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Finishing Off a Project in Style

A successful female project manager is happy and dancing victoriously at her successful completion of the project.You will presumably put a lot of emphasis on making a strong start to your new projects and carrying on the good work with a good performance in the most crucial sections in the middle.

However, what you don’t want to do is fall into the trap of underestimating the importance of the end of the piece of work. This is the part of the project in which you tie up all the loose ends and leave everyone feeling satisfied. Or at least it hopefully is. If you want to get your project finished in style then here are a few tips to get it done right.

Keep Up the Motivation Levels

As a project starts to wind down it can be easy to lose a bit of interest in it. After all, the really interesting stuff has already passed and you probably know before it is finished how successful an outcome you will have. However, you and your project team need to keep going as strongly as possible until the end. Quite how you do this depends upon your personality and creativity. Maybe you could switch people around onto different roles and get them out of the office to see the real end results of their hard work. If the whole team manages to stay positive and motivated till the end then there should be no nasty surprises lurking there. Even if just one person in them team starts to lose interest it can have a corrosive effect on the rest, so be sure to try and keep everyone happy. A good idea is to get the results out as you achieve them and let your team feel the benefits of positive feedback along the way, instead of waiting until the end to tell them how well they have done.

Don’t Take Your Eye off the Ball

Some companies decide to give you the details of your new project before you finally wrap up the current one. This is a good way of making sure that you are kept busy and get off to a strong start on the next piece of work. However, the big danger is that you take your eye off the ball before the project ends. You need to remind yourself and your team that there are still things to be done until it signed off and handed over. If you think that it is all done and dusted too early then you could have problems ahead. The last stage should be relatively straightforward but there is also the risk that you expect it to be so easy that you switch off completely.

Be Honest with Yourself

Are you entirely happy with the job you have carried out on this project? You might have completed everything that was asked of you but could you have done it any better? You are the person who is best placed to answer this question and getting the right answer will give you a far better chance of being even more successful in the future. Even if the stakeholders and your boss are happy with your work you should still take the time to consider whether you did everything as well as you could have done.  If you try and fool yourself into thinking that there was nothing you could have improved then you have a far smaller chance of actually improving, haven’t you? I like to do this away from the hustle of the office and quite often a bit of quiet reflection on the journey home from work can do the trick. Don’t forget to help your team members reviews their performances as well once the project is over.

Get the Appropriate Sign Off

Finally, once everything is completed you need to get the right people to sign off the project and add their comments to the end of project report. In most cases the stakeholders you have been working with since the beginning will be those who need to sign off the finished work. Having said that, this won’t always be the case. This means that you need to ensure that you have the right people on your list for signing off the project.  These are the stakeholders and team members who know what was being asked of you and can help confirm whether you did it or not. Provided that your original business case was well put together it should be a relative formality to get the content for your project sign off.

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