Constant improvement – what we’ve learnt

The past month I’ve been working with some colleagues on what we can improve in our daily lives and every week discussing what we’ve been able to achieve and whether it was good/ bad etc. It’s been really interesting to see the improvements that we’ve been able to make to improve our lives not only as Project Managers but also as colleagues and individuals. Here’s a collection of some of them:

  • Improving e-mail communication with stakeholders
    1. They decided to have a brief chat with their stakeholders about what improvements could be made and if there was anything different that they could do
  • Different questions to their team
    1. After watching my webinar they decided to look at the questions that they were asking their team and if it could be adjusted.
  • Time Management
    1. They decided to timebox the activities that they were doing to see if they could manage their time better. They said “I started with 10minute timeboxes for common activities like E-mail checks, ‘breaks’ for getting coffee and started to look at where I could improve my efficiency during my day. It was astounding to see how much ‘wasted’ time I had! After a week of timeboxing, I really started becoming stricter with myself and I’ve really improved how much work I can do in one day”.
  • Team communication/building
    1. They had a few issues with team building and working with some difficult personalities so they decided to try and see what they could improve in their team communication and helping build a team. They decided to use a ‘trick’ that they learnt from their child and using a “Peace Table”. A Peace table is where you can talk through disagreements. There’s an object used (in this case a coffee cup) that indicates who can speak, so they can talk it out and come to an agreement/solution. This helped to work through some team disagreements and helped build a stronger team
  • Leaving on time
    1. After working a lot of overtime, this PM decided to try and leave on time for a week and not do ‘one more thing’ before they left. They said that it really helped them with their work/life balance because they had time to do sports in the evening or spend time with their family.
  • Personal development
    1. This Project Manager had been putting off attending a course and doing some personal development because they had been so busy with their work so every week they decided to do some webinars/develop personally on topics they wanted to research/learn about. This included attending some seminars and networking events held by industry organisations.
  • Work/life balance
    1. After a really intensive few months with their project going live, they wanted to try and re-establish a better work/life balance. This included taking some vacation days but also not replying to emails in the evening/weekend. They said it was tough for the first few days but after a week or so, it became more of a habit.
  • Listening
    1. One thing that Project Managers need to do is listen but some of us aren’t very good at really listening to what we’re told or accepting what we’re hearing. This Project Manager wanted to work on listening to their team and what they were trying to say

Why don’t you try doing this? What small little improvements could you make this week to improve yourself or your life as a Project Manager. Let me know what you do!

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