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Kick Start your Project Management Life Cycle

February 11 2008

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Want to kick start your projects into life in the New Year? By reading this newsletter, you’ll find out how to rally your team and give your project that boost needed to finish on time in their project management life cycle.

Kick starting your projects…

Welcome to 2008. As a Project Manager, the New Year is a challenging time for your project. You have staff away on leave, you may have deliverables from last year that you need to catch up on and the clock is already ticking. So how to you catch up and then give your project the edge you need to get ahead? Here are 5 tips for doing just this in your project management life cycle

Tip 1:  Playing Catch up

Projects are always ahead in some areas and behind in others. When starting the New Year, make a list of all of the areas that you’re behind in. Then prioritize the list in your project management life cycle and calculate the amount of effort needed to complete them. Are there any tasks that can be completed by others outside your team? If there are non-critical tasks that you can outsource, then now is the time to consider it. Use whatever resources you can find to complete these tasks as soon as possible. This will allow you to start the new year with a clean slate and a fresh mind, which is critical to motivating your team.

Tip 2: Re-planning

Once you’ve caught up as many tasks from the prior year as possible, revisit your Project Plan. Update every task in the plan and recreate your project schedule for 2008. You need to make your team feel like they’re getting a fresh start, without dragging stresses from the prior year into the New Year. This will boost motivation and enthusiasm for completing the revitalized plan during its project management life cycle.

Tip 3: The Road Ahead

Now that you have a crystal clear plan for 2008, you’re ready to get the team behind it. Wait until everyone is back from leave, and then take them out for lunch. Walk them through this year’s challenges and the timeframes in which they must be achieved. Try not to talk about last year. Instead, focus on the road ahead and gather their support. If possible, ask a customer to come along, to impress on your staff what it is that they need to deliver. Tell them you’re proud of them and what they’re capable of achieving.

Tip 4: Individualization

The trick now is to make each person feel like they are a critical cog in the wheel. Meet them individually, reward their successes and recognize achievement whenever you see it throughout the whole project management life cycle.

Tip 5: Quick wins

A winning team like to know they are winning right from the start. Focus on delivering a couple of critical tasks early, then shout about the success. Then get more quick winds under your belt and shout again. This creates the feeling of achievement and it creates momentum in the team. Sure, the project may not be finished until you’ve crossed the finishing line, but half the fun should be in getting there.

By taking these 5 tips, you can kick start your projects in the New Year and boost motivation levels to an all time high..

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