Project Management Central

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Practice Areas: Leadership, PMI Standards, PMO
PMO vacations

How do you manage your vacations? Do you left a colleague as backup? Is he/she the same for all the projects you manage? What do you prepare for him/her? Do you deliver (all) the project files, or just the followup actions, issues, risks? Do you tell him/her a (status) story before you go?
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Yes yes yes! Have a backup, forward all relevant meetings to them if you need them to lead. Give them your host code and permissions as well. If you're managing all projects through a central SharePoint, it will be easy for them to see risk, issues, current work etc. If not, then have a handover meeting a few days before you go away. I also follow up with an email to them listing out the relevant meetings, delivery milestones etc. so they have that information in one place and can reference it. Finally, I still check email - but only for important messages. If there is something I need to read and respond to, I ask them to put "Important, please reply" in the email subject line to alert me that I need to take action.

It is very important before managing vacations to be clear the importance of pending activities, many times the people who take the charge while one is on vacation takes several days to understand the procedures and other processes to carry out, which is why I consider that in those activities in particular emphasis should be placed on whether and wherever possible.

Thanks Mrs. Liana U. I follow you, except asking the backup to flag "important, please reply" in the email subject line to alert me. It's a good practice. Thanks for the tip.

Mr. Eduin A. yes, understood. Not always possible since the backup is "focused" on his projects. The team is smaller although new projects popup every month.

Depends when/where in the project the vacation falls. Generally speaking, I have a back up, which is typically the Delivery Manager.

This is where having all project artifacts centralized shows its value, i.e. SharePoint. I can easily share one hyperlink where all project information is available, including important email communications - as Liana points out.

My OOO reply will note my availability for urgent issues. I also generally sift through and sort/prioritize my email to avoid a overwhelming pile-up upon my return.

It depends on what you have available, the best would be the one in the area. I would usually show them the sharepoint link to documents. Highlight current issues/risks and tasks in hand as that is very important. Also, walk them through the project plan clearly stating what tasks need to be followed on and supporting documentation. I would also give tips on the stakeholders, how they would react to certain situations and their influence and impact on the project. That helps them drive the project successfully. The others are admin, OOO, backup name , project name, escalation poc, etc.

I always plan accordingly for each project I am managing. Ideally, I can have everything organized and communicated for the week I am out before I leave. This includes sending specific assignments that should be ongoing that week in addition to any tasks that should be completing that week. I always appoint a back-up just in case they are needed as well, but I always direct people to call me on MY cell phone if needed during my PTO for any issue or question or whatever.

Always leave the information with a backup and brief them as well as possible. I try to schedule time away during slack times or natural down times in the project to minimize extra workload on others. When all else fails, the cellphone is usually close by!

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"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson