Five Project Management New Years Resolutions
Well, its that time of year. People are renewing their gym memberships, revising their budgets and swearing off vices. Most of those resolutions will fall by the wayside around the middle of February as people fail to reset habits and fall back into their old routines. Still, its a good time of year to reset, review the last year, and set goals and objectives for the new year.
Even after fifteen years of managing projects and programs, I always set goals for myself for the coming year. Here are five of mine specific to things I want to improve on my team and for myself in 2016.
1. Standardize my Project Management hiring practices
When I worked for Sapient, we had a standard set of interview questions that we used to help us find candidates with the hard skills, competencies and soft skills that we believed led to excellent project management. We mapped the questions to sets of Core Values, hard skills, and behaviors and trained our interviewers to look for key indicators and “tells” that would lead us to the best candidates. It didn’t always work, but it dramatically improved the odds that we’d hire the right candidate.
Today, I use my intuition, fifteen years of experience and practiced interview skills to select candidates for employment. By standardizing and documenting my process, and training my team, I can preserve the knowledge and improve the interview and selection skills of my managers.
2. Implement Project Audits
One of the best tools for learning to be a better project manager is to go through a project audit run by a more experienced project leader. The best project audits are random; I hate when project managers have to spend the time creating a bunch of pre-canned artifacts just to satisfy the requirements of an audit. The essence of an audit should be to examine the approach, methods, controls, and artifacts used by a project manager to deliver their project. The audit should be stressful but also helpful to the project manager and the project. I like to end the audit with asking the Project Manager what issues are keeping them up at night and draw on the experience of the auditors to help resolve any key issues.
Our current project audit process is ad hoc, rare and ineffectual. During 2016, I will implement a standardized project audit process for my team.click here for more details!
3. Improve Project Budgeting Knowledge on my Team
In my experience, understanding how the money moves within an organization is critical to getting projects off the ground. It also can be one of more vexing topics for new project managers who generally don’t have a finance or accounting background and who usually don’t have relationships with the company’s finance and accounting leadership.
After six years at my company and with a background in Accounting, its relatively easy for me to understand how the money flows and how projects get funded. My resolution is to pass that knowledge and understanding on to my team.
4. Build Relationships with Two Key Individuals in my Company
In our company, relationships get work done. When new folks join my team, I always set one of their goals to build relationships with key stakeholders, peers and even people they don’t currently interact with on a daily basis. Usually after a year of reinforcing the need to actively build relationships, the individual begins to take it upon themselves to devote active time and effort to build rapport with others around the company. This investment often pays off when it comes time to have a tough conversation or when specific information is needed.visit the website here:http://fortune.com/2015/10/06/keeping-track-cloud-software-reshapes-project-management/
After six years, I’ve met and know quite a few key individuals in our executive leadership and corporate offices. However, I don’t have as many relationships within our Operations teams. My goal is to meet and spend time to understand the world of two of our key Operators at our resorts.
5. Build Relationships with Three Key Individuals outside my Company
I find myself moving among the same circles day in day out – within my organization, my social circles, and my peer groups. I leverage these relationships and continue to make investments in them day in and day out.
While these relationships are key to leadership and effectiveness, building relationships with people in new domains, geographical locations and in different walks of life can enable personal and professional growth in new and different ways. In 2016, my goal is to meet and build a relationship with two leaders in domains outside my own – in particular, leaders in Social Media and Web Marketing.