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With the end of 2017 rapidly approaching, the thoughts of many in the IT industry turn towards successfully completing any outstanding project work before the New Year. If accurate project planning and hard work are the norm at your company, it becomes easier to ensure all timelines are met.

On the other hand, the holiday season – especially the week between Christmas and New Years – makes it difficult to inspire the best effort from your team.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help your team complete its 4th quarter project list by the end of the year. Hopefully, these insights help lead to year-end bonuses for everyone!

Tip #1: Front Load the Project Task List

When building the initial project schedule, try to front load most of the important tasks so they are complete before Thanksgiving weekend. Once the holiday season is in full force, expect less time to be available for extra work by your project team. This same rule applies to your business stakeholders, as distractions conspire to siphon time from their schedules as well.

Of course, this doesn’t mean to shut everything down for the last 5-6 weeks of the year. Proactive scheduling focused on October and November ensures the overall productivity of the team doesn’t suffer simply because of the Holidays. In short, aim for the week before Thanksgiving for any important critical path milestones.

Tip #2: Hold Holiday Office Parties Offsite and Afterhours

Sure, December is arguably the most festive month of the year, as parties and other revelry hamper any attempts to keep your office productive. As such, consider scheduling your company’s holiday office party for an evening or weekend timeslot, while holding it at an offsite location. Since distractions abound throughout the month, keep the office’s business hours focused on meeting project deadlines.

Tip #3: Incent your Team with Project-based Bonuses

The old-fashioned project bonus still provides a great way to incent your team to successfully finish a project by the end of the year. Offering comp time to be used in the next year helps to boost the number of hours worked on the project, without incurring any extra costs in the current year. Leverage this final idea to still ensure meeting the project deadline date should any extenuating circumstances put its successful delivery at risk.

Are you looking for top Project Managers or looking for a new Job?

When you need additional advice on building a productive software development team at your company, talk to the talented recruiters at The Ceres Group. As one of the top technology staffing agencies in Boston, we offer great candidates able to contribute to your success. Contact us today or search for a new job.

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