In this month of February with Valentine’s Day looming, we all need a bit of love and nurture to make us feel special. Valentine’s Day is an ideal time to show loved ones you love, support and cherish them, in order to keep your relationship healthy and on successful… and our projects are no different! If you want your projects to succeed, then you NEED to approach them right – you need to cherish them and give them the love and support they deserve.
Why do Projects need love and support?
You know how great it feels when you clear your desk, empty a cupboard and then take a huge bag of stuff to the charity shop? The entire process leaves you feeling more energised, full of purpose and creativity; the clutter was holding you back more than you realised.
Our action lists, goals and projects are just the same – whether they are business or personal tasks. Those things in our head that hang around but don’t get done were exciting and invigorating when we first thought of them, but now they drag us down and drain our energy. The actions that never get cleared, the projects that hang around with no real momentum all prevent a business from surging ahead and create confusion and sluggish behaviours and, quite frankly excuses!
An unloved project leads to failure!
Some of the most common reasons that projects fail are:
- Unclear goals and objectives and differing expectations
- Ill defined roles and responsibilities
- Lack of good planning and estimating
All of these reasons are occur as a DIRECT RESULT of you giving your projects insufficient attention – and not giving them the love and care they deserve.
Time to give that project some support!
Giving a project the proper love and support it needs is a relatively painless process… it just needs some time and organisation, so let’s start by reviewing what we want to achieve:
- a sense of vision and purpose your project
- a clear set of priorities and action steps
- clear roles, responsibilities and involvement
And ultimately, projects that feel as if they will be finished and successful!
Make a list of all the projects you currently have
My favourite tool would be excel but whatever you use, it needs to be something you can add to easily – vertically to add new projects AND horizontally to add more information about each project – it also makes the information easy to sort and select!
At this stage it is important to include EVERYTHING, no matter how big or small the project may be.
Review what you have
This is where you start to give some of that love and attention! You will need to make difficult and hard decisions, so pick the right time and place for your review, as this is the only uncomfortable bit!
For each project on the list work your way through the following:
- Ask yourself how it’s going to contribute to your overall goals and targets for your business. If you don’t know, mark it as a wish rather than a project. All of your ‘wishes’ will have a next action for you: ‘I need to understand why this project is important and how it contributes to my goals’. Take these projects off your project list.
- If there is anything on the list that can be done in 10 mins or less (by you or someone else)? Yes? Great, then DO THEM TODAY and take it off your list!
- When does the project need to start? Has it already started? Can it wait until next month, next quarter, next year? Approximately how long will it take?
- How important is it? BE HONEST. Don’t be scared to end a project if it’s just not important enough for you at the moment.
- Are the vision and objectives of the project clearly defined? What’s the main purpose in terms of contributing to your business goal? If you cannot clearly define this – should it be on your list?
- Who are the main people who will actually do the work? Is the project something you will be working on by yourself or do you need input from others to complete it?
Your list will begin to look like the one pictured.
Now you can prioritise
By considering the start date, duration, resources needed and the importance, you can put your projects in order. A good way to achieve this is to simply print the list, cut into strips and arrange them in front of you, numbering your projects in priority; 1 through 10! Don’t get too hung up on the exact order – the important thing is to identify the first ones to focus on, then once they are completed you can identify the next three and so on.
The priority is the order of DOING and ACHIEVING, so try to limit the number of projects for each resource, if you have multiple resources. If you keep your list to a single A4 sheet then it is easy to review and keep the projects on your radar until they are done.
Keep up the motivation in your projects
It is important to keep your projects under review and to remind yourself and the business of what you are aiming for. Avoid the temptation to keep changing priorities. Unless something radically changes, select your list, stick to it and deliver!
Remember what we were aiming for at the start? By keeping a clear and focused project list you will achieve the clear priorities, so continue to ask yourself those reviewing questions, throughout the lifespan of your project.
By giving some love and time to your projects you will ensure your motivation stays high, your projects will be much more likely to succeed AND your business will benefit!
Teresa Trangmar is passionate about projects and has over 30 years experience as a project manager. She has worked with many businesses on multiple projects and loves to wade in and bring a sense of control and focus to existing projects as well as enticing vision and clarity for start up projects. If you feel the need to bring a little or a lot of love to your projects, then just give Teresa a call on 07788 402441 or email her: Teresa@delivermyproject.comShare