For many of us, this is typically the time of year where we focus on finishing up major initiatives and preparing for the new year. This can be quite the challenge to say the least and it is easy to get caught up in the chaos that is finishing up old project plans and planning for new ones. This period of planning, however, is a great time to reflect on the past year and identify room for improvement. Here are some new year’s resolutions we recommend for your planning efforts as you head into the new year.
New Year’s Resolutions for Your Project Plans
Strive to be a Communication Master
How many projects can you say got derailed this past year due to lack of communication? My guess would be quite a few. This is a critical area that every project team seems to struggle with at some point. No matter if you are the lead project manager or head of a PMO, there must always be open lines of communication throughout all stages of project plan development. To make sure your 2022 is successful, analyze where communication breakdowns took place this past year and see if there are any reoccurring trends that can be addressed. Ask yourself questions like, “Do you encourage open discussion between your team and other stakeholders?” or “Are you the only contact for team members to get their information from?” Your resolution should focus on answering questions like these and determining if solutions like more meetings to encourage open communication or a more formalized project planning process are needed.
Get Those Documents in Order
I know, I know this can be a drag and may seem so obvious, but yes, proper documentation for planning your projects is incredibly important. Although it’s such a basic thing, this area gets overlooked many times, especially when working in fast-paced environments or on teams with a lot of moving parts. But that’s all the more reason to have good documentation processes in place. Teams can make sure project requirements are met appropriately and there is transparency and traceability on what was done, when it was done, and who’s done it. If you don’t currently have eyes on these areas, consider conducting an audit on how your teams are organizing various project documentation. Is everything in a centralized location that is easily accessible by all stakeholders? Are team members using the tools they want to use? If not, you can really help boost the efficiency of your planning efforts by getting a handle on these key areas.
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Always Be Goal–Oriented
Does it sometimes feel like you’re creating plans for projects just for the sake of planning projects without any real intent or goal in mind? Chances are this has happened to you at some point this year. If so, one of your 2022 resolutions should be to stop getting caught in this trap, because a plan without a goal will only lead you down a dark road to nowhere. Many times, people fear goals, but goals are meant to be your friend and are there to ensure your projects are of actual value to your organization. Teams find it especially hard to tackle large goals because they can be too lofty or not easily understood. So, when you do set your goals for your upcoming projects, break them down into smaller, easily digestible parts with a clearly defined path on how they can be achieved. Additionally, make sure these goals are relevant to your team. Showing relevance can keep team motivation high and make sure longer–term projects do not veer off course.
Celebrate Both the Successes…and the Failures
When planning for the future, we all tend to look back and focus on what went well. It is quite easy to celebrate the successes, but you must not forget about the failures. In fact, not only should you remember the failures, but you should also celebrate them! Failure doesn’t always have to be a bad thing and if your team tried something new, but failed at it, that’s okay. Learnings can be gathered from the experience and can open your mind up to new ways of thinking. It can also provide you a reality check of where you are as a team and help you realign your goals, hopefully setting you up for even greater success down the road. As a resolution, take a step back and reflect on the failures you experienced this past year and incorporate any insights you can when setting up your plans for next year.
A Lean PPM™ Solution to Help You Reach Your 2022 Goals
No matter your resolutions, planning for the new year can be stressful. Meisterplan can help make your planning process easy with our Lean PPM™ and capacity planning software. If you want to learn more, you can contact us or sign up for a free 30 day trial and start building better project plans today.