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Heading into the Holidays with your Projects in Order

The holiday season often brings stress and competing priorities that can derail critical projects. Get ahead of the year-end frenzy by proactively streamlining communication, clarifying roles, validating resourcing, recalibrating plans, and building in buffers so your team can relax and recharge.

As magical as the holiday season tends to be, it can also be a highly stressful period for leaders working on critical projects. Timelines accelerate while priorities compete for limited bandwidth. Amidst the flurry of seasonal events and tasks piling up at the office and at home, how do you prevent projects from spiraling out of control?

The key is proactive preparation - taking steps today to align people, processes, and planning so you can actually relax and recharge over the holidays:

 

Streamline Communication

As schedules accelerate leading up to the holidays, communication workflows can become disrupted, leading to misalignment. Set up weekly syncs with project teams to review priority project status, flag any blocking issues, and keep stakeholders informed. Confirm ownership coverage when team members take vacations and verify backups are cross-trained. Stay accessible without micromanaging – empower people but have them escalate when risks emerge.

 

Clarify Roles & Responsibilities

Formally reassign task ownership with start and end dates for periods when team members take vacations. Identify primary points of contact and decision makers for critical processes when regular leads are out. Ensure contingent resources have adequate background context and access permissions provisioned to tools/systems and align on what critical decisions they are able to make. Clearly articulate must-do priorities that cannot slip during the holidays and require continuous momentum. Beyond formal role reallocation, encourage collaboration across the organization and proactively volunteer bandwidth to support peers when you have availability. Make sure you are reasonable in your expectations, as it is a busy time of year for all employees!

 

Revisit Resource Requirements

Changing priorities and tighter deadlines in the final months may alter your staff and skill needs. Revalidate that project teams are still properly resourced relative to their respective project plans. Develop contingency plans if key members unexpectedly must focus elsewhere, and identify channels to source complementary bandwidth if gaps emerge. Vet the capabilities of on-demand staff augmentation partners like Acceleration Point that could rapidly deploy project managers to fill execution voids on a short- or long-term basis. Explore flexible support options that allow you to scale bandwidth up or down based on situational demands.

 

Crunch the Project Plan Numbers

Conduct project plan health checks with each delivery team to reassess the level of effort and durations remaining. Recalibrate bottom-up estimates if assumptions have changed, removing padding if no longer necessary. Clearly separate must-have priorities from nice-to-have items that could slip without consequence and focus energies accordingly. Develop contingency plans for schedule slippage and help teams smooth aggressive delivery curves where possible.

 

Build in Time Pre & Post-Holidays

Recognize projects will move slower leading up to the year-end holidays. Vendors and stakeholders will also be taking vacations, so make sure you adjust plans, tame expectations, and insert buffers appropriately. Upon returning to work, team members may also need to catch up on progress while they were away, which takes time. Ensure you have factored this ramp-up period into your planning cycle.

With some disciplined preparation, you can protect your critical projects and ensure team members can fully recharge without the stress of work weighing on them during the festive season.

Wishing you Happy Holidays filled with joy and prosperity! Let our team know if our project management and business process outsourcing teams could help alleviate your workload as we move into 2024.

Book a meeting with Evan today to get started.


 


Evan Yadeski

As the leader of Acceleration Point's Project Management team, I take great pride in our team's ability to deliver stellar results for our clients. We carefully select and train each outsourced project manager to ensure they have the skills to drive project success.

By combining rigorous preparation, customization to each client, and consistent professionalism, our project managers are able to mesh flawlessly with client teams. I coach my team to keep the client's strategic priorities forefront, address concerns proactively, and establish a reliable track record through prompt milestone delivery.

At Acceleration Point, we remain dedicated to elevating our outsourced project management approach. Our mission is to forge lasting partnerships with clients by providing unparalleled service and adaptability. If you're looking to achieve your critical initiatives, our proven project leaders have the expertise to steer your projects forward. I invite you to explore our Project Management solutions and discover what makes us a truly unique strategic partner.

Please reach out if you would like to learn more about how our services can enable your team to stay focused on core objectives while our professional project managers tackle execution. I look forward to starting the conversation.

Evan Yadeski

  


 

Meet with Evan for 30 Minutes to discover how Acceleration Point outsource project management can help with your team's staffing needs:


Further Reading:

 

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