How a Project Manager survives the lead up to Xmas

Article by Interesting pty ltd

I think Sydney is unique in that almost all of the population seems to go away on holiday during January (not us of course). As such it seems to put a lot of pressure on our clients to get projects out and complete before the Xmas break. So how do we survive it and make sure by the end of December, clients are happy, and the project team has not burnt out?

Here are some quick ideas:

  1. Contingency: At Interesting we usually recommend to our clients a contingency budget. This additional budget makes it easy for our clients to have a block of time whereby anything new that may come up in the scope or during the project lifecycle can be quickly approved and scheduled with a minimal impact.
  2. Resource Allocation: It's a lot harder to manage several projects across several resources. When I say that I don't mean you plan on having one resource on a project as that is rarely the case, but if one starts a particular task it's not a good idea to pass it to someone else to finish. This concept stretches across creative and development.
  3. Small Project Resourcing: If possible assign the smaller, individual tasks to one or a set group of resources. That way they are easier to manage, and it will reduce the impact on the larger project.
  4. Timelines: On the lead up to Xmas, if there is a chance, remove a small portion of time from key, more senior resources which are versed in multiple disciplines. That way if there are the emergency tasks/unknowns that come up they can be scheduled with minimal impact. Please note this usually needs to happen before the larger project work planned and they are blanketed out for the whole of December and January - which, let's face it doesn't usually happen.

Hope this helps.

I would, as always, appreciate your feedback in the comments on my original linkedin article.