Have you ever just wanted to be done with something?
As a project manager, the word “done” can carry two very different meanings. On one hand, it signifies completion and accomplishment, that moment when all the tasks have been achieved and the project is ready for delivery.
On the other hand, "done" can also be associated with frustration. Despite the hard work, challenges and setbacks may still linger. The feeling of true completion remains elusive.
Completion is a crucial milestone in project management. It’s the perfect time for celebrating all the effort put in by the team. The sense of accomplishment and pride in a job well-done can be incredibly fulfilling, and we often look forward to this moment.
However, project management is rarely a smooth journey. The pressure of deadlines and client expectations can add to the frustration, as project managers strive to deliver a flawless final product. We all have limits to our patience, energy, and focus, and there will be times when we feel like we've reached our breaking point.
As a project manager, I have experienced this dual feeling of "done" firsthand. There have been moments when my team and I have completed all the tasks and met all the requirements, and the project was technically complete.
However, I still felt frustrated because there were unresolved issues or challenges that we had to compromise on due to time constraints or other limitations. It left me with a sense of incompleteness, because I knew that the project could have been better.
Here are some strategies that I've found helpful in dealing with the dual feeling of "done":
Reflect on the achievements: Celebrate the milestones and recognize the hard work and dedication of your team. Appreciate the progress that has been made and the value that the project brings to the stakeholders. This is particularly important it there have been frustrations and challenges.
Communicate openly: Tell the team and stakeholders about any lingering issues or challenges. Be transparent about what has been done and what still needs to be addressed. Collaborate with the team to come up with solutions and make sure that all parties are aligned on the next steps.
Learn from the experience: Reflect on the lessons learned from the project and identify areas that could have been handled differently. Use these insights to refine your project management approach and make adjustments in future projects.
Manage expectations: Set realistic expectations with stakeholders about what "done" means. Be clear about the scope, limitations, and potential challenges that may arise. Managing expectations upfront can help minimize frustrations later on.
Celebrate small wins: Recognize the achievements of the team at each milestone and celebrate progress, no matter how small. This can help boost team morale and motivation.
The feeling of "done" can be complex. When you finally do reach that feeling of being "done," whether it's a sense of relief or a bittersweet moment of reflection, take the time to celebrate your accomplishment and appreciate the journey that got you there.
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