January 16, 2018


Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

How to be a SMART Project Manager in 2018

SMART project managerAt the beginning of every new year people think about their goals and resolutions for the upcoming year. However, by the end of January, most people have forgotten their good intentions and fall back into old habits or routines and tend to do the same things they have always done.

I’m sure many of you have fallen into this trap, but there are always people who seem to have it together. What are they doing differently?



Good practices

Just like project management has been standardized by way of international standards and good practices ensuring consistent delivery and more successful outcomes, there are SMART ways to help you be more productive by keeping to your goals for the year.

Some experts recommend to have a vision by way of setting a personal theme as well as a professional theme for the year. This will take you beyond goals and resolutions and will help you to reach your objectives and become like a “heartbeat” for the year.

Based on your themes, you will still come up with objectives that will help you to achieve your goals and give you the best chance for success. If you don’t plan and prepare to win, how can you expect to win? This is taken from a Zig Ziglar “Born to win philosophy”.

There are numerous productivity experts and books available today that can help you reach higher levels of performance and it’s up to you to choose who to follow and what to implement. As long as you make it personal and you keep referring to your written goals on a monthly, weekly and even daily basis, there’s no obstacles that you cannot overcome.

How to make 2018 a successful year

Lastly, I want to share a wonderful resource on “How to make 2018 a successful year for your projects”, an eBook that was compiled by Elizabeth Harrin, containing ideas and tips from experts and inspiring project delivery professionals on how to make 2018 your most successful year ever? I was also privileged to be featured.

Some common themes that came up repeatedly are:

  1. Agile – if you don’t know enough about it, you need to start learning
  2. How crucial soft skills are for project professionals
  3. Authentic and ethical leadership that will help to get the work done and set you apart from your peers

Enjoy the eBook, take responsibility for your personal and career development and implement those success strategies that will help you to make this year one of the best years ever!

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Why Goal Setting is Important to Project Success

Through the power of goal setting, project managers can set objectives for their teams and watch them accomplish their mission. Goals need to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

There are several benefits to SMART goals, like when project managers outline their expectations by keeping them out in the open. In so doing, they increase the probability of employees and team members being successful by up to 70%, thanks to regular check-ins, updates and group accountability. This statistic is supported by the recent research of Dr. Gail Matthews.

SMART goals help project managers effectively create the focus and drive that employees and organizations need to constantly operate as high performers. High-performing organizations successfully complete an average of over 80% of their projects.

Through SMART goal setting, priorities become clear. There is a clear and specific focus that employees of all levels are committed to. Along with clarity and focus, the motivation of being able to measure progress in light of milestones achieved, further bolsters the positive effects and total results of SMART goal setting.

Discover more on the power of goal setting and the benefits of SMART goals in project management in the following Infographic, as supplied by Brandeis University who offers a Masters Degree in Project Management.


SMART Goal Setting

Brandeis University M.S. in Project and Program Management Online

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