As part of my typical New Year's retrospective, I'm becoming increasingly obsessed with the idea of anti-resolutions...or the things that we PMs should stop doing. Like immediately. My last post before the holidays had to do with things PMs should stop saying to further diversity and foster inclusion in the workplace. Therefore, I've decided it's only fitting that anti-resolutions should carry into the new year. Below are my project management anti-resolutions for 2018. Let me know in the comments if you will be adopting any anti-resolutions of your own this year!
1. Stop biting your tongue. The quickest way to stagnation is to stop offering new ideas. Sometimes, PMs can get so caught up in our routines of delivering on time and on budget that we don't think we have time to create a cool graphic or experiment with a new deliverable format or streamline a broken process. If you see something that doesn't work, speak up. It doesn't mean you have to incur the additional work of fixing it yourself. At the very least, add it to a parking lot list for your team to tackle during an inevitable future lull.
2. Stop feeling guilty. Project managers are supposed to wrangle the chaos of people, things, and processes into an orderly and cost-effective routine that virtually radiates efficiency. We have to please numerous stakeholders, ranging from our teammates to our bosses to our clients. Therefore, when we make a mistake, we can take it very hard. We should have budgeted for that expense. We should have learned more about how long that process takes. We should have stood firm on that request. The reality is that we can't control everything. We are not super heroes, even though sometimes it feels like we're wearing a cape. Project managers are only human. If you make a mistake, acknowledge it, learn the lesson (and document it, like all good PMs!) and don't let it happen again.
Happy New Year 2018!