’t do that. They know that we can only remember a handful of information while everything else easily gets slipped away. They always have a pen and paper handy for jotting down all the creative ideas and critical information as soon as they catch them. They are a stickler for documentation.

Do you want to be uniquely productive? Then it’s about time you started doing things differently. With these super-easy yet super-effective tips, you can definitely start following a unique and smarter work approach. 

And, to make sure all your efforts are in sync and your team is giving out its best, try out ProofHub – the complete project management tool that helps you plan, collaborate, organize and deliver projects on time.

 




Bottom divider

Gantt Charts for project management and how to use them

Gantt Chart

If you happen to know anything about project management tools, then chances are you have heard about Gantt Charts. Although it may sound like something too complex, there’s really nothing so complicated about them. In fact, once you get the hang of how Gantt Charts are used and how they can be useful for you as a project manager you’ll see it’s nothing but really a cakewalk.

But, what is a Gantt Chart to begin with? What is it used for? And, how can it make your life as a project manager easier. I’m sure a lot of people out there have this question in their head.

So, without further ado, let’s get into discussing how Gantt Chart can speed things up in a project, what all purposes it can solve. Other than that, you will also get to see how to use one ideally to better plan a project.

Here’s how –

  1. Let’s you draw the project outline in a more visual way
    The most crucial aspect that makes Gantt Charts such a powerful tool is that it allows you to visualize how things are planned and actually see them. All the details are right in front of your eyes, leaving no scope for accidentally missing out on something crucial that might set the entire project back. Everything becomes much clearer and intuitive. Everybody can better comprehend the entire flow of project in one good look. You get to know when to start and finish off a job until you could move to the next step. It also creates a sense of urgency to finish things on time as you see the deadline approaching right in front of your eyes.
  2. Promotes detailed planning
    Gantt charts are only as useful as your clarity about what activities make the project. Any blurred lines or ambiguity in terms of defining the tasks and subtasks won’t allow you to use this chart to its full potential. That’s why when you decide to use one, you have to be very mindful of figuring out each and every single tiniest task and detail. You also need to figure out which task would have to be assigned to whom. You are forced to think through each and every single detail because of which you become very detail-oriented. This naturally ensures better planning as you are forced to think about those things that you otherwise would have skipped or simply would not have bothered to pay attention to.
  3. Helps in discerning the critical path
    The word critical itself makes the whole thing self-explanatory as to what a critical path is. In every project, there are some sequential processes that must be carried out. Those tasks are like the very backbone of the project, without which the project simply won’t finish on time, and everything will just come to a halt. Gantt Charts help in discerning what that critical path is so you can pay special attention to those tasks.
  4. Tracks project progress in a quantifiable manner
    Simply assigning tasks is not enough. You have to know what the progress is looking like across various verticals. That’s where Gantt charts come handy. They let you know how much progress has been made and how much more efforts need to be put it until the project is successfully complete. 
    As you set tasks against a particular time according to the dates, you can keep checking them off as finished upon completion. The tool will then calculate and tell you how far along you have come in the form of percentage of completed and pending work.
  5. Helps you set task dependencies
    In most projects, tasks are sequential; with some tasks as precursors to others. For example, in a typical online promotion work, you would first have to start off by designing a website, followed by its development and then promotion. You cannot just jump directly to third step unless you have had the first two completed. 
    With Gantt Charts, it gets clearer which tasks are dependent on the completion of which ones. As you set dependencies between tasks and assign them to various departments, you can see whose fault was it, in case the project gets derailed or delayed. It will promote a ‘no more excuses’ approach as transparency and clarity across multiple departments is preserved. Everybody can see what caused the delay in project completion and at what point.
  6. Keeps everybody on the same page
    With access to how the project is heading and how the progress is being made, everybody stays informed and on the same page. The whole thing paints a clearer picture and adds a nice visual framework to entire work distribution. You can create a mind map with utmost clarity as to how the tasks are interconnected and which ones should be on priority. You get to know which set of tasks are sequential and which ones are parallel. So, you know better which unrelated tasks can be carried out simultaneously. The scope for confusion regarding who was supposed to do what, is minimized to several notches. The points above tell you how Gantt Charts boost better planning. But, simply knowing its benefits is not enough. You have to know how to use them in the most ideal manner.

Here’s a guide on how to use Gantt Charts for better planning of projects –

Step 1: Identify and define all the tasks

The very first thing you need to do to make the most out of a Gantt Chart is to set the flow of project straight. You simply cannot use this chart to its full advantage if you yourself aren’t clear on how the things should be moving in a flow. A Gantt Chart will only give complete information if you figure out and think through all the activities in project. This is the phase where you would have to break down big processes into smaller chunks of sub-tasks.

You will have to put in a lot of thinking to clearly identify each and every task and activity that comprise the project.

Step 2: Set dependencies 

The next thing you need to do is identify sequential and parallel relationships between tasks and activities. May be two tasks A and B are sequential. Meaning, you cannot start B until A is finished. For example, if you need to print a brochure for an upcoming event, then you would first need to finalize the content, decide the placement of text, color scheme, etc. Only then you can move to the printing part.

Once you have figured out which tasks are sequential, you need to figure out which ones are parallel to each other. Parallel tasks are those that are not dependent on each other for completion, so you can carry them out simultaneously.

Step 3: Feed the information

You can draw a Gantt Chart on paper or even use Excel Sheets as they come with the feature of Gantt Charts preparation. But, now markets are flooded with several useful project management tool, many of which allow you to create Gantt Charts. It is best advised to get a good tool for creating a Gantt chart as they allow you to make alterations in the project as soon as any changes occur in the project. The changes will instantly get reflected in the tool putting you in a place to better scrutinize how the changes are going to affect the whole project.

Step 4. Track progress

Once you have fed-in all the important pieces of information into the software, you will have a Gantt Chart prepared in front of you. You can then share it with all the relevant people involved in the project. After that you can see the project evolve with the time. Any change that occurs in the project can be better mapped visually. You can monitor the progress and be in a better position to predict the future of project.

At the face of it, Gantt Charts may seem like some highly twisted and complicated thing designed only for brainiacs; something beyond comprehension for a layman. But, once you get to know how to use them, there’s nothing to it. It does not even take very long to prepare them and will go a long way in helping you better manage projects.

If you’re an advocate of smart work approach, then you should surely learn how to use these Gantt Charts. 

What are your thoughts on using Gantt charts? Have any experience of using these charts? Do share it with us in the comments section below.

And, if you are looking for a project management tool that comes with Gantt Chart, then ProofHub is just the right option for you.




Bottom divider

Work Remotely or Not – What Experts Have to Say?

Changing times call for a change in work styles as well. Gone are the days when getting a fix 9-5 job in an office was the most desirable thing. Everyone these days is on the lookout for flexibility and freedom, to work remotely from wherever they want, in their job. And, this is the reason why there has been such an immense rise in the popularity of remote work culture. There are huge number of admirers of this new type of work culture. On the other hand there are still many people who think remote work is not good for business.

So, is it good or bad for business? In order to find out an answer to this question, we at ProofHub decided to get in touch with some of the inspiring leaders and get their views on the topic. Not too much to our surprise, majority of them were in favor of remote work culture and believed that it is a huge plus for the business.

Let’s take a look in detail as to what they have to say –

1. 

Sandeep KashyapSandeep Kashyap
Founder and CEO of ProofHub, an online project management and collaboration tool loved by businesses of all sizes

I, personally, am a big advocate of remote work. Being an employer it gives me the freedom to choose the best talent to work for me from across the globe; no longer do I have to restrict myself to hiring people who are either present in my vicinity or are willing to relocate to where my business is located. And, it works for them as well because they can work remotely in a flexible environment without any limitations. Plus, it saves from the stress of commuting daily to the office.

At ProofHub we have a team of people working from our physical office as well as people working remotely. And, it has worked out pretty well so far. In fact, with the help of our online project management tool the entire team is able to collaborate, communicate and discuss things without any hiccups; getting things done is never a problem. Technology has paved way for a smarter and more efficient style of working, and remote work is just one of the many steps in it!

2. 
Jacob Cass

Jacob Cass
A prolific graphic designer who runs the popular design blog, Just Creative, which doubles as his award-winning graphic design & branding firm

Remote working is all I ever do so I can’t say that it is bad for business. The flexibility and freedom of working from a remote location can’t be beat, especially with all the tools available now to make it such a breeze. Slack channels, online tools, video chat and more. What more do you need other than Wi-Fi?

3. 

Stephen Key
Stephen Key
An award-winning inventor, an intellectual property strategist, a successful entrepreneur and co-founder of inventRight

Our increasing ability to work remotely is fantastic for business, I think, because it’s fantastic for people. I became an entrepreneur in part because I wanted to choose where I lived and when I worked. These days my primary business, a coaching program for inventors, employs people across the country. We work remotely with students from all over the globe. And we’re very successful at it, because communication technologies enable us to be very present. I make a point of turning on my camera when I communicate with my staff as well as students over Skype because looking someone in the eye is still very important. It deepens relationships in a special way. But these days you don’t need to be in the same office to do that, thankfully. I want to employ the best people. I don’t care where they’re coming from.

4. 

Miles Jennings

Miles Jennings
Founder and CEO of Recruiter.com, an online recruiting service

Even with oversight, remote work is self-directed to a degree and in every case requires self-motivation. Every team member needs to find this direction and motivation within themselves to succeed and thrive in a virtual environment. It’s not for everyone, as this process requires ongoing commitment and a strong desire to succeed. If your team can meet this challenge, remote work can be transformative for your employees and your overall business.

The easiest benefits to see that come from remote work, such as cost savings and the ability to hire the best from anywhere, are just the tip of the iceberg. The real long term benefits of remote work can be an empowered workforce, a great work-life balance for everyone on your team, and an ability to attract and retain amazing talent. Moving to a remote work environment should not be taken lightly, and never for simple cost savings if possible. Make the decision for the long term, in order to fundamentally change the way your team works and even, lives.

5. 

Rohan Ayyar

Rohan Ayyar
Involved in creative content strategy, web and mobile analytics and conversion optimization for startups at E2M, one of India’s fastest growing digital marketing agencies

Enabling employees to work remotely is no longer a question of good or bad – it’s a question of when and how. Various studies have found that saving workers their daily commute leads – unsurprisingly – to higher satisfaction, lower stress levels, and actually makes them want to work more. Flexibility in choosing where to work from is a necessity and a given, for not only modern knowledge workers but also employers, in order to get work done on as-needed and convenience-based schedules.

The most successful of present day startups, including Basecamp and Buffer, have their entire workforce working remotely and perform all the more better for that! We ourselves have a team of remote content creators and media managers at Preceptist (our executive branding service) so that our clients can have an “always-on” and locally-relevant digital presence.

6. Robert Kelly

Robert Kelly
PMO/Execution Leader, PMO Lead, NA Services Delivery at Lenovo, Co-Founder & Host at #PMChat and Managing Partner, Kelly Project Solutions, LLC

Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to work in very flexible work environments…work from home, come it at 10 am, or leave at 3 pm. And, I believe several benefits come from allowing a remote/flexible work environment. People feel valued, trusted, and like that they are being treated as adults. In turn, they give more to their work and companies. When people are sick, they don’t simply call out and they don’t bring their illness to the office (infecting the rest of the team). They stay home and still get some work done or at least they’re available for the occasional call or Lync/Skype/Google chat. Progress continues.

Remote work allows your team to get their work done, by the deadlines you set or they commit to, and they can do it as their schedule permits. Work to live…not live to work. This flexibility drives loyalty way up! With the increasing popularity of unified communications platforms in the enterprise (think Microsoft/Skype, Google, and other VOIP phone options) and the use of tools like ProofHub, teams can collaborate in real-time and from anywhere in the world. The next wave will be companies allowing their employees to leverage solutions like Sabbatical.

7. Nischal Shetty

Nischal Shetty
Founder & CEO of Crowdfire, a product that helps millions of small businesses connect with their target audience and grow online

At Crowdfire, we have never been huge propagators of remote working. Sure, remote working can allow you to have your own flexible schedule and lifestyle but being physically present with your team ensures excellent collaboration. Talent can be found in any part of the globe. We realised that we were missing out on good talent by restricting our job application process to only those who were willing to relocate. So we experimented and hired a couple of remote workers. Unfortunately, we had to end our contract with them because of problems in communication and collaboration caused by the time zone difference. Our work suffered, specially since they both were handling critical projects.

Just because remote working didn’t work out well (in the first go) for us, doesn’t mean that it’s bad for every business. We did take away a lesson. Since we are based out of India, we don’t allow remote working for national employees. We do accept applications from people situated in different countries under certain conditions. Like, they have to spend the first 6 months with us in our office in India. This way, they can get a feel of our work culture and our expectations. If, by the end of the 6 months, we both feel that there is a fit, then they can go on to work remotely. Remote working can be feasible for teams with very little inter­dependency. But I still feel that physical presence trumps virtual presence any day.

Looking for tools that can make remote work a possibility for you? Try out ProofHub for Free 30-Day Trial and see how it helps you to plan, collaborate, organize and deliver things right on time from wherever you are working!

signup




Bottom divider