I’m a firm believer that holidays offer excellent opportunities for anyone to show off their amazing skills in project management. We’re talking shock and awe, my friends!
Take for instance that fast-approaching day in mid-February. Just in case you didn’t take the hint the day after Christmas when some of your favorite local businesses stocked the candy and card aisles with enough pink and red hearts to make your eyes ache, there is still time to make Valentine’s Day the love (or loathe) fest of your dreams.
Whether you’re overdue for a kid-free night out with your plus one, hoping to make an unforgettable impression on your crush, or looking to celebrate with friends, these basic project management tips can help you keep V-Day from turning into a massacre!
Having a Plan is Sexy
Ok, sexy may be a stretch, but great projects don’t plan themselves. Even if you’re running short on time, it helps to identify what you want to do and when everything needs to be done. Waiting until the last minute often results in stress, excess spending, and unrealistic expectations. No matter what your plans are, putting a bit of thought into it increases the likelihood of project success.
Expert Tip: Think through your back-up options just in case your well-thought out idea for the perfect restaurant/flowers/chocolates/wine/tickets/extravagant jewelry does not go as planned. This is Risk Management, and it is your best friend!
Keep Calm and Budget Accordingly
The reality of having to work within your means can be a funsucker if you are trying to deliver a Cristal plan on a Boone’s Farm budget. This is where knowing your stakeholder(s) can be pivotal to making wise money decisions. If your special someone is more into urban axe throwing and food-truck fare, that romantic candlelit dinner at an exclusive locale and two dozen long stem roses may fail to meet expectations.
Expert Tip: Being budget-conscious doesn’t have to be boring. If you can’t afford an expensive Down with Love pub crawl with your friends, offer to host a Valentine’s potluck. Great memories don’t necessarily have big price tags.
Want to know the secret of all amazing event planners? Communication. They know exactly what is going to make their client happy because they ask rather than assume, then they verify what they heard, and then they make sure every person necessary to the success of the project is clear on their role, the objective, and the timing. Communicating rather than assuming helps prevent that awkward moment when your special someone runs away yelling obscenities because they did not appreciate your thoughtful surprise (true story)!
Expert Tip: Discussing ideas and making plans with your Valentine can be fun and keeps everyone on the same page. However, if your date is more into surprises, making sure they have a schedule for the evening on when things are happening/what to expect will give them ample time to prepare and keep things running smoothly.
Don’t Lose Your Head
When executing a project, it can be tempting to get lost in the details and forget to enjoy yourself. Hiccups happen, and backup plans may have to be considered. This doesn’t mean the project failed! The worst moments can easily become great stories and cherished memories if you keep perspective and let yourself laugh a little.
Expert Tip: A relaxed leader is a confident one. If you’re able to take any missteps in stride, the chances are you’ll be more admired for your perfect attitude than your ability to plan the perfect night.