Between Diwali and Christmas many of us will be planning to take a break from work. As a project manager, you are an integral part of the team so you have to make sure your project runs smoothly. Where it is not only for project managers but for developers or testers or any other team members who will need to make sure that things run smoothly in their absence so that they can enjoy their vacation fully without any interruption. Below are some tips to help you keep your projects running as smoothly as possible and to ensure you get no urgent or emergency calls.
- Update Your Schedule and get it online: The project plan is a very important element in your day to day life so you have to make sure that your project plan and schedule is up to date. Check for any milestones or deliverables during your leave period and at the same time you have to make sure your project plan is online and available to you as if you lose access to it, you will have a hard time to track the item or task.
- Check Company policy on data access: Different companies have different policies on data access or working remotely or checking details on phone so you have to make sure you are not accessing details for which you are not authorised to do so remotely or from your friend’s tablet or etc. You have to make sure that you never download files to a machine that is not secure.
- Let people know about your availability & Customize Out Of Office Message: You have to remind about your scheduled vacations a few weeks ahead of time to your regular contacts so they can plan projects and work accordingly. Also at the same time, you have to set up auto response that gives the dates you will not be available and details of alternate point of contacts.
- Conduct a Handover and Set Expectations: Select a person to whom you can handover your project to and cover for you. Provide this person with your most up-to-date documentation. Provide them dates and details of major deliverable. If possible, the person you handover to should be someone already familiar with the project, with like experience and a trusted member of the project team. Also at the same time you can arrange one small meeting with every team member or in group and tell them what is expected from them and communicate deadlines with them.
So these are some of the basic things to keep in mind, so that you can enjoy your vacation without thinking or stressing about work. As a PM or leader we often assume that we are too important to take time off work but there are many potential benefits of taking a vacation, these include: increased creativity, productivity and being healthy. So enjoy!