What to Take Away When a Project Ends
When a project wraps up, you hope to take away several things. Experience, new knowledge, at least the estimated value of the project –those are all common expectations. However, there are many other things that can be taken away from a project, no matter whether it ended on a positive note or didn’t quite make the expected value projected by management. What are those things?
Chances are good that your project team was all strangers to each other when the project started. Over the course of the project, you all became closer. Hopefully, you all enjoyed one another’s company. You can take those new friends with you after the project, even though most of them will be destined for another project or are headed back to their normal positions within the company. Keep in touch with those people who you’ve grown close to. You don’t have to be drinking buddies, but you can certainly keep in touch through Facebook, instant messaging and more. In a way, the relationships you build over the course of a project are the most valuable things you’ll gain.
For any project manager, regardless of how long you’ve been in the role, one of the most important takeaways from a wrapped project is new knowledge. If you don’t learn something new during your project, then you’re doing something wrong. You should always strive to grow and learn new things – make an effort to learn whatever you can and learn it from anyone possible. That should include your team members, stakeholders, customers, client businesses, suppliers and vendors, as well as anyone else. Everyone has something to teach you, so long as you’re open to learning it.
A Sense of Accomplishment
If your project concluded successfully, you should have a significant sense of accomplishment. You achieved what you set out to do. If your project returned more than the projected value, you have even more cause to celebrate. However, don’t let that sense of accomplishment just sit there – figure out how to add it to your resume. Take your information and turn it into training material for other PMs and their teams. Add your data to your firm’s library. Contribute your success to everyone else, and offer a helping hand to those who haven’t had the same level of success. You might even consider being a mentor for junior PMs within your organization. Share the wealth.
Change to the Organization
Just as every project has lessons to teach you, every project offers a chance for change within your organization. The lessons taught during the project should be used to streamline, modify or completely revamp organization-wide policies. If adopted and implemented in the right way, those changes can offer significant benefits to the organization and its employees.
Every project has an important takeaways. Make sure you’re learning what you should, and that you’re open to new experiences. Don’t neglect the relationships you form, and be prepared to celebrate your success by giving back.