Thank you to the numerous readers of the prior post on this topic and especially those who took the time to comment and propose these additional items. So, if you did not find appropriate resolutions for your specific situation in the prior list, here are a few more to consider…
11. Mentor and coach upcoming PMs. Within prior resolutions 1. Develop team members and 10. Focus on people; it’s quite true that a specific set of persons we need to help are the upcoming and junior PMs. It can be as simple as asking them regularly how things are going on their project, which areas they find difficult, what’s eating up their time, what are their critical risks… And then providing them with few but valuable ideas, pointers, relevant materials to address their concerns, or offer a little bit of our time for discussion and bouncing off ideas they could have. I specifically say « few » because overwhelming them with advice, pointers, or questions, would be counter-productive based on my experience.
12. Manage your Stakeholders. Another very valuable good resolution and not an easy one given the variety of stakeholders. A good starting point may be to decide to systematically spend some time at the beginning of each phase of the project to identify stakeholders who are not in the decision making nor management of the functions directly impacted by the project (as we’re likely to know these very well already). So, try to identify others that the project impacts and what exactly the impact could be on them. Then, review their relative power and influence in light of how they could react and plan how to enhance their support to the project and prevent negative responses.
14. Anticipate, identify and manage risks. Let the key stakeholders be aware of all risks at all points of execution. Yes, I know, this sounds pretty obvious, but so do quite a lot of the other mentioned proposals.
15. Ensure lessons learnt are captured and communicated. This is one I must admit is tough to keep on the list. As many fresh PMP®s, I started very enthusiastically, trying to do such sessions at the end of each phase and not only project closure. Preparing documents to communicate on the interesting findings, setting up sessions for review and sharing… However, it turns out that most people are not very interested in hearing the lessons from your project. Their perception often is that their project is unique, therefore different, and it is too much of an effort for them to try to understand how to apply your lessons to their environment. Nevertheless, if you have time, they are most willing to share their own lessons learned from their project with you… Having said that, this blog testifies that I continue to share as much as possible with others but may be in a slightly different manner.
16. Define roles and responsibilities for each team member.
17. Communicate effectively with all project team members, stakeholders, sponsors etc. Having a sound communications plan, acting on it and maintaining a high level of communication wins people over and keeps them onside. There will always be one or two tricky people though, but hey that’s part of life.
18. Align all resources on a common goal, especially when dealing with resources from multiple departments, make sure everyone stays focused / committed on the same goal. It is very easy to loose resources from different departments as business needs evolve as the time goes on and resources get shifted / re-allocated.
19. Do not take any good resolution at all (unless you’re truly committed to track your progress against these and achieve them successfully).
And, in case you would think that the initial proposed list of 10 good resolutions was too long: several professional project managers came back to me indicating that these are simply the usual stuff to be done to be an acceptable Project Manager!
Back to basics?