16 December 2021 5 min read

6 Steps to Better Prepare Your Company for the New Year


At the end of the year, we usually think mainly about the Winter Break and New Year's Eve Celebration. However, take this time to consider how you can improve existing processes and better support your employees. Check our list of 6 things you should do in December and start a new year with a positive boost!

2021 is slowly coming to an end. It is a perfect time to summarise the whole year, especially since December's weather with longer evenings is not tempting to go outside. However, summaries and analysis of the “almost” last year is not the only thing you can do!

The winter break and the New Year’s Eve celebrations also mean that 2022 is knocking on the door. Along with it, new projects, investments and deadlines. That is why we have prepared a small list of things you can do before the new year begins! They are not overcomplicated and can have a substantial impact on your company!
Discover how to start the New Year with a positive boost!

1. Create Lessons Learned

According to the Project Management Institute, Lessons Learned is the knowledge gained from the process of performing the project. It can be identified anytime throughout project delivery, but will bring the best results if executed at the end of each project’s phase.

Do you think creating lessons learned should be an obligatory step during the construction project delivery?
In real life, when you are in a hurry managing various projects simultaneously and meeting deadlines with some minimal delays possible, thinking about lessons learned can wait. However, if you and your teammates have more free time (for example, at the end of the year), you should definitely give it a try.

How to properly prepare a lesson learned session in your company?

  1. Gather with your team: the point of view of the employees who worked on the projects is crucial!

  2. Answer three key questions: what went right, what went wrong, what could have been improved.

  3. Prepare documentation: write down some essential conclusions and ideas for improvement and find a proper place to store them.

  4. Apply it to your future projects: use the lessons learned in the following investments to improve your work.

Remember, preparation of lessons learned makes sense only if you use the knowledge in practice!

Check out other Archdesk’s Project Management Tips and Strategies and find out how to optimise your work!

2. Review Your Financial Situation

In the previous point, we mainly tackled the topic of project management but let's not forget about the financial aspect! After all, your company's profitability and financial stability are the most crucial indicators.

That is why, whether or not you have already prepared the budget for the new year, take a look at our short list of questions and try to answer them honestly:

  1. Did you manage to close all the projects within the estimated budget?

  2. If not, what caused the additional costs?

  3. Do you know which cost category in your projects is usually the highest?

  4. What are the reasons for that?

  5. Do you feel like you have control over projects (and their budgets) during execution?

  6. Do you think you lack solutions or tools that could make your financial management easier?

We are aware that these questions might seem easy, but actually, in order to answer them correctly, you might need more time or even a consultation with your financial department. The most important lesson here is that if, at any point, you feel that your financial management could be improved, you should not avoid this feeling!

Take this time to rethink your financial processes. Maybe you just need some new ideas on how to improve your financial management? When you’re done, check out our article dedicated to the strategies on how to master your project finance.

However, if you lean more towards online solutions to support your processes, it is also something we can help you with!

Find out more!

3. Organise the things around you

Let’s face it. There’s never a good time to sit and organise your documentation. It is always time and energy-consuming. However, when projects and new investments slow down in December, it is probably the best time to do it anyway.

If your company still performs many processes on paper, it is probably time to think about digital alternatives. In arranging your documentation, you should primarily follow the rules of clarity, usability and simplicity. What does it mean? It means your documents should be stored in an organised way with easy access, so that you can find a specific file without spending hours looking for it in random folders or in the office's archives.

4. Appreciate your employees

In the heat of completing tasks and projects throughout the year, we often do not have enough time to think about our employees. That is why the end of the year is a perfect moment to do it!

What would really matter for your employees is to receive honest feedback about their work. Honest feedback consists of more or less three main phases:

  • Appreciate the effort, engagement and time that your employee puts in their work.

  • Specify which projects or processes you appreciate the most and encourage them to maintain this course of action.

  • If there are some negative behaviours that you want to eliminate, be honest and try to give some advice on how to improve.

Important! According to research conducted by the Harvard Business Review, if employees receive mainly criticism, they tend to decrease their productivity (even intentionally!). That is why the positive aspect of feedback is so important! Of course, sometimes we need to deliver bad news, but then we should be specific and clarify that what we meant was a particular action/process, not the whole employee performance.

5. Make a to-do list

Imagine that you finished your workday, turned off the computer and have the whole evening for yourself. However, there is still one thought bugging in your mind: you forgot to write to XYZ or you were supposed to add this and that number to the report. Sounds familiar?

Thinking about things to do outside working hours is very common. To avoid ruining your days off, make sure you write down all the things you need to do before the holidays. Try to write down even the smallest activities, like writing to a specific person or making coffee supplies for the office. Useful here might be to-do's, though Excel and paper lists will work as well.

One more piece of advice! Did you know that 78% of people forgot their password and had to reset it in the past 90 days? So in order not to be one of them, just for safety reasons, write down your passwords (or even email addresses) and enjoy your free time with a cool head!

6. Plan the Future

Let’s face the unpleasant truth: before you realise and prepare for it, the new year will start with new projects, deadlines, meetings and commitments. So, this is why you should take this time to start planning the future already!

Having all these in mind, consider what objectives you want to achieve in 2022. What are your goals in the short-term? What about the values you want to strengthen within your company? There are no right or wrong answers!

Sometimes, it is hard to come up with ideas right away. That is why you should consider brainstorming with your team or higher management. Ask about their pain points in daily work and possible ideas on how to improve the challenges.

Finally, after seeing the point of view of your employees, consider if your company has the appropriate tools to support your project and business management. If not, maybe it is worth investing in a digital solution, such as a construction management platform that can help you with:

  • Controlling and managing the financial situation of your projects

  • Delivering your projects on time and within budget, and setting quality standards

  • Gathering and storing all your company's information in one place with easy access to it

  • Providing a fast and centralised way of communication with your employees

The future belongs to… according to us, to the people who are not afraid to constantly improve their companies and internal processes. That is why the best thing you can do, at the end of the year, is rethink what your business actually needs and how you can better support your employees. Maybe the answer is investing in construction management software? If yes, it is something we can help you with!

Discover how Archdesk can improve your processes!

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2024-04-16 01:09:00