Project Management: Groundhog Day Style

ground hog day project management post image

Posted by Ariella Saucier on February 02, 2017

Is it 6:00 a.m. again? Do you hear the same wake-up song on the radio – “I Got You, Babe”? Does anyone even set their alarm on a clock, let alone to wake up to the radio…?

We couldn’t imagine living in a time-loop, repeating the same day over and over like Phil Connors covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, in the 1993 movie of the same name. But, there may be something about redundancy, routine, and consistency that leads the way to success in project management.

While every day is definitely not the same, every project is different, and every request has different needs, there’s value in having a routine when communicating with your team, moving projects along, and meeting expectations. In project management, it’s all about meeting deadlines and providing a high-quality product within budget.

There are always several phases involved in any project. On a daily basis, All Around Creative works on campaigns involving illustration; identity branding; website development; planning, developing, and executing marketing campaigns, and more. Even given the breadth of project types, the actual managing of these projects seldom varies. In fact, there are a few routine tasks that are important parts of our day: review, meet, and communicate.

Review

Truth be told, we have lists upon lists upon lists: a Master Project List, Programming Team Status List, Design Status List…the list of lists goes on. I start out the day reviewing emails, project management tools, and updating our lists – that’s what moves everything along. Continually reviewing and knowing the project status and anticipating any hiccups along the way is what makes for seamless delivery.

There are various points in a day that are best for reviewing, whether that’s reviewing a list, reviewing a particular project, or some combination. To be productive, depending on your workflow, try to find blocks of time within a day that are meant for specific items. Schedule your day so that you can optimize your time. It might be: review emails in the a.m., after lunch, and then again in mid-afternoon; review the progress of projects once in the a.m. and then in the afternoon, etc. Find a rhythm that works for you.

Meet

Regular meetings keep moving projects along – and more importantly, they keep teams on point, accountable and informed. Meetings keep everyone updated and offer an opportunity to provide background information and feedback that help you meet or exceed project expectations.

Holding meetings to discuss challenges that teams are facing offers an extra opportunity for communication and collaboration. This communication ensures that deadlines are met and budgets are not exceeded. Keeping the communication process open helps to anticipate any needs that may arise.

Communicate

Communicate constantly – yet effectively. Between responding to emails and conducting meetings, it can become easy to communicate regularly while still missing the important part of being effective. Clearly stating your expectations and goals will help to set the foundation of successful project execution.

Ritual & Routine Are Beneficial

You may think, “Oh no, not this again,” but keep an open mind about creating rituals and routines – they have a place in good project management. Even if you’re not a morning person, remember that how you start your day sets the tone for future success. Many highly influential people have shared that having a morning routine is the cornerstone for their success – check out this article on Business Insider for more.

Looking for other common characteristics that successful entrepreneurs share? This article from Entrepreneur agrees that having a plan, getting and staying organized, and following-up constantly are all a part of a foundation that leads to success.

Ariella Saucier, Project Manager at AAC

Ariella Saucier
Project Manager