The beginning of the new year is a good time to plot out what you want to accomplish next, but sometimes it’s easy to lose your forward momentum. Below we’ve outlined a handful of the most common hurdles project managers face when mapping out their yearly objectives, and offered some strategies to help you get jazzed for the new year.
You’re stuck in the same place (job, company, etc.). Rather than focus on what you feel you haven’t achieved, look for ways to make the most of where you are right now. Is training available that would provide deeper expertise in your current job? Would a new mentor refresh your interest? Could you expand your network to generate discussions on new topics? Once you commit to doing the best job you can—even if it’s not your dream job—new opportunities will likely come your way.
Project budgets are still too thin. It’s difficult to get revved up about new projects when you know the funding situation is lean, but there are low-cost ways your team can spice things up. Before embarking on the next project, pull together a stakeholder focus group and really involve them. Discuss priorities, ideas on value engineering, and potential challenges. This two-way investment in the project may give you extra energy to be more creative when it comes to saving money.
Does anyone even care if I do my job? If employees don’t receive recognition for their accomplishments, the motivation to perform may evaporate. Before a general malaise grips your Project Team, talk with your department head about setting up a nearly-free recognition program. Something as simple as weekly e-mails announcing the winner of the “got the job done” award can go a long way toward re-engaging employees who are no longer sure their contributions really matter.