Make The Most of Your Off Season

This year’s Super Bowl is barely in the books but each team is already preparing for next season, with talks of trades and what they’ll focus on going forward. Project Teams can take a lesson from the NFL in this regard, since project management teams have many of the same opportunities—and challenges—after each strategic project.

Begin with a thorough post-mortem. Like football players watching a replay of the big game, your Project Team’s members can learn much by examining completed projects. This will help your team understand where it’s performing well and which areas need improving.

Shore up weak areas. Look for ways to fill skill and knowledge gaps, such as providing additional project management training to existing team members or bringing new professionals onto the team who already possess experience in specific areas. Depending on the skill set you’re currently missing, an external project management consultancy may also be a good choice to fill the need on future projects.

Capitalize on your strengths. Every team is great at something, so make the most of what you do well. If a team member has significant experience in a particular area, have them mentor others in the group. If the team possesses more purchasing or contract negotiation expertise than is common, for example, perhaps you can redirect the outside resources normally allocated to those disciplines to areas where they’re more needed.

Celebrate. Enjoying success—particularly after a large, complex, or high-stakes project—is a very tangible benefit PMs reap for all their hard work. Take the time to not only acknowledge your team’s achievements both publicly and privately, but also encourage them to mark the occasion with a small party or gathering. And like football’s Vince Lombardi Trophy, some organizations award a little something to project team members to remind them of all they have accomplished.

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