When we made our plans for 2021, we were still unsure of exactly what state the world would be in. Some organizations might have been more optimistic about recovery from the pandemic or didn’t see certain obstacles the year would later bring. But that's okay. No one has a crystal ball to see the future, but that doesn't mean you can't create plans that help move your company forward. As long as organizations can continually assess the world they operate in and adapt their plans to it, they will continue to thrive. As we approach the end of the first quarter, now is a good time to take a look around at the world we are operating in and make adjustments so we can continue to grow.
Assess Your Goals
When you developed your 2021 plan, you or your organization selected corporate goals that the plan would seek to achieve. This helped guide your organization when making decisions about which projects to schedule for 2021 and which ones were not as important. Now that the year has been kicked off, you need to revisit these goals to make sure they are still relevant and achievable. Because goals serve as a guide for making decisions about your project portfolio, it's crucial that they always make sense for your organization. So ask yourself, if your organization developed goals for 2021 right now, would they be the same as the ones you developed when planning? If the goals you would develop today are the same as the ones your organization has already identified – that’s great. If not, your organization should seriously consider reevaluating and adopting new goals. If a goal no longer matters, isn't as important, or is simply out of reach because of certain restraints, it does not serve you to keep it.
Assess Your Projects
Whether you choose to keep the goals you have or adopt new ones, you also need to look at the projects you have planned to achieve these goals. There are many external factors that are still disrupting business, so the projects you planned may not make sense anymore. To evaluate your projects, ask yourself, are these projects still the best ones to reach our goals and are they still achievable? There may be projects that better support the achievement of your goals or projects that simply cannot be completed at this time due to a lack of resources, budget or other dependencies. It might seem intimidating to change your projects, but completing a project that doesn't advance your company or pursuing a project that you can't complete isn't helpful.
Assess Your Resources
If you have the right goals and the right projects, you next need to evaluate your resources and their capacity. The way people are working is still disrupted. Many people have not yet returned to the office and are balancing working from home with other responsibilities. Even if you have people coming into an office or building, social distancing guidelines could slow down their work. To really understand the work that employees can deliver right now, survey individuals or teams. Ask them what they can deliver with the current state of work. Do they have more project work than availability? Are competing projects pulling needed resources? Does one team have many more projects than other teams? When you can identify resource bottlenecks or issues early, you can address them before they become a much bigger problem. Knowing what your teams can deliver can also make sure that any new or reprioritized projects in your project portfolio are properly staffed. No matter how good your goals and projects are, they only move your organization forward if you have enough capacity to actually complete them.
Use a Tool to Help
Regularly assessing the world we work in and responding to new needs and demands can seem overwhelming, but the process can be straightforward and simple with the right tool. Meisterplan is a project portfolio management software that can help you visualize where your organization is in the achievement of your goals and understand the impact of changes to your plan. With Meisterplan, you can quickly evaluate if you are on track to reaching your goals or if there are constraints that stand in your way. When you need to reconsider your organization's goals, you can use a scenario planner to create scenarios to support the future. To see how you can use Meisterplan to keep your organization moving forward, check out the full list of Meisterplan features.