5 tips to guarantee fulfillment on your next project (even if it's a complete failure)

Fulfillment is where you find itAs I’ve mentioned in some of my recent posts, I tend to get hung up on the big picture. And because of that, I tend to overlook smaller successes. Or I downplay them.

A change of perspective is in order.

So, here are 5 tips on how to focus on the successes as you manage your next project. All guaranteed to bring you fulfillment.

  1. Solicit feedback on your last project.
    No doubt, you screwed up some things on your last project. Maybe you didn’t communicate enough. Maybe you were overly confident on the timeline. Maybe your meetings ran long. Chances are, there was something. And likely someone will tell you. So go back to the folks on your last project. Get some feedback. Then, from the feedback, pick one or two things that you’re going to do better this time. Nail those? Satisfaction guaranteed. Bonus points? Go back to the people on your last project after you complete this project. Show them how you’ve improved based on their feedback.
  2. Create a project estimate.
    Most folks working on the corporate side never have to build an estimate. I’m a firm believer that building these help you define scope and assess progress. So build one. Take a realistic cut at the hours. Then double them. Trust me. Also figure the employee salaries into rough “hourly” figures for each participant. Then multiply them by 150%. This is close to what the company would be paying an outside consultant. Can you do better? I bet you can. And I’ll bet you’ll feel extremely satisfied telling this to your superiors when the project completes.
  3. Deliver the portfolio-worthy element.
    As I’ve said before, you need to make every project a portfolio piece, even if it’s for a seemingly small detail. By focusing on your portfolio needs with laser precision from the outset, you’re sure to meet your goal, feel a warm glow inside, and have a nice portfolio piece, to boot.
  4. Establish benchmarks.
    The organization is going to be better for your having completed this project, right? Prove it. Take a reading on the status quo. Record the benchmarks that currently exist. That way, when the project completes, you’ll have tangible data for showing the organization how much better it is for having put you in charge of the project.
  5. Invite the oddball.
    I can’t recommend this one enough. Every project has room for the outlier. The person who doesn’t really belong. The person who could be so detached from the day-to-day processes that they actually have the vision to solve your problem. Invite the person you would never invite to your project. You know the one. Engineers? Invite marketing. Marketing? Invite finance. Finance? Invite HR. Get a different viewpoint in there. That person is going to learn something. And he or she is going to make you think. So you’ll learn something. Nothing much more fulfilling than that. And when your boss asks why he or she is on the project team just give them a “You’re kidding right?” and walk the other way.

Again, it’s not always about hitting it out of the park. Sometimes, the bunt or the sacrifice fly can make all of the difference. This is a marathon. Not a sprint.

About Rick Turoczy

More than mildly obsessed with the Portland startup community. Founder and editor at Silicon Florist. Cofounder and general manager at PIE. Follow me on Twitter: @turoczy
This entry was posted in Fulfillment, Perspective, Project, Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

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