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The Importance of Treating Each New Project Differently

A project manager is holding a magnifying glass symbolizing searching for new solutions.Every project manager will come across a variety of different projects during their career. As far as I am concerned this is great news, at is keeps the job interesting and makes sure that you learn different skills along the way as well.

However, one of the big risks here is that you fail to draw sufficient distinction between the projects you do. This might not sound like a big deal but there are some very good reasons why you need to ensure that you treat each new project as being different from the ones which have gone before.

Find Different Solutions

The biggest problem I can think of with seeing your new project as a continuation of the old one is that you could end up heading straight onto the same solutions. It is important that you assess all of the different possible solutions available to you. If you see the new piece of work being simply an extension of the old one then the chances are that you will skip part of the analysis work without even really thinking about it. What we need to bear in mind is that even when two projects appear similar on the surface it is likely that they both contain a lot of different issues which mean that different solutions are needed. In fact, if there is a strong connection between the two projects then I would suggest that you approach the analysis stage of the new piece of work by momentarily forgetting about what you did on the last project. Once you have worked out the options open to you then you can go back to thinking about the issues you came across previously before making your final decision.

Keep the Role Interesting

If you see your job as being all about doing one long project then it could become less interesting for you than it should be. It is far better to think about the work as being a series of distinct projects which each offer their own challenges and rewards. If you do this then you should find it to be a role which is a lot more interesting for you. I can’t imagine working for year after year on a set of projects which I view as being essentially the same thing. Even if you work with the same team and with the same group of stakeholders it is still going to be a more interesting role for you if you see that each project brings up its own issues and challenges for you to deal with.

Learn New Skills

It is fairly logical to think that if you work on a series of different projects then you will learn a range of skills on them. This is great news for project managers who are keen to build on their knowledge and enhance their career prospects at the same time. If you think that what you are working on is the same as what you just recently finished then you will subconsciously restrict your chances to learn new things. By seeing it as an entirely new and independent piece of work then you will keep your mind open to the idea of picking up new skills and techniques.

Enjoy Your Achievements

When a project ends the last thing you should want to do is simply jump onto the next one. By doing this you will miss out on the important stage of enjoying your achievements. Each project you complete successfully is deserving of the time needed for you to feel the warm glow of a job well done. This doesn’t have to be in the form of a huge event you organise or something else similarly over blown. However, it is important that you don’t just slip into your next piece of work without feeling good about the one you have just finished. It is far easier to do this if you treat the project which is just finishing as being over and done with before you start on something which is completely different. Personally, I like to move on from one project to another on a regular basis and I think that viewing your new one as being a continuation of the old one is likely to make it feel as though you haven’t really achieved anything when in reality you have done. Try and enjoy the sweet feeling of success before you go on and look at your new project.

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