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.
Science vs. Art
Project management is both a science and an art. Beyond the formal tools and processes, there are other habits and techniques that project managers use to achieve success. Today’s post explores one of these aspects of the art of project management.
As I have said several times in past PM Believer articles, the definition of a project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. Today I am going to talk about just one word in this definition: temporary.
Projects are temporary, meaning that they don’t last forever. When the goal is achieved, the project will reach its conclusion. This means that all projects have an end to them. And, like most things that come to an end, that day comes with mixed emotions.
Imagine working on a project for a year or even longer. During this time, you make friends in the team and you all work hard together to achieve a goal. There are laughs, there are feelings of frustration and there are lots of memories made. And then, it is over.
How do you feel?
It is natural to be a little sad as everybody says their goodbyes and goes their separate ways at the end. It is kind of like graduation day.
If you are lucky, you will also have a great feeling of accomplishment having achieved a big goal with your project.
Maybe you just feel a sense of relief that the experience is finally over if it was a particularly challenging experience.
It is perfectly natural to experience any or all of these emotions. But, you also have some work to do. The end of a project affords you some unique opportunities that you will want to seize to help build your project management skills and brand.
When you arrive at the end of your project, make sure that you have spent a few minutes focusing on the following:
- Are you done? Take a quick inventory of all of the scope items and tasks that you agreed to accomplish during the project. Are they finished? If they aren’t, make sure to wrap them up or hand them off. I think of this as sweeping the floor and turning off the lights at the end of the day.
- Look backward. Take some time to recap and write down any lessons that you learned during this project that might apply to future projects. The best project managers continue to build on the lessons that they learned so they are continually growing. This includes soliciting feedback from others and providing feedback when it is solicited from you.
- Closure. Don’t just end the project and walk away, say goodbye. Make sure to tell your fellow project team members goodbye, thank them, let them know that you appreciate them and share your contact information. Before you go your separate ways is also a good time to connect on LinkedIn, this helps you keep in touch.
- Look forward. The saying goes “when one door closes, another door opens” and that applies to projects too. When you wrap up one project, you usually immediately move onto the next project. Take some time to get excited about the new opportunity and the clean slate you are starting with on the next project. Like the end of a project, the beginning of a project also provides some unique opportunities.
Congratulations on finishing your project and achieving your goal. It is time to be proud of yourself and move on to new things. Just make sure that you are taking advantage of this unique time in a project.
Are you ready to be a PM Believer?
Dr. Suess said, “don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened.” This is the perfect message for project managers because endings are a natural part of projects. While saying goodbye might be a little sad, the end of a project offers unique opportunities for project managers to grow.
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.