Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Even though I make them, too often I find myself in the same spot as many other resolution-makers. Resolutions made are often not resolutions kept, as I look sadly at the scale, eat another cupcake, and stare with disgust at the treadmill. But I digress…

What about our business resolutions, though? We all have goals to make our jobs easier and less stressful, while making the company more successful. This can be in any functional area of the business, and is certainly no exception in the area project management.

Improving upon your project management processes can mean higher project profitability, better project scoping and estimation, less failed projects, and less-stressed resources. That’s why resolving to make such improvements to your project management will be a win for everyone!

I asked business leaders who come from a wide variety of professions and industries what their 2018 project management resolutions are. Hopefully these will help you set your goals for the year.

Reduce errors through automation

Chris Denny, Consultant, Trainer & Speaker, Attention to Detail Solutions
The most common scenario is that an individual worker or a company wants to reduce the number of errors made in his work or in a task/system, respectively.

The fastest results typically come through the implementation of a system that is easy to use and creates a more consistent outcome by effectively reducing the requirement for some amount of knowledge. In other words, the system itself — could be a checklist, could be software — automates attention to detail to reduce errors and improve productivity.

Keep better track of project time and resource allocation

Renee Barnes, CEO, ComplyTrain
Our resources are pulled in multiple directions, so prioritization is key. Early on, our team managed through Slack channels and Spreadsheets. But in 2018, I resolve to implement an upgraded project management framework where we can allocate resources and run detailed reports. It’s important to accurately track time and resources so we can better analyze what’s working and what needs tweaking.

Lindsey Havens, Senior Marketing Manager, PhishLabs
Project management is an important aspect of a marketing professional’s job description, so finding ways to improve in this area is important. The biggest downfall of most projects is in the time management of the project. This usually ends up causing the project to be delayed and ultimately means a missed project deadline. Having a clear end-goal and solution to a problem when it arises can lead to successful project metrics and measurable goals to get to a clear finish line.

Mike Sims, CEO & Founder, ThinkLions
As a growing startup, project management has always in some ways fallen on my shoulders as the owner of the business. Since our client base has quickly increased, this has become more and more bearing on my ability to focus on other areas of the business. In 2018, this will all change. Over the last 6 months, we have been training some of our earlier employees to take over the management of our projects. This will add an extra layer between our clients and our executive team, while giving our clients better management – since our growing quantity of projects will now be allocated through several individuals, instead of just one. While it will definitely take some tweaks, in the end, it should give us a better ability to serve our customers; while creating a more scalable structure for our company.

Improve customer onboarding and scoping

Nicole Donnelly, Chief Marketing Officer, SaltyWaffle.com
We updated our services in 2017 and now we need to update the project management side of things for 2018.
The first area that I’ll start in is with our customer intake. We need to optimize the process so that when we bring a customer on board that they feel good about the experience and that we get all of the information that we need to manage their social media. I’ve already started customer interviews to ask what improvements we can make and boy did I get an earful!

The next step is in properly scoping and communicating scope of the project. We need to get this to a “normal” scope that most customers will like. Then we can automate the onboarding, scope, and fulfillment. Part of project management that we need to figure out is to give automated updates to customers at a rate that they feel that we are doing our job. We figured out the technical “how to”, now we need to test timing and content.

Eliminate interruptions

Cristian Rennella, CEO & Co-Founder, elMejorTrato.com
After several days of teamwork, we decided to define a new project management resolution for next year (2018): “We will start working WITHOUT meetings”.

The objective of this resolution is to eliminate interruptions at work as much as possible. A 30-minute meeting not only robs you of 30 minutes of your time, it steals 15 minutes before (you need to prepare) and 15 minutes later (to return to focus on your work). If 5 people go to the meeting, then a total of 5 hours of work has been stolen from the company!

Establish KPIs and measure success

Valerie Koenig, Business Coach & Facilitator, The Alternative Board Hawaii
My number one resolution for myself and for my clients is to use METRICS to measure success, achievement and progress toward goals. I am in love with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs cut to the quick, they eliminate emotional reasoning and go straight to whether a product, service or process is actually working, selling or making a profit. And not just in hindsight – if you track leading KPIs they can tell you if you have enough leads in the hopper to make your sales goals, long before you measure your sales. When there is a negative variance against goals, they tell you to dig to find the root cause, to ask why, to fix. No matter what your strategy, if you don’t have the discipline to apply metrics, you can’t know truly have confidence that you are rowing in the right direction.