Another year has passed, and here we are again – about to start a new year. A new start, new hopes, new goals to reach…and how can we forget, some new New Year’s resolutions. As project managers we’re constantly striving to improve ourselves. Here are my 2019 New Year’s Resolutions, project manager edition.
Great project communications are a must for any project manager. Without a robust project communication plan in place, projects are doomed to failure from the start. Open door policy in communication is a great way to develop a culture of transparency in the workplace. An open door ensures a free flow of ideas and updates. Best of all, employees will be more open and willing to discuss anything related to the project.
Project Management New Year’s Resolution: I will include communications plans in all new project plans, and institute an open door policy.
Collaboration isn’t just about our own project team.
We also have the ability to draw on the knowledge and experience of a wider range of people to assist with the delivery of the project. To collaborate better, we can build networks of industry experts and contacts, to bounce ideas off people who aren’t even working on your project. Doing so will give some additional insight and ideas.
Project Management New Year’s Resolution: I will increase collaboration outside the team by finding mentors and experts to give me insights and advice.
Stop Using Emails. Use Project Management Tools Instead
One study shows that professionals spends a quarter of the day reading and answering emails. When managing a project, this means I need to step out of the project management software we are using and take the information from the emails in order to update the project plan. I hate doing this – it affects my concentration, and missing one email means the project can suffer as a result.
Project Management New Year’s Resolution: I will center all project related communications within the project management tool we are using.
Delegate Tasks Effectively
If you want the task to be completed on time, it is very important to delegate it to the right person. Sometimes it’s easy to just hand someone with open time the next thing in the workflow pipeline, but it doesn’t mean they’re the person for the job!
Project Management New Year’s Resolution: I will put the extra time and thought into matching the right task to the right team member.
Learn New Skills
You are never be too old to learn something new, they say. Some skills require formal education, but there is so much you can learn by searching online, too. There are so many helpful blogs and videos that can teach you almost anything you want to know – and websites like Khan Academy and Coursera give you access to college level classes, for free.
Project Management New Year’s Resolution: I will learn two new skills this year – basic HTML coding and basic graphic design.
As a project manager, it’s our duty to create an environment where everyone can share their ideas and insights without hesitation. A team hesitant to communicate is a team with a problem! A New Year is a new start to try to develop better work relationships with your team.
Project Management New Year’s Resolution: I will learn three new things about each team member, including a hobby of theirs.
Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
“You can do it if you really want to” is a great motto, but sometimes you have to accept that you really can’t. This does not make you a failure, it makes you a pragmatist. There are many reasons why you should let a project die; what is more important is that you learn from the mistakes and avoid making them again. Failures should always be about the lessons learned.
Project Management New Year’s Resolution: I will not avoid my failures. I will accept them – and learn something from each one.
Set goals that are realistic and reachable or achievable. Have you reached every goal you had set last year? If not, then perhaps you set your goals to be unrealistic (or not specific enough). Goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, and time related.
Project Management New Year’s Resolution: I will set myself goals that are specific, measurable, and time related – and I will aim for attainable goals instead of shooting for the moon.
Rewards give us something to work towards, and they act as a motivation for the goal ahead, too. This year make it a point to reward yourself even for every little success.
Project Management New Year’s Resolution: I will set a reward for each goal I set for myself – and my team.
Summary: Project Management New Year’s Resolutions
This list is my project management New Year’s resolutions. Over the course of the year I will check back on this and measure my progress, and see if following them has given me any new insight into best project management practices.