As we approach the holidays, here’s a fun blog on how to take the stress out of Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day by using PRINCE2!
In fact, why not take the stress out of every project in your life by learning PRINCE2. Once you have seen how the methodology can help during the holiday period, begin your PRINCE2 journey here.
- Get into the right mind-set. Treat Christmas, New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day as a project with the variables of costs, timescales, quality, scope, risk and benefits to control.
- Break up the preparation and the celebration itself into manageable stages. It will give you greater control.
- Make sure that you have thought through why you, and not another family member, should have everyone over for the holidays. If nothing else, it will give you something to keep telling yourself when the relatives are driving you mad!
- Appoint yourself boss and then design and appoint the team. Define roles and responsibilities clearly. Instead of having one drinks person you could make one person in charge of the cocktails, another in charge of the wines and a third in charge of soft drinks. (This ensures everyone feels wanted and stops people from getting under your feet.)
- We humans have a horrible habit of repeating our mistakes. Reduce the chances of becoming a repeat offender by capturing past lessons from your and other people’s experiences in a PRINCE2 Lessons Log. The Log could be anything, your normal diary or a special book, the point is that your notes will warn you about which of your team should work together and which apart. Distance can make the heart grow fonder!
- Assess what your guests are expecting in terms of end product; it is no good producing a fancy meat-fest if most of your guests are vegetarian.
- Determine the project approach by deciding if every aspect of your holiday festivities will be bought in from a shop and delivered by van, if everyone will be asked to bring a dish or bottle to the event or if you will make everything from scratch yourself.
- PRINCE2 suggests that you think about problems that could arise and how you could fix them. Making a list of neighbours and trades people on whom you can call in case you have an emergency is always handy. Speaking from experience, it’s always good to know who’s got a multi-function microwave large enough for the turkey should your oven break down.
- Communication is always important and especially so during holiday times. Everyone should know what to expect of themselves and of each other. Ask the team to update you regularly about progress and give them someone to go to for help before they come to you.
- Plan everything meticulously. Write down the products that will be produced and stick to that list where reasonable. Change is sometimes for the better but all too often Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebrations fail because of scope creep, where someone thought they could add “just one more little thing” without any consequences. Determine dependencies such as when one activity needs to be completed before another can start. Estimate time, costs and resources required; resources can be physical items but they can also be the skills that people possess, such as the ability to bake the perfect Christmas pudding or entertain the kids.
Season’s Greetings from everyone at ILX Group!