A project manager understands the importance of project momentum, as it has a lot to do with motivation. It goes without saying that the more motivated the team members are, the better the project will be executed and promptly. The holiday season is an ideal momentum to motivate project team members.
In general, there are two ways that a project manager can approach the holidays as project momentum.
First, the holidays as a year-end momentum. Use the last quarter of the year to remind team members that it is good timing to set a good tone for ending the year. The year-end deadline is coming soon, so it is time to do things better and faster, while there is still time.
Second, the holidays as a new year’s resolution momentum. Use the final quarter to remind team members that the New Year is looming. Setting a good tone for starting the year is key to maintain good quality throughout the year. Be specific on the deadlines and the measurable level of realistic quality to achieve in the following year.
As a project manager myself, I include these five activities when approaching the holidays as project momentum. Choose the ones that fit your goals.
Launch the project with optimism
If a new project will be launched in the first month of the new year, start talking about it optimistically, as soon as you receive the confirmation, even months prior. This would create a healthy anticipation.
Celebrate “little wins” on a daily basis
As the project is approaching the final quarter of the year, be even more positive and spread joy and optimism on every little win the team members accomplish every single day. Make a big fuss of every small triumph.
This goes without saying since one of the project manager’s responsibilities is motivating team members to complete their tasks in time. Remind yourself to maintain and even increase optimism, especially in the spirit of the holidays. Having team members wearing Christmas hats, for instance, is a simple gesture but greatly help in creating a relaxed and joyful ambiance.
Create excitement around deadlines
Make deadlines work for your team. Gamify deadlines by making achieving them fun and rewarding. Use small rewards, like foods, praises, and thank you cards. Group several small rewards into one large reward, like after achieving three small ones, they can get a special gift.
Reward team members who rescue a late task
Generally, in a team, there are members who work faster than others. Reward those who have completed their task and choose to “rescue” members who are behind the deadline. Small rewards and recognitions would be sufficient.
The holiday is a special season for all. For project management, it is a significant momentum to boost morale and increase motivation. Use it to the project’s advantage. Be creative with the activities. After all, a project manager is responsible for maintaining positive communication and motivating team members to finish tasks with high-quality outputs and in a timely manner.
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