Spring Clean Season: Time to Improve your Project Management

Linh Tran, Monday 04 April 2016 | Reading time: unknown

Ideally, you should’ve kept things in order all year long so that it’s always ‘spring clean’, but that’s most likely not the case. Just like furniture, projects can get dusty and processes can become inefficient.

Spring – the time flowers begin to bloom, the bees start to buzz and people start to clean their homes. Of course, everyone cleans their homes more than once a year (hopefully), but many use the beginning of spring as a date for a thorough clean. It’s a bit like making New Year’s resolutions, the date is completely arbitrary and you could actually make resolutions anytime, but people somehow like having a fixed date. The same goes for spring clean, it just doesn’t seem right to do it at any other time of the year. Which is why now is the ideal time to take a close look at your projects and analyze whether there is room for improvement or not (spoiler: there is always room for improvement).

Project managers should use the spring clean period to reevaluate and improve their projects. Here are 5 project management areas that could use a good ‘spring clean’:

1. Change your perspective

Sometimes you need to challenge old ways and try to see things from a different perspective. A change of perspective can help you solve problems more effectively and increase your creativity. If you’re more the type to see things from a pessimistic point of view, try to see things the way an optimist might see it. Or try to challenge old view points by playing the devil’s advocate. Some methods you could use are, for example, Disney’s Creative Strategy or the SCAMPER technique.

2. Clear up your communication

Does your team have a coherent communication process? Or is everyone just using the method they like best regardless of whether others in the team use the same method or not? We all know this scenario: You sent an email, but there’s no answer. By coincidence you look into your messenger app, and there is the answer you’ve been waiting for. This is not only frustrating, but extremely inefficient. Spring clean your communication by deciding on a specific communication method and make sure that the team sticks to it. If you’ve decided on email as the main channel, then email should be used for all important project communication.

3. Improve your processes

It’s easier to spot completely inefficient processes than processes that seem to run well, but not as well as they did before. Machines can wear out with time and use, and so do processes. You need to regularly analyze your processes and identify wasteful redundancies in your procedures. Eliminating obsolete steps can help you and your team work more effectively and increase your overall productivity.

4. Inspect your tools

Are all of your tools up to date? Are you using them to their fullest potential? Or are there some tools that are just lying around and collecting dust? Then it’s time to ask yourself whether it’s worth it to fix your old solutions or whether it wouldn’t be better to find and implement new ones. Don’t underestimate the cost of unused software, but also don’t underestimate the additional value using the right software can offer you.

5. Find new team building methods

Monotony and stagnation can be detrimental to even the most motivated team. It’s important that you continue to give your team challenging tasks. You could also try out new meeting and team building methods: host a crime dinner, build a boat or do volunteer work together.  

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