Project Management

Embracing the End-of-Year Cleanup

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

In North America, the holidays also coincide with the end of the calendar year—and for many organizations, the end of the financial year. That usually means that a lot of projects are scheduled to wrap up around the holidays and new ones are set to start as soon as the holidays are over.

That creates a convenient period of time where project work itself can be a little quieter, and provides new PMs with the opportunity to do a bit of a “mental cleanup.”

The mental cleanup
What the heck do I mean by that? Well, new project managers spend their first couple of projects drinking from the fire hose. There is a massive amount of information coming at you, and you don’t have the experience to be able to quickly prioritize it so that only the most important stuff is dealt with.

As a result, the first few months as a project manager can feel as if you are always struggling to catch up with what’s going on. You always feel like you are reacting rather than being proactive, never able to get ahead of what’s happening or to prevent problems from occurring.

That’s a natural situation for you to find yourself in, but it’s one that you can’t allow to continue. So, when there are a few weeks where the pressure in the fire hose is turned down, you need to assess where you are, what you’ve learned, and how that is going to…


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