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Project Management Techniques to Improve Productivity


Many things can slow down or enhance your productivity. However, effective project management is the number one way to improve your team’s productivity across the board.

Here are several project management principles you could apply to your management style to develop your leadership and some tips on how to use Trello for project management.

Project Management Tips and Tricks

  • Plan! As Benjamin Franklin famously said, ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’. Planning is key in all projects, no matter their size. A well-planned workflow for you and your team, including procedures for the worst-case scenarios, can ensure your project is a success.
  • Assess and manage the risks. As a PM or business owner, one of your roles is to forecast and minimize risks to the company. Consequently, part of your planning process should predict the less favorable outcomes and write a backup plan. Then you can quickly get back on course if there are minor mistakes, and your team can likely handle any risks even in your absence as there will be appropriate risk management strategies in place.
  • Remove acute distractions, such as notifications on your devices. Over 40% of people reported that notifications disrupt their workflow. Therefore, eliminating distractions is a sure-fire way to improve your productivity.
  • Track your progress. You can also use Trello analytics tools, such as Blue Cat Reports to utilize third-party apps to improve productivity.
  • Don’t get stuck in a perfection trap. When you finally get the chance to lead a project, it can be easy to aim for perfection and spend too long on every tiny detail of the project. Instead, try and focus on the bigger picture and use your skills to set clear goals and actionable schedules and achieve a productive workflow.

Effective Project Management Techniques

Most project management strategies will involve an initiation, planning, and execution phase followed by a concluding stage where you can wrap up the finer details and reevaluate if there is anything you need to alter for the project or to smooth your process for the next project.

Classic Technique

As mentioned, you don’t need to be perfect to achieve fantastic results. You also don’t necessarily need fancy tools and software to aid your management. The classic technique is great for managers of smaller teams or less complicated projects as it is simple yet effective.

You should first decide on the subtasks within each larger goal, allocate each subtask to the appropriate team member, monitor the work achieved, and ensure a high-quality standard.

You may also wish to use Trello to categorize each task and break it down into manageable chunks. If you get your team on Trello, you can assign them a task within the application.

Waterfall Method

Waterfall Method sample

Another more classic project management technique is the waterfall method, whereby you can order your tasks in a logical, sequential hierarchy.

As the name suggests, each task for every member will flow into the following one without overlap. This can help you manage multiple projects simultaneously as you reduce the chance of overloading your schedule. You will need vigorous planning to determine the order of your tasks, and from there, it should be easy to manage your time and track the progress of each task.

A logical order of tasks for a general project may look similar to the following:

  • Planning
  • Requirements
  • Designing
  • Developing
  • Integrating and initial testing
  • Maintenance and small updates to ensure ongoing success

The Kanban Technique

This project management technique is great if you are a beginner PM. It’s straightforward and easy to use. Simply divide your tasks into 3 categories to do, doing, and done. You can use your Trello board to drag and drop each card into the appropriate list to record a clear order of succession to each task.

Kanban board preview

This method keeps everything organized, and there is no confusion about where each task belongs. However, this technique generally works best when the tasks are small and simple, or for large jobs that can be easily divided into manageable chunks.

Additionally, it is not a preferred method when tasks are likely to require input from more than one or two team members as one person may be actioning the task and moving their portion of the work to ‘doing’ while another has yet to start on their part.

Critical Path Method

When you find yourself in a troublesome situation, the critical path method can help lead you out of the danger zone in the shortest time possible. The critical path method uses algorithms to detect the longest path for a given assignment and highlight each critical task within the project.

This technique is effective if you have looming deadlines, unexpected staff shortages, or a short-term challenge, as this method requires you to focus on the critical functions that need attention first. Therefore, this method is best used as an emergency strategy to get you back on track and can be used in conjunction with other PM strategies.

Using Data to Your Advantage

Although using data to your advantage isn’t a project management technique per se, it can be a helpful mechanism to aid your business management and help you set achievable goals.

Fortunately, you don’t even need to be a data expert in using statistics in your work. For example, Blue Cat Reports is an accessible and affordable Trello-Power Up that allows you and your team to create reports with no experience easily. You can then view your reports and monthly analytics within Trello and use these data to make more accurate projections, keep your team on track and notify your customers more accurately.

Blue Cat Reports Power-Up

3 Top Tips for Using Trello for Project Management

80% of project managers said that they wouldn’t be able to perform their work to the same standard without the help of a project portfolio management tool, such as Trello. Here are three ways you can improve your productivity as a Trello user. You may also wish to find some relevant Trello project management examples in our previous post Best Trello Board Template Examples and Ideas.

Use Calendar View to Keep Track of Multiple Boards

Almost 60% of project managers manage two to five projects simultaneously. Therefore, if you feel you are spread over many projects, you may benefit from using Trello Calendar View.

Trello Calendar View

This is one of the planning techniques that can ensure you are not double booking your time and help you visually see each deadline in comparison to your other projects.

Take Advantage of Useful Trello Power-Ups

Think of Trello on its own as a plain birthday cake. Everyone loves a slice of birthday cake, but it sure is better when it has a layer of jam in the middle, smothered in sweet buttery icing, and topped with a few colored sprinkles and a candle.

Similarly, Trello Power-Ups add an extra level to the Trello project management software to help you enhance your workflow. For example, you can use the Blue Cat Reports tool for Trello to instantly create summary reports for your Trello projects and help you share these data with your team.

Encourage Your Team to use Trello

Ensuring your teams are using the same software and methods of planning and executing tasks can help streamline your workflow. Therefore, we recommend that you get your team to use Trello as soon as possible so you can create better team communication and improve productivity as a collective.

Although there may be some resistance at first, as everyone has their own preferences for tools and software, it will be invaluable to have your team working in unison and updating boards and cards to inform other members of the progress. Additionally, you can use Trello to schedule your meetings and define your projections and targets, so everyone is always on the same page.

Improve Your Project Management Today!

Project management is vital to the success of your business, yet shockingly, not even 25% of companies use any sort of project management system. Hopefully, you can now be one of the few who benefit from a suitable PM strategy.

The key thing to remember is that every project is different so each project may require a different strategy. You can even use multiple strategy forms to complete your project.

Naturally, an effective project management methodology doesn’t automatically ensure a positive outcome or enhanced productivity of your team. However, it is logical to assume that implementing the best tools and techniques of project management for your business will ensure a cohesive and productive team where everyone is clear on the expectations and deadlines.

You can likely improve your company’s performance by using a few PM tricks and methods discussed and then tailoring these techniques to match your management style.

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