141. Project Management Tool Tips

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Smooth Operator/Podcast/141. Project Management Tool Tips

141. Project Management Tool Tips


What’s the best project management tool for your business?

The secret truth to that is… there is no perfect tool. In fact, they all operate pretty much the exact same way with minor differences.

What makes the tool work for you, however, is whatever you’re putting into it. How you’re setting up projects and workflows.

After helping numerous entrepreneurs with their project management systems, I’ve put together this list of Do’s and Don’ts to help you avoid the traps that I’ve seen. Take these steps and you’ll have a more successful implementation and greater enthusiasm from your team to use the tool.


Learn more at https://www.adamliette.com

Activate The Warrior Within https://www.adamliette.com/awaken-the-warrior

The Greatest Opportunity Of A Lifetime...

20 Business Owners Lives Will Change In 2024...
​...And I’m Personally Inviting You To Be One Of Them!

The Greatest Opportunity Of A Lifetime

20 Business Owners Lives' Will Change in 2024

​​... And I'm Personally Inviting You To Be One Of Them!


This is the smooth operator Podcast. I'm Adam Liette, director of operations for a seven figure online business and eight year veteran of Army Special Operations. On this show begin with the tactical, nitty gritty of what it really takes to run a thriving online business. Because at the end of the day, operators lead the way. What's going on smooth operators, welcome to this episode. Hope you're having a great now end of your week. By the time this episode's coming out, man I know this week has just been like holy cow. How is it halfway through February already the years flying by but here we are, we keep on getting after it. Keep on making things move, keep on making things grew, man because that's what we do for our teams for our businesses. And I hope that's the same for you, man. If that is you just take a moment to say hell yeah, because you got this, you're gonna make it roll.

So one thing I want to talk about today is just some basic project management tool tips. Some things I've learned many of them the hard way. And having worked with a couple clients this week that are in like some serious analysis, paralysis is definitely a phrase for it or really overthinking this whole process. So just wanted to give you some quick do's and don'ts for when you're moving into project management, if you haven't used anything like this before you Ben's geick really working on with some of the basic ones. Like there are more robust options out there. But it can really be easy to fall into a rabbit hole. So let's really explore that right now.

First off, let me just get the elephant out of the room, there is no best project management tool. They're all very, very similar in many, many ways. Some have different features, integrations, blah, blah, they all kind of function in the same it's a it's a tool to organize your task. It's a tool to do cross collaboration with other team members. So really, that's kind of what it is. But at the you know, so many of us started with a Google sheet or a Word doc or you know, something basic. And in some ways, we're just kind of taking that and putting it into a system where we can do that more cross collaboration. So whatever you do, don't go to any particular Facebook group, your favorite one and say, Hey, I'm thinking about taking on a tool, what's your favorite one? Because there's gonna be 20 different answers. And lately, it seems to always be click up, let me just say I don't particularly like click up, it's just me. If it's you like it, hey, man, you do you that's kind of what this is all about. And that leads us to tip one is don't let yourself get trapped into analysis paralysis. Like I said, all these systems are very, very similar. They all kind of do the same thing. There's different features, that they all have different colors, you know, different ways of making things appear. But like I said, they're all kind of the same thing.

So what I would recommend is like, play around with them actually get into the tools, start working with them. And do end up choosing a selection that you enjoy working in. Ultimately, it has to be something that you enjoy that works for you don't really just sit on whatever's popular what everyone else is suggesting, work with what you like working in, if you're you're you're not going to have a good time, if you absolutely despise working it and you're trying to make yourself like it because someone told you that this is the best one. Like I said, they're all kind of the same at the end of the day.

The second tip is like don't think that this will be perfect, you know, every time we first get started, especially if you've never done this before. Or even if you've never done it for this team before. It's not going to be perfect the first time around, it's probably not going to be perfect the second time or third time or fourth time around. You have to really go for the 8020 go for the minimum viable product and expect and know that you will improve this over time. This is a learning cycle. And there are several things that we can do. You really want to embrace some team collaboration, like have your team helping you to improve things over time to build things to make things what the team ultimately wants. This has worked for them. And you it's definitely that, that full scope that you want to be looking for. So learning cycle, understand that you're going to build things, tear them down, rip them apart, build them again. And that's okay, perfectly normal. It's what all of us go through. Even if you've done this before, you've never done this particular project before. So kind of lean in to that.

The next one is like don't try to do everything at once. So if I map out all the projects that I want to implement in an operating system, I got to tell you, it's pretty extensive. I've been doing this a while, but I will never come into a new client and just do them all at once. It's not going to be a good time and they're not going to actually enjoy it. They're going to end up end up getting a bit overwhelmed with it. Instead, I really, really like to start with predictive Will projects, things that happen over and over again, with some regularity, so your content marketing, any kind of a promotional cycle, if there's like a monthly email promotion or something like that, or some kind of like an update to a newsletter, somebody, something very simple, very predictable. And something that honestly the team can do with their eyes closed. Like start with those very predictable projects, get people used to working within the tool, you're changing a lot of what they do in their day to day, understand that respect it. And you're going to learn so much from those predictable projects, I'll make the more unpredictable projects much easier without overwhelming the team.

Next up is don't think you have all the answers like don't come into this project, they can I've watched I've done this before I've done this, before, I know how to do this, that's not going to end up working out for you, you're end up going to basically alienate the team. When you do that, you really need to find out what works for them. Or if you're working just with a CEO like say you're in a fractional CEO position. Coming in, make sure you're really heavily consulting that CEO to find out what works for them. So this is does end up being a solution. I really equate it to, like organ transplants weird analogy, I know. But if you take a system that worked for someone else, and he does implant it into another company, it's no longer organic. So it doesn't have the right blood type, or it doesn't really match the match doesn't match the host. And we all know what happens when a transplant is done that doesn't match the host, you know, it ends up being a failed transplant, don't let yourself fall into that fallacy of having a failed transplant, because you came in a little bit too stubborn to listen to someone else and make sure this is something that works for them.

The last thing is, or the second last, I have two things. First off, don't try to blanket implement someone else's system. So very, very similar to what I just talked about, you know, that's going to end up being something that doesn't fit. So you can download all sorts of templates, you can download something that worked for this person that made them $200 million. Like I don't care how successful they are. It wasn't the project management that got them there. If it helped, I'll tell you that. But it wasn't this particular way that they did this color thing on this one section. And the way that they made these other tasks like dependent on one another, that wasn't what did it, okay, it's just kind of embrace that, like, we're gonna make the company run smoother. But we're not like saving the world. At the end of the day, we're just getting stuff out of the way. So the team can operate more efficiently. So don't try to just take that project from someone else and just install it and be like, here's what we're doing. Now. Instead, what I like to do, I do take inspiration from things like that, and I have many templates on my on my system. And I tried to adapt from them. So I tried to almost never start with a blank project. Especially if it's something that is very similar to something that I've done, I have numerous templates that I've created. And I'll just start from one of my own templates. That way, I have like a lot of the structure and some of the things that you're gonna want to do upfront already built into that. And that's one of the real things you can gain from using a template is some of that structure and some of the ways that they'll, they'll have different dependencies and different things grouped in different ways, you can really learn a lot from that.

The last most important thing, I think this gets really overlooked. Like don't try to map everything out in your tool. It's really tempting, because that's gonna be what you're using, right? You need to create the program, the thing there. What I've really found is that, like, I have these two different sides of my brain. Well, we all do, don't we, we have our left side and a right side of our brain. And when you're in the creation mode, when you're creating process, you're thinking with this other side of your brain, okay, versus documenting, like building the system that's the other side of your brain. So if you're working within the tool, and using that wrong side of your brain, like what do you think that process is gonna end up looking like at the end of the day, it's gonna look like crap. So what I often tell especially entrepreneurs love you mean it, you know, I do. Entrepreneurs, like you're not built for this, let's just be perfectly frank. That's why you have as operators were built for this, okay, so what I always tell entrepreneurs like get out of my tool, I will make this I want you to just open up Screenflow and record your process and give me the darn video. Let me create the process from that because that way I'm creating it from something that is creative, that is in flow versus something static. Okay.

Another thing I'll often do is like, literally get out sticky notes and have a whiteboard, and like be plotting things out and how they work and how things kind of lead to one another very low tech solutions, but I find it It allows me to work with that creative part of my brain because I'm not getting bogged down in the tech. Okay? Numerous other ways you can do it. OmniGraffle is a tool I've used several times just to be able to actually map this out and see how things work. Lucid charts is another one. There's such an advantage to being able to work in that creative space, and then let that influence how things work in a project management system. So these are just some very basic tips and tricks man, like, if you've never done this before you've done it, you're like, Why isn't this working? Like more than likely you're falling into one of these traps. It's not the first time it's gonna happen won't be the last time that I promise you.

So like continuously reminding yourself of these is really, really fruitful, the further you go down this rabbit hole. That being said, if this isn't your bag of doughnuts, and it's not something you really want to be doing, you know, do reach out to me, I do provide fractional SEO services. So I can come in, work directly with you and help to implement systems in your business that will help you take this to the next level. So yeah, if you're interested in something like that, I don't offer very many positions like that, usually just one client at a time. So it's extraordinarily limited for my availability, but happy to jump on a call and make sure this is good fit. Just give me drop me a line at Adam at Adam liette.com and just let me know and we'll connect until next time though smooth operators man get after it, make those things happen. You know what you got to do to get to the end of this cycle. And know there's another cycle waiting for you. So let's get after it. Let's make it happen. And at the end of the day, operators lead the way. Hey, operators, I believe that within each and every one of us lies a warrior in waiting this warrior is able to conquer any obstacle that comes their way to discover how to awaken your warrior spirit and conquer what's holding you back. Go to Adam liette.com and join awaken the Warrior Within

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Within each and every one of us lies a warrior in waiting.

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© Adam Liette Marketing

© Adam Liette Marketing

© Adam Liette Marketing