Yeah, yeah, we all know how successful New Year’s resolutions are … but the chance to start the year with a fresh, or at least a renewed  approach, is always appealing. So keeping with the spirit of New Year’s traditions, here’s the 12 promises we think every project manager should make to them themselves.
1. Plan. Plan, plan, plan, plan, plan. Yes, every project has a plan, but don’t forget to create a plan for your portfolio, your programs or your roadmap. And don’t let it collect dust. Plans are meant to be changed so take it out and update it when it needs to be revised.
2. Preparation. Don’t be skimpy on the time you spend preparing for the start of your project. Spend time with key stakeholders and team members to get the foundation pieces of your project (Project Plan, Work breakdown Structure, Project Initiation Document) in place.
3. Processes. Create or document your processes. Projects and life is so much simpler if you have a process to follow. This becomes part of your own project methodology and will totally boost efficiency for you and your team.
4. People. Make sure you keep the whole team informed of project updates. You may not think everyone needs to know everything, but your expert team members may spot impacts, risks or costs that could get overlooked.
5. Produce reports. This is how we track project performance. If you are monitoring your project and producing reports based on key metrics, then you will know if there’s trouble before you go over the cliff.
6. Pace yourself. Project management is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It’s very easy to put in long days managing or fretting over a project. Try to get in a work out in the morning or take a walk at lunch to get the energy and focus you need to stay on top of everything and think clearly.
7. Passion. If you aren’t fully committed to the project and its outcomes, how are you going to keep your team motivated and performing, especially if it’s a lengthy project or you hit a slump.
8. Progress. When you pass a milestone in the project, communicate it. Everyone likes to see progress and know their efforts are helping to move the project closer to completion.
9. Peacekeeper. As a PM, you are dealing with many different personalities and relationships throughout the lifespan of your project. Knowing how to deal with stakeholders, team members, contractors, vendors, or other interested parties requires good negotiation and people management skills.
10.  Phase Management. At the end of each phase, make sure the deliverables have been met and the stakeholder reviews and signs off before the next phase of the project starts.
11. Post Mortem. Hold a review at the end of every projects to capture what worked well and what didn’t so you can use these learnings on your next project.
12. Party! When the project is over, don’t forget to celebrate this success and thank all your team members for their contribution.