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A blog that looks at all aspects of project and program finances from budgets, estimating and accounting to getting a pay rise and managing contracts. Written by Elizabeth Harrin from

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Quarterly review time: How was your Q1?

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Quarterly review time: How was your Q1?

We’re almost at the end of quarter 1, so it’s time to reflect on how the first 3 months of the year. Here are some suggestions on what you could be doing now.

Reflect on personal goals

Did you set personal New Year’s resolutions? I’m not a big fan of resolutions as I think we can start new habits whenever, and January is a particularly bleak time of year in this part of the world, so not necessarily the best time to be trying to do new things when all you want to do is huddle under a blanket with hot chocolate.

However, maybe you did set some personal goals for this year, or a word of the year. How are you doing with that? If you’re doing well, how are you going to maintain that momentum? And if things haven’t started out as well as you would have hoped, how are you going to make the next 3 months any different?

Reflect on professional goals

This is also a good point to reflect on professional goals, like earning a certification. I have talked to people who wanted to achieve something (like sitting an exam) and then found the year has gone by so quickly they haven’t managed to make any time for it.

If the first 3 months of this year have sped past without you making up much ground on your professional goals, take a look at how you can break those down into smaller, achievable chunks and schedule the time to do the work.

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Reflect on your objectives

The professional development and performance management process in many organisations requires setting objectives at the beginning of the year. If you have had objectives set, it might be too early to have really made much progress towards fully achieving them.

However, you can make sure that you are clear about what they are, when they have to be achieved by, and what you should be doing to complete them. For example, schedule time for any courses you need to take, or block out some time to review progress monthly. If necessary, book quarterly reviews with your manager or mentor to go through the objectives and refresh them – I recommend getting these in the diary now as people’s calendars fill up remarkably quickly.

You might find it helpful to print out your objectives so you can carry them round with you or have them pinned up next to your desk. Then you’ll be able to check in regularly and remind yourself of the progress still required.

Another thing to start doing is making a note of the actions you have completed that count towards your performance review at the end of the year. Will you really remember what you did in February when you sit down with your manager in December or January next year? Probably not. Use this time (and block out an hour in your diary once a month) to update your objectives with a progress report.

Save any nice emails or examples of evidence you can use to show that you have achieved the objectives.

Get ready for quarter 2!

Next, put some time in your diary to do the exact same exercise in 3 months, when quarter 2 comes to a close. Regular reviews are an easy way to stay on top on your objectives – or at least identify where you are not able to meet the targets, giving you the chance to put plans into action or change them before it becomes a problem.

Posted on: March 18, 2024 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

"I've always believed in the adage that the secret of eternal youth is arrested development."

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