By: Sarah Silverman
The holiday season is fast approaching. Even at the best of times, this time of year can feel chaotic. When it comes to the world of project management though, the expected time off and unexpected drops in productivity can be anxiety inducing. In the midst of the end of year chaos though, there are a few key steps that project managers can take to ensure that milestones are met, and products are delivered on time.
Set Clear Expectations
When working in a team setting, it’s vital that you set clear expectations with every member. This is even more true during the hectic holiday season, when familial obligations can easily outclass work related commitments for many. Clear milestones and assigned responsibilities can help keep your team on task and ensure a smooth holiday interruption.
Assess Risks and Be Realistic
It’s important to recognize that the holiday season necessarily brings with it some risks that should be accounted for. For example, suppliers may begin their holiday breaks earlier than your team may anticipate. You should tailor your plans to be flexible towards this sort of eventuality. If a key milestone cannot be met without input from an outside team or vendor, that milestone should be adjusted towards the New Year where possible. It may not be realistic to get everything done prior to the holiday.
Work with Stakeholders
All stakeholders involved in a project should be kept well informed of the plans surrounding the holiday season, and any potential hiccups or delays that may come about as a result. Good communication is the best way to forestall any potential issues with stakeholders and can help to temper expectations during a time of year that many find to be stressful.
Collaborate with Your Team
Finally, your project is nothing without your team. It’s important to communicate with your team members and stay on top of everyone’s holiday plans and needs. Depending on the makeup of your team, some members may want to take their holiday breaks at different times than others. This needs to be accounted for by the project management team to ensure the smoothest possible transition into the new year.
At the TLP Consulting Group, we help organizations of all kinds learn the skills of good, positive project management. Have a merry and joyous holiday season this year with the unique skills that we can impart onto your team. Our expert consultants can help you develop the tools you need to ensure your success. Give us a call today for a free, 30-minute consultation.