Final things to do before leaving for Christmas – project manager edition
It’s almost that time of the year when everyone downs tools for a well-earned holiday.
Like the rest of the Southern Hemisphere, we’re heading into Summer here in New Zealand, so our time off is longer than most.
Whether you’re leaving for a few days, a few weeks or even longer, you want to ensure that you leave your projects in good condition. There’s nothing worse than returning to work after a relaxing break to find everything in chaos or that you can’t remember where you left off.
Here are five tips to help you leave everything in good order so you can hold onto your holiday feeling once you return.
Ensure your team has their leave entered before heading off on holiday.
Double-check that there are no clashes, no changes you missed and that your forward workload is covered.
Don’t forget to enter your own leave; if you are gone longer than your team, make sure they know what to do until you get back. You can even schedule an email to remind them of tasks when they return.
Out of office
Don’t forget to set your out-of-office messages on your email and phone before you go – and be sure to spell-check them as well.
Ensure you let your suppliers and customers know when you will return from leave and whom to contact in an emergency.
Remember to get all invoices and expenses paid or authorised before you leave. No one wants to be left short over the holidays.
Ensure you also promptly submit invoices to your customers, as people often close their finances off earlier than usual.
Unless it’s really critical, make sure your project tasks are paused.
Identify tasks your team can work on as soon as they get back, especially if you will be off for longer than some of your team members.
Understand the impact all your team members have on the schedule, and let your stakeholders know if dates are going to slip.
Get all your reporting up to date so that you know exactly where you left off when you get back.
Also, check your reporting cycles for any reports that are due shortly after you return – maybe you can get some of those reports pre-prepared to minimise your workload and stress when you return from your holiday.
Our top tip is to take the time to sit back, relax and unwind during your break. Recharge the batteries, spend time with the people you care about and come back refreshed and ready to rule your projects in the New Year.
If you’re looking for some more Christmas cheer check out our 12 days of project management video for a humourous take on the 12 days of Christmas song. If video’s not your thing, we have a blog about why Santa Claus is the ultimate project manager.