Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians, and an early Happy Independence Day to my readers south of the border! These anniversaries provide a good reminder for our respective countries’ residents that although we may have be facing significant national challenges, we are living in two great nations that have achieved significant good since they were founded.
It is the responsibility of project managers (with support from their project sponsors) to provide the same perspective on their projects, especially the very long running ones. While it is a common practice to celebrate the successes and recognize the team when a project comes to a close and somewhat less common to do so at the end of a major phase, there is also morale-boosting value in a modest celebration at the annual anniversary for an active project.
What benefits could such an event provide?
- Recognizing the accomplishments over the past year – team meetings tend to focus on near term activities, issues & risks, so this is a good opportunity to consider all that has been achieved.
- Identifying lessons from the past year and discussing how they could be applied over the next year.
- Reinforcing the project’s mission or desired end outcomes – if there has been staff addition or turnover since the start of the project, it’s a good chance to align the team.
Protracted projects can make stakeholders and team members feel that they are in the midst of fighting every campaign of both world wars, so project managers can use annual anniversaries as an opportunity to re-energize and rally the troops!