I am a believer in the power of project management.
As a professional project manager for nearly twenty years, I have witnessed project success drive business results. I have also proven that project management can change lives and help achieve personal transformation. Now I am sharing some practical tips and techniques that you can use to help achieve your own personal goals, live your best life and become a PM Believer.
You Are Here
An executive status briefing is an important component of bigger, high-visibility projects. During these briefings, the project manager provides a high-level summary of the current state of the project for the most senior (and most influential) project stakeholders. The major discussion topics in these meetings usually include:
- A review of the activities that have been completed to-date
- A glimpse of what efforts are planned for the near future
- Discussions about any issues, support needs and some Q&A
After about six months of PM Believer posts, I wanted to use today’s post as an executive status briefing for my most important stakeholders. You!
In this post I will spend some time recapping what we have talked about so far. Then I will give you a little glimpse of some of the things to come. Like any executive status briefing, I welcome your questions, feedback and suggestions about how to make PM Believer most impactful for you.
You can think about this as a PM Believer “clip show” of sorts.
As a reminder, when I kicked off this series (see Are you a PM Believer? ) my goal was to help you achieve your biggest personal, professional, fitness and life goals through project management. I explained that I am sharing these tips because I believe, and have proven, that project management can change lives.
Commit to a SMART goal. The first step in using project management to achieve your goals is to make a decision and commit to your goal through your charter (see Start Strong). If you want to improve your chance of success, make sure you are committing to a SMART goal (see Get SMART ) with a strong enough reason why (see Remember Your Why). Then just get started while you are working on the next step (see Don’t Wait).
Create a plan that works for you. Step two in the project management process is to build your plan, but it needs to be the right plan. The right plan is one that works for you and not just recycled from somebody else (see The Right Plan, Your Plan). Create your plan by breaking down your goal into bite-sized pieces (see How To Eat An Elephant Part 1) and set some target dates, or milestones (see How To Eat An Elephant Part 2). Remember that a SMART goal is time-based. Make sure that your plan is as simple as possible (see Winning with Laziness) and that you choose the process that fits your need (see Off the Rack with Alterations).
Track progress every day. Now that you have a measurable goal and a plan to get there you can start tracking your progress (see Are We There Yet?). Do this every day as it will be a good motivator and let you course-correct as needed.
Expect and prepare for things to go wrong. No matter how good of a plan you create, things are not going to go exactly as planned. Spend some time planning ahead for what might go wrong and how you will respond (see Risky Business). Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, you won’t be able to anticipate everything, so be ready to react when the unexpected happens (see Project: We Have A Problem).
Don’t go it alone. I also spent some time talking about the importance of taking partners to help you achieve your goal. This starts with building a team of experts who you can use resources (see Go Fast Or Go Far – Part 1). But the team of experts isn’t the only step, you need to think ahead about who you will tell about your goal, when and how (see Go Fast Or Go Far – Part 2).
Finally, I a bit of a deep dive into how lessons learned from the Agile project management approach may be able to help you achieve your goal. These techniques all start with approaching your goal iteratively (see Living the Agile Life) while focusing on the least amount of work you can do to be successful (see The Least You Can Do). Spend some time each day reflecting on your accomplishments and next steps (see Get Up, Stand Up) and consider tracking your work visually (see Burning Down Your Goal). Once you hit the end of each of your sprints, pause to reflect on what went well and what can be improved (see Look Back, Move Forward) before moving on to the next steps in your backlog (see Baby Got Backlog).
There you have it, that’s what we have accomplished so far. I know that is a lot of words, but I wanted to make sure to have a good recap because future PM Believer posts will build on this foundation. Speaking of future posts, I wanted to share some of what is coming next.
While I don’t have a full roadmap for future posts (and doing so would completely steal my future thunder), I will give a teaser about a couple of the biggest themes for upcoming PM Believer posts.
- Art vs. science. While project management is a science for sure, there is an art to it as well. In addition to the processes and tools, there are some other techniques that help project managers achieve success. I will be sharing some of these with you over the next few posts.
- Voice of the PM. I may even share a few stories from real people who have used project management to achieve real goals. If you have examples to share, please reach out and I would be happy to feature you in an upcoming post.
That’s the end of my prepared executive status briefing. I have enjoyed sharing these posts with you so far and look forward to many more to come. I will now open the floor for questions, feedback, requests and suggestions…
Are you ready to be a PM Believer?
Executive status briefings are excellent tools for sharing progress and future plans with your most influential project stakeholders. This is my executive status briefing for you, my most important stakeholder.
How have you applied project management for your personal success? Tell me about it at OperationMelt.com and make sure to join my email list to have updates delivered to your inbox weekly.
Make sure to help your friends achieve their goals by sharing this post on your social network and by following me on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.
Want to know more about how I changed my life with project management? Pick up your copy of my book Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds In Under a Year.
About Operation Melt
Operation Melt started as a blog to share my personal transformation and weight loss story. After achieving success with that goal, Operation Melt has evolved into a platform to help inspire, motivate and equip people to achieve their own personal and professional goals so they can live their best lives. My vision is to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.