Set up for future success. As you near the end of a project, learn how to prepare for future meetings, reviews, and post-op, and build in sales and account management for the future.
- According to PricewaterhouseCoopers an astounding 97% of organizations believe project management is critical to business performance and organizational success. One of the ways to highlight great project management is the way you end a project. As you near completion of a project, whether it includes some sort of launch or acquire to finish, is extremely important to finish strong. This helps on many levels, but ultimately can set up the possible next project for future success and in the end, you may have a creative business, but you're ultimately a service business.
So make sure your clients know as you wrap up the project that you're on top of it, grateful for it, and ready for the next opportunity. But before we talk more in depth about the wrap-up, let's also talk about some steps that you should consider building into your project management process. This does spill over a bit to new sales or marketing they are all connected. Build time in your schedule to review the project. You don't have to do this on every project, but it's beneficial to do this for a new client and those projects that went poorly or really well.
For the new client, it gives you a chance to say thank you and get feedback on what went well and what could be improved on. This is key for future development, but also for getting additional work. For a bad project, reviewing the project gives you a chance to learn from it and do some damage control if possible. Especially important if you want to keep working with that client. This step is not easy, but when we have done this it has greatly improved our team and our clients have always appreciated it. And for those that keep working with us, our relationships are so much more open and successful.
From an internal perspective, it helps you look at your communication, software choices, schedule, and team and vendor roles. Who did well? Where are those opportunities to improve? For good projects we tend to go straight to the celebrating, but before you do that spend some time digging in. There's often a lot of gold to be found here. You'll see productive combinations within your team, a solid budget or timeline, a client that is responsive, or great communications. The more you analyze your best projects the more you can start profiling the type of team, client, and process that works best for you.
It's often much more positive and exciting to build from your strengths than your weaknesses. But don't get me wrong, we always have room to manage, create, or communicate better. The most powerful part of this analysis is self reflection. What can you do to manage projects better? Discover what you're best at and most profitable at. What internal combinations of your team worked well? Which need further training or coaching? And what vendors are really committed to what you're doing and fit your culture? The end of the project, when it's all fresh and top of mind, is the best time for self reflection.
Pick some projects you want to learn from. The type of information you discover can dynamically transform your organization from an okay performer to a high performer.
- Determining your project management strengths and weaknesses
- Wrapping up a project
- Making project management a priority for your team
- Identifying challenges early on
- Dealing with client needs
- Reviewing outcomes and processes