Project Manager’s New Year’s Resolutions

Michał Sadowski , 29 December, 2017

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Any time is good to implement positive changes and set new challenges. It has, however, become a tradition that the period around New Year is the time of summaries and making new plans. Is there anybody who, summarising the passing 365 days, does not have at least few things coming to their mind that they would to change? And even though it is common knowledge that keeping those New Year’s resolutions is a completely different thing, it is hard to find a single person who does not succumb to the end-of-year magic and does not make them. Project Managers are no exception. Maybe this time it would be good to approach the topic differently and consider a brand-new set of resolutions to replace those from the last year. Instead of yet again promising yourself that you will quit smoking, go jogging regularly and switch to a healthy diet, we propose introducing changes that will streamline project management. If you are a PM a you are still looking for ideas for New Year’s resolutions, we present some inspiration for you to use.

Communicate more effectively
Communication is a key word in the work of every PM. Project management requires continuous negotiations with the project team, stakeholders, sponsors, clients and subcontractors whose aim is to work out the best solutions. Being both the support provider and the leader who sets goals and is resistant to pressure requires skills that have to be worked on constantly. Therefore, take a closer look at your communication methods and consider what changes you can introduce in this field. Maybe you will come to the conclusion that in the new year it might be a good idea to talk less and listen more carefully?

Improve teamwork
The project team is composed of people with different competences and skills. However, project implementation is no place for solo show-offs. Unless all team members are aware that united we stand and divided we fall, it is hard to develop innovative solutions or accomplish goals. There may be plenty of ways to improve teamwork. Gather information regarding available methods and answer yourself – which of them will work best in your case. Also, do not forget that it is the leaders who set the example, so before you decide to implement new ideas, start sharing knowledge and experience with the team yourself.

Assign tasks to the right people
The factors decisive in terms of project success include also matching the tasks with the right team members. Besides skills, it is also worth considering some individual features of each team member. Setting ambitious, competence-exceeding challenges, might not allow everyone to work equally efficiently. Some prefer to face what they feel expert at and work in safe conditions, not endangered by any deadlines. Maybe you should yourself a goal to closely inspect the work methods and characters of each team member, to be able to assign tasks to people and not people to tasks.

Try new tools
In the quickly changing business environment, no PM cannot allow themselves to get attached to the same work methods. Obviously, it is not about experimenting with tools completely unknown to you on key projects, but complementing solutions developed so far with new elements may improve the quality of project management in a surprising way. If, for example, you are positive about the Kanban methodology, use JIRA every single day and appreciate the advantages of messengers (e.g. Slack), IC Project, combining not only these, but also several other tools, might turn out to be a great choice.
Regardless of your attitude towards New Year’s resolutions, implementing the presented challenges will allow you to become an even more efficient and valued Project Manager. However, what to do to keep these efforts longer than to mid-January? Change the catchword “New Year’s resolution” to “goal”, and simply start working!

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