It's beginning of the new year and we make grand resolutions that we would fail to achieve. Studies show that by the end of the year only 10% of the people will keep their New Year resolutions. Don't make overarching goals which will be unachievable. I use SMART goal setting:
S - specific
M - measurable
A - achievable
R - realistic
T - time-bound
Here are my 5 Project Management Resolutions for your New Year:
Learn About Your Team
Provide Business Value
Staying physical and mentally healthy is not just important for your job but for your life as well. Eat right - more fish, nuts and berries. Coffee - last call before 2pm so as not to interfere with your deep sleep. Hydrate - drink water throughout the day. Exercise - do muscle straightening as well as cardio. Turn off all electronics at least 1 hour before sleep. You'll have better concentration, you will be more creativity and productive the following day.
Learn About Your Team
Over the course of the project you will be asking your team to perform tasks so that the project gets completed. What I like to do before the project starts is get to know each person on an individual basis. We all have strengths and weaknesses. I like to help each one on my team to improve on their weaknesses and get their strength to the next level. Have conversations with each member of your team. Observe their behaviors. Are they an introvert or an extrovert. Are they a problem solver or someone who needs a little push.
In overseeing programs and portfolios, I find that most project managers only report things that are going well fearing the "shoot the messenger" blow back. What I tell them is: give me the good, bad, and the ugly. That way I can help them break down obstacles that are in their way. Other project owners will do the same. That's our job. Your project owners are looking for ways to help you and will help you remove roadblocks and provide guidance.
Provide Business Value
You finish your projects on time, within scope and within timeframe, as well as with the right quality. All too often focusing on the output without understanding why. You need to understand how your project contributes to the overall business. That way you can make better decisions and recommendations during the execution of the project.
If you understand the outcome what the project will provide, you will contribute to the business value over the course of the project and not just complete the project successfully. Look at the bigger picture. And ask a simple question: Why? Why are we doing this project?
Have you ever noticed how the minute you accomplish one thing you scratch it of your list and go to the next task? You become a robot doing a task after task after task.
Celebrating individual and team achievement, large or small, during your project. Provide a meaning, remind the team of the reason for what they have done and accomplished. A simple "Thank You" through the day goes a long way in motivating your team and letting them know that their work matters.
Let me know about your New Year Resolution.
Business priorities can change depending on the paced that the industry is in.
Now that the year is almost coming to an end your organization should have a list of projects that it wants or needs to undertake.
But how do you prioritize if everyone saying that their project is important and needs to be done?
There has to be a Laser Focus on what projects are important to the business. Meaning all have to agree on number one - numero uno - project and the next ones after it.
Some of the pitfalls a business could face:
Having no clear view of the status of the projects or even the anticipated benefits.
Lack of due diligence in updating the status of the projects.
Projects being driven by resource's availability instead of project's strategy alignment to the business goals. Resources are available for the projects - let the project roll. Not enough resources - the project is put on a back burner, together with the business.
Business has to not only priorities projects at a strategic level but at an operational level as well. Not doing so can mean the difference between success and failure for the business.
I have over 20 years of experience in prioritizing, selecting, and managing projects. In that time, I have developed a simple framework that I call "Laser Focus." Main points of Laser Focus:
What is the goal that the organization is pursuing? What is the vision statement for supporting this goal?
Scope, Cost, and Time. And in the middle of the Triple Constraint sits Quality.
Operational and Strategic Project List:
What is the business's immediate and long-term projects?
Without people there is no business. Do you have the right set of people to accomplish the projects? Do you have a plan to make sure that your people have the necessary skill set and a chance to grow new ones? Do you have a succession plan to take someone’s place when they are promoted or leaves the company? Do you have a moving up the ladder plan?
Communication is the key. Executive team needs to clearly spell out what its business purpose is, and its business's values and goals are. Executive team needs to communicate how the projects that the business undertakes gets organization closer to its goal. Departmental heads need to instill in their teams the correlation of the value of how each of the teammate’s accomplishments in a the project brings the organization closer in realizing its business purpose.
By applying the Laser Focus executives are able to better handle priorities changes. And, if communicated properly they'll be able to manage projects successfully and lead their organization into prosperous future.
Last week was not only the celebration of 4th of July. It was also my work anniversary.
I am blessed to come to America as a refugee when I was a little boy with two small suitcases. And to be propelled to the pinnacle of my profession. The companies that know the true value of it’s employees pay the right price to them. Companies that don’t. Well, the employees leave for better opportunities. Sure – company’s culture, your boss’s management style – whether they micro manage you, health benefits and stock options also play a role in whether you stay with the company or not.
I want to know in the in what country you live and what are the opportunities available to you. And how the company compensates you on the projects that you are on.
As we come closer to the Memorial Day in honoring and mourning the military personnel who have died in military duties while in service of the United States Armed Forces. For which this holiday was first observed on May 30 1868. One has to reflect on the meaning of life.
The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. This statement is often attributed to the famed playwright William Shakespeare or the influential painter Pablo Picasso.
As you reflect on the meaning of life. Take a moment to reflect on how’s the work that you are performing affects yours or someone else’s life.
For me right now, at this moment, is working on enabling normal lives for patients with autoimmune diseases.
How is the work that you are performing brings meaning to yours or someone else’s life?
Happy Mother’s Day!
Celebrations of mothers and motherhood goes back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. One would think it should have been celebrated even further. In the US the Mother’s Day became an official holiday in May 9, 1914. While other countries celebrate Mother’s Day on different day. During this day the phone traffic around the world spikes more than any other day, only few counties are an exception. Guess those countries have the children nearby to tell how much they love their mothers in person.
To all the mothers – we would not be here without you. Happy Mother’s Day!