Now that the holidays are behind us, we might be thinking about how we can get more enjoyment (or at least less stress) out of next year’s festivities. As you’re doing your holiday post-mortem, it’s worth pointing out that a couple of takeaways from your personal life are also relevant in a Project Team. Check out these 2 tips that apply equally to work and home.
1 – Assumptions aren’t your friend. Do you assume your aunt knows there weren’t enough chairs for everyone, and so will buy a few more before the next holiday season? Be careful with that—she was so busy passing out goodies she may not have realized why people were standing around. Too often, project teams also make a number of assumptions that lead them to repeat the same mistakes. Before each member compiles their own action plan for improvement, be sure the team has given input as a whole on what needs to be changed on the next go-round. That way, you aren’t assuming that something is being addressed when it isn’t.
2 – Communication is key. Good communication often goes hand in hand with dumping your assumptions. Did tempers flare when someone was late to the holiday dinner? Perhaps they didn’t receive up-to-date directions. Mistakes can also happen in project management if the team, its stakeholders, and collaborators aren’t clear on all aspects of the project. If you think the team’s files are ready for purging, confirm that others are in agreement before filling the shred bin. If you’re taking the lead on updating the master contact list, let people know so they aren’t duplicating (or undermining) your efforts. Begin by talking about what went wrong and where improvements can be made, so each person can communicate concerns and expectations before an action plan is developed.