Project momentum is energy that makes your project moving. But there are so many possible situations that takes the motivation and spirit from your team or even from yourself. Maintaining project momentum requires true leadership skills and solid project management base in terms or knowledge, methods and experience.
Do you know that feeling when your team reaches a milestone, everybody is a bit tired after all the effort and seeking for at least a short break? Let your team celebrate and enjoy their success. Highlight their achievement and transform their positive energy into motivation to achieve further deliveries.
One of the advantages of project work is that people experience tasks beyond their regular job assignments. Project managers may enhance their learning, skills development or even support their job promotion. All these steps motivate the team members to contribute to the project success.
Be always one step ahead
To keep the project moving, project manager must be focused not only on the currently happening activities, but also foresee, plan and initiate necessary steps in advance to ensure smooth transition between project stages that require changes in the team structure, processes or methods of work.
Such transition may involve redirecting the team focus to different type of tasks, e.g. from business requirements analysis to development, establishing relationship with new stakeholders, e.g. system ramp-up support after implementation that requires communication with broader spectrum of the system users, or enlarging the team with new roles and experts.
Lead by example, show your energy to energize the others
There will always be some moments that drag your team spirit down. Not approved change request that was really important for your customer. Key stakeholder took another challenge in the company and is no longer supporting your project. System architecture reveals more and more issues impacting your delivery and you can’t change that. Unexpected budget cut. You name it.
At such moments it is the project manager that everyone is looking at. And that’s the time to show the true leadership! Use your own energy to motivate the others to find solutions to sudden obstacles. There are always solutions. Maybe not visible at the first sight, but motivated team can find them.
So nope, there’s never really any time for a project manager to take a nap. The project management discipline is very complex not only in terms of knowledge to be acquired, ability to learn new technologies and products, but it also demands emotional intelligence maturity and high level of leadership skills. Keeping project momentum is not a magic, it is rather a lot of hard work.