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Reinvigorate your project

Michelle LaBrosse
November 21, 2012

Starting a new project is exciting but six months—or perhaps six years?—down the track there’s a natural loss of enthusiasm. Here are five ways to reinvigorate your project.

The definition of reinvigorate is: To put vitality and vigour back into someone or something. Sounds pretty easy, right? Where exactly do you find this extra vitality and vigour? How do you determine that someone or something is lacking said vitality and vigour? And what is the process to insert vitality and vigour into that someone or something?

If that something is your life and the projects that make up your life, here’s help.

1. Re-evaluate
Do you have a project in your life that has more parts lacklustre than vigour? The first step is, don’t beat yourself up about it. There might be a reason that you have lost your motivation around this particular endeavour. Find out the ‘why’ of doing the project and ascertain if you still have the same motivations and passions to complete it. If you don’t, then allow yourself to toss the project and do something that better fits who you are today.

2. Re-tool
How do you feel when you don’t have the tools you need to accomplish a task? Perhaps the complete opposite of invigorated? That is how your project team will feel if they have a clearly defined task and deliverables, but don’t have the tools to reach their objective.

Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to find out if there is a capability problem on your project team, as your team members with the issue may not even know that they have a problem. The solution may be advanced technology, further education on the domain subject, or training on systems and procedures. Once the person has the tools they need, they will have a clear path to their objective and be reinvigorated about their part in the project.

3. Regroup
Have you every felt like you or your project team were losing momentum on a project, and it was hard to pinpoint why? Come back to the project agreement that you created at the beginning, and remember the overarching goal that dictates your day-to-day activities. It’s also important to acknowledge how your project goals fit in with the strategic direction of your organisation. When your project team knows the purpose behind their actions, it will have passion and conviction about the project as a whole.

4. Reapply the basics
As we get into the depths of a project, sometimes we can forget to do basic project management practices. What is interesting is that it is often the most experienced project managers that fall to in the trap of slacking on basic project management techniques. As you gain more experience, it can be easy to think that you are ‘too good’ for the basics. The fact is that as projects get bigger and more complex, it is imperative that we stick to basic good project management practices, such as getting stakeholder buy-in and documenting lessons learnt, in order to keep the project on track and on task. Reinvigorate your project when you get back to the basics that made you a great project manager in the first place.

5. Repeat
Henry Adams once said: “Chaos breeds life, while order breeds habit.”  It is natural for a project to become disorganised and for team members to lose their motivation. It requires the influx of energy to create order out of chaos, and to create an invigorated project team. Make a point to shake up your project team periodically with the tips mentioned above to provide an influx of vigour and vitality into the projects in your life.

Have a fantastic and invigorating day!

Co-authored by Kristen Medina

Michelle LaBrosse
Michelle LaBrosse (PMP) is one of the Project Management Institute's (PMI) 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the World and the founder of Cheetah Learning, a former PMI Professional Development Provider of the Year. She boasts a background in engineering and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner President Managers (OPM) program, as well as a prolific writer and educator, having authored Cheetah Negotiations, Cheetah Project Management, Cheetah Know How and Cheetah Exam Prep as well as numerous articles in publications worldwide.
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