How does time of year impact project management and delivery?

Insights | 06 February 2018

It’s hard to believe it’s February already and we’re back in the swing of a new calendar year. But what does this mean for project management and delivery?

That means it’s seven months into any projects started in the new financial year, with five months to go until the next one starts.

While it may seem like a softer consideration, time of year plays a big role in keeping projects and programs on track. Project delivery plans are only as good as the people who manage and deliver them. Energy and motivation levels are a key factor in project delivery success, so it’s well worth monitoring what’s happening in your teams, and the external factors likely to impact them at different times of year.

After all, it’s not just about how individuals perform in a company but how the collective team and company is doing because that is what we know as company culture, and its culture that drives success.

So, what does the Australian year look like and what do you need to consider?

January sees planning for the calendar year. A revisit of financial year plans – which may lead to some replanning. Project teams are relaxed with renewed energy and grand ambitions.

Suddenly it’s February, the year has kicked off and the next stop is full throttle. If you have unhappy team members, now’s a time when proactive churn occurs – full of new year’s resolutions, these people are ready to move on.

March sees 90-day sprints concluding and we’re heading into the final quarter of the financial year. It’s the last chance to change tack to keep something on track before closing the books in June.

April, with its public holidays aside, is a time when great progress can be made – momentum is typically high.

Plans for the new financial year are prepared in May, budgets are drafted and submitted, so it’s a time when reviews are also conducted to help support major business cases.

June – Winter has kicked in, and people are suddenly booking annual leave to ensure they don’t lose it in the end of year changeover.

July sees new budgets allocated and a whole new kick off commences. Expect change around now.

From here on in it is winter for a few months, people are off for a week here and there enjoying the snow season (cue broken limbs and winter coughs and colds) or for longer to enjoy the warm weather in the Northern hemisphere. This can often leave you under resourced so it’s a time to watch out for deadlines slipping.

Before you know it… spring is here.  Teams are tired and there is often a renewed wave of people looking at new roles before the end of the year.

In October the end of year is in sight, but it’s a time when there’s still a lot of heavy lifting on projects.

And that’s largely the ten-month Australian marathon year done and dusted – Melbourne Cup anyone?

If you need help to plug the gaps, keep things on track throughout the year and get better results from your projects, programmes and PMOs, we’re here to help, get in touch on 1300 70 13 14. And don’t forget our range of project management training and certification courses.

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