International Project Management Day




Should I still do any celebration if parts of the project didn't go well?

Should I still do any celebration if parts of the project didn't go well?
I've heard it said that sometime in your career in project management you will experience a project that goes completely successfully. I've yet to have that experience. I've been close a few times, but complete success still eludes me. We're all aware of the challenges presented by life on projects: change is a given, stuff happens, and nothing goes as planned. Now fast forward to the end of the project—do you decide not to celebrate the team's efforts just because something didn't go as well as it could?

No! In fact, you should celebrate the fact that there were issues and times of challenge and that the team worked through those times to achieve the results delivered. Every new endeavor involves some risk of failure, and most of the time we overcome that risk to achieve what we set out to do. So celebrate the successes and shortcomings of your project equally. You might find that the team members closest to the problem areas grow the most from the experience. You don't need to highlight the problems, but take the opportunity to reflect on how the team and key individuals reacted, how they recovered from the problem, and the end results achieved. Kimberly Wiefling's article, "Attitude of Gratitude: Celebrate Project Success . . . and some Failures, too!" provides some suggestions for the do's and don'ts of project celebration. Carl Pritchard recommends going even further, to celebrating the inconsequential moments of our projects as well. And our Team Rewards and Recognition Guideline provides ideas, suggestions, and detailed examples for building celebratory activities (and the funding required to pull them off) right into the project plan without feeling corny and over-the-top.











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