Being the end of the year and the time when we typically take a moment to think about what we want from the new year I decided to consider what my work related new years resolutions would be.
Here are mine. What are yours?
1. Keep risk assessments up to date. A basic risk assessment can be one of the most powerful tools to ensure your project success. It allows you to quantify where to invest your teams energy, provides a medium to escalate risks to your steering committee and acts as a register to capture the concerns of your team.
2. Communicate earlier, more often and more honestly. Whether with team members, project sponsors or the customer, an open path of communication will pay returns every time. Unsure about the customers requirement, give them a call; Concerned that the project sponsor doesn’t understand a key risk properly, buy them a coffee and talk it through; Notice one of your team members isn’t as engaged as usual, have a chat and see if there is something that can be resolved. Hiding problems through fear of talking about them helps no one.
3. Build quality into the project plan. Ensure that tasks related to project quality are put into the project schedule and properly costed and resourced. This can include preliminary design reviews, peer reviews, specialised labour on key tasks, testing, verification and validation activities. If it is captured in the initial project plan you won’t have to fight as hard to justify adding it later.
4. Listen more, talk less. Don’t rush to be the first person with an answer, don’t belittle the concerns of others and don’t have a preformed answer in mind while you wait for the other person to stop talking.
5. Make leadership inspirational, not transactional. People do their best work when they are fully engaged in the project and believe they have the ability to contribute to a successful outcome. Find out what your team members personal aspirations are and then do your best to link project goals and tasks with individual aspirations. And remember, you don’t need to have a title to be a leader.
How many of these are on your list?