Project Management

5 Lessons Learned in Project Management for 2016

As the New Year’s resolutions begin to fly and hope is restored for a better tomorrow, now is the time for reflection on the past year and how well things went. In A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, Elizabeth Harrin shares five of the lessons she learned in 2015 that she will carry into 2016.

Five Lessons Learned in 2015

  1. Success planning is imperative.
  2. Uncover your support network.
  3. Agile waterfalls actually work.
  4. Retain lessons.
  5. Multitasking is not productive.

Before you can leave your current position, you will need to find a person to take your place, and for that, you will need “success” planning. It is an arduous task, but you need to find the right person either inside or outside the organization. After you have identified the right person to take on the new role, you must adequately train and groom them for their future role as your successor.

The fastest way in which to grow your career is to network, and for that you need to find people who are doing the same or similar things you do. Make the effort to reach out and connect with people and build your professional list of contacts.

As for agile waterfalls, they do indeed do their job:

We need Agile waterfalls, and these work. Iterative project plans, with short build times and little, phased waterfalls, help mitigate risk and deliver benefits faster. They work best with a customer embedded in the project team.

If that sounds Agile-y it is, but you can adopt that approach even in a traditional waterfall environment, and you’ll see benefits.

It is one thing to learn something, but it is another to actually retain this knowledge and progress forward in a better fashion. As a whole, project management struggles to actually implement lessons learned, so change that.

Lastly, multitasking kills productivity. It is important, when you have downtime, to be able to take a moment and breath, even in the meager 30 seconds it takes your computer to turn on. A Stanford study reveals that people who work in an environment with a multitude of electronic channels have short attention spans and poor memory. Learn to slow down and allow your brain even 30 seconds to recharge.

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