End-of-Year Check-in: Managing Projects Through the Holidays

We are fast approaching the end of the year – when you wake up on January 1, what projects do you want to feel most proud of?  Let’s walk through some steps to set your end-of-year project management efforts up for success!

Pryor’s “Project Management Fundamentals” training series gives you a good place to start. The video “Prioritizing Project Work” reminds us that projects are a combination of tasks or activities. Managing your project means making sure you are moving your project forward within the constraints, or limitations, you have.

Let’s start by reviewing your key projects and tasks.  This is a great way to take an overall look at your portfolio to identify the status of each project, and the tasks that need the most attention before the holiday’s:

  • Write down all the projects on your list, and the approximately timeframe when the overall effort should be completed.
  • Take an initial look to identify any projects that can be deferred until the new year without causing customers or team members challenges – mark those, or move them to a separate list.
  • For the remaining projects, list the tasks that must be completed before the end of 2020, and write down why that is so.
  • Take a look at your task list – how reasonable is it to achieve the items listed? If not, try to adjust the tasks to be smaller, or reconsider whether something can wait until 2021.

Now, let’s look at constraints, or limitations, that could impact the ability to complete tasks:

  • Your own vacation plans
  • Vacation plans of your teams and clients
  • Stakeholder availability and needs
  • Other end-of-year resource constraints, like additional administrative tasks or budget limits

Once you have listed your key constraints, look back and reevaluate your task list to see if adjustments are needed.  If you need to talk about deferring something that will impact others, of if you need to seek additional resources, now is the time!