Dec 15th, 2020


Part 5: Finish Strong

  Written by: Jesse LaDousa, Chief Operating Officer

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Last week we discussed embracing change and turning it into a positive for your project(s). This is imperative to the success of any endeavor because change is inevitable, and we must get comfortable with adjusting our approach and expectations.

This week I want to focus on finishing a project and some aspects that are often overlooked. If you are successful in embracing these aspects, you will see considerable benefits in both your current project and future engagements. Most of us have more on our plates than we can possibly get through. This means that as a project ends, it is very easy to simply jump to the next set of work and leave the current project behind. We often do this before the current project is complete in order to get a head start on the next one.

However, there are several things at the conclusion of any project that require focus and priority. Ensuring these items are completed will not only wrap up your project successfully but also put you in a position to adjust your tactics for the next set of work.

The main thing we often overlook at the conclusion of a project is the completion a project-level retrospective. While we may have done sprint retrospectives all along the way, this last retrospective is a chance to look at the project as a whole and take some time to evaluate the outcome. We can look at more global questions during this retrospective such as:

  • Can we put measures on the outputs we defined?
  • Did the project outcome meet the stated objectives we drafted up front?
  • Were there additional objectives identified during the project?
  • Did the architecture meet the needs we believed it would?

Most importantly we can look back at each of the sprint retrospective actions the team defined and see if they were met. It’s a great time to discuss project-wide improvements that could be brought forward to the next project. While all retrospectives are important, this one will allow you adjust future project work to ensure learnings are carried forward and turned into actionable improvements.

The final key to finishing a project strong is to celebrate. Completion of a project, or even major releases within a project, are big deals. The team worked hard and put a ton of effort into ensuring delivery was successful. It’s imperative as project leaders that we stop and recognize all this work. We must take the time to celebrate the outcome and ensure our team knows they are valued, and we are proud of the work that they’ve done.

Look back, learn, take actions to improve, and celebrate. Every time!