Any team will look at a deadline that’s six, nine, or 12 months away and see it as a distant problem. These kinds of deadlines always feel like plenty of time to complete a project.
Yet, those months can disappear quickly. And it’s your job to ensure that your team doesn’t find themselves two weeks away from a six-month deadline with six months of work left to do.
How do you keep your IT on task even on a long project? Use these tips to help stay on track and deliver better results.
Break It Down into Milestones or Sprints
Achieving a goal always sparks motivation. But what do you do if the overall goal is a year or even more away?
While the work completed today will contribute to the end goal, your team need to see results sooner to stay focused. That’s why “chunking” work into milestones (or sprints, if you want to dabble in Agile) wins the day.
When you set milestones, you mark the passing of time in a tangible way. Reaching those milestones equates to an accomplishment and thus boosts morale. Even better, smaller segments of work simplify planning, so you can get the project off the ground faster.
Reiterate the “Why” as You Work
Why are you completing this project? And why does this milestone fit into the end goal?
If you want to keep teams focused and motivated, then you need focus as much on the “why” question as on the task at hand. When team members know why they need to accomplish a task or even why the deadline is what it is, then they will be more likely to see the value, which will stop their attention from drifting to other work.
Give Frequent Feedback
Milestones also make it easier to provide regular feedback to all team members. Feedback offers emotional motivation by boosting our sense of self-esteem. When teams get good feedback regularly, they want to keep repeating the actions that earned those feelings.
Are you looking for the next valuable member of your project team — or even your team lead? Learn more about the RighStone 360 process and find out how we make IT project execution a success.