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7 steps to running a successful long-term project

19th April 2017

You have an idea, you’ve gotten the rest of your team behind you – and they’re excited too. It’s going to be a good project and the results are going to be great, right?



Often the idea behind a project is promising - but only if the project gets completed. Too often projects begin and go on for way too long or, worse still, never end. Sometimes employees or managers don’t even notice the project has lost momentum, and the project disappears never to be spoken of again, leaving the team deflated and unmotivated.

Have a clear vision 

If you have a good idea, but don’t think it through it’ll never come to fruition. Expand your idea with a well thought out pitch or project plan before bringing it to the rest of your team. Think about goals, timelines, workload and who will be in charge. If you don’t you’ll just be wasting your own time and everyone else’s.

Once you have a clear vision, articulate it to your colleagues with passion. Cpl research found that negative colleagues are peoples’ biggest issue with working in an office environment. Be positive from the offset - enthusiasm is infectious.

Don’t be afraid to bug people

Whether you are in charge or not, If someone’s not doing what they are supposed to do ask them why. People forget or get distracted by other projects and deadlines. Often a reminder is all they need to put them back on track and add some focus.

If this has no effect bring it to the attention of your team leader.

Use a productivity system

It’s hard to keep motivated within a team if you have no idea what everyone else is doing, and what level of progress is being made.

Using a productivity system, such as Trello or Asana, keeps the team informed. Using a system also applies pressure, as it’s hard to ignore a growing list of tasks that are visible to you and your team.

Have regular meetings

No matter what system you use, face to face meetings are important. Ideally, have a weekly or bi-weekly meeting to assess any issues and see where everyone is at. Encourage team members to suggest their own ideas and thoughts. Collaboration and creativity invest people in the project and result in a more innovative result. Communication is the most important part of keeping a long-term project going. If some of your team work remotely, arrange Skype meetings.

Adapt as the project progresses

People get sick, budgets change and people change their minds. Adapt to suit these variables, but stick to your project goals. Make sure the entire team knows about the change and understands clearly why they’ve been implemented.

Avoid boredom by breaking routine

Anything spread over a long period – from a film to a work project – gets boring. Avoid boredom by switching routines. Have your meetings outside of the office, have a different person chair your meetings each week, invite feedback from colleagues not working on the project.

Reward achievements & celebrate success

Boost team morale and maintain momentum by praising good work. Simply say thank you and offer genuine praise, or treat team members with a small gift such as cake or coffee.

When goals are reached celebrate and mark the event. This doesn’t mean a big team lunch every time a task is ticked off a list, it could be as simple as saying congratulations at the start of your team meeting.

If you want to keep momentum on a long-term project it’s vital to have a plan and to consider the simple psychology behind motivation. Many of these tips are basic, but it’s often the most basic things that are forgotten.

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About the Author

Niamh Keenan

Content Marketing Executive

Group Marketing

I am a Communication Studies graduate with years of experience in client relations, digital content and print media. Although my experience is varied my goal is always the same. To provide information in an engaging and informative way – whether that be through blog posts, email campaigns to job seekers or social media posts

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