Celebrating and Appreciating Project Accomplishments

Written By: Jennifer Glatz, P.Eng., PMP

July 2, 2019


How do you show your pride and appreciation for your project’s accomplishments?

Canada Day (July 1st) is a day of celebration where all Canadians show their pride and appreciation for this abundant country. After traveling and working abroad for many years, I’ve come to appreciate the phrase from the classic film the Wizard of Oz, “there’s no place like home”. 

After celebrating Canada’s 152nd birthday with loved ones yesterday, it got me thinking about different ways people show their pride and appreciation. Some people see it as a special day to rest and spend time with family and friends, some participate in special events and festivities, and others take the opportunity to learn more about this great country and its history. 

This got me thinking about how we show our pride and appreciation about our projects as well. Have you noticed that some projects make it a point to celebrate on a regular basis, and others just seem to forget? Oftentimes, we get so caught up in delivering the project and then quickly moving on to the next that we forget to plan and take the time to appreciate the team and celebrate the project’s accomplishments.

To remedy this, here are a few steps to consider for your next project.

Allocate Time and Budget in Your Project Management Plan

One of the blockers we experience when it comes to team celebrations is budget. During project planning, consider including a separate line item in your budget and project management plan that specifies a timeline and budget to celebrate both team successes as well as appreciating individual team members. Discuss your plan with your Project Sponsor to get their buy-in to make sure this budget remains protected and gets used appropriately.

Plan to Celebrate and Appreciate Throughout the Project – Not Just at the End

Make it a point to include celebration and appreciation activities throughout the project lifecycle. This could include ideas such as key milestone celebrations, team member of month awards, team building events, or even giving recognition as part of your regular team meetings. Once you determine what ideas you plan to implement, make sure they are clearly defined in your project management plan and schedule accordingly.

Create Opportunities for People to Learn about the Project’s Accomplishments

Go ahead – toot your project horn! Make it a regular habit to spread the word about what great things your project is accomplishing. Like any great marketing strategy, you want to employ several methods to communicate. This could include posters in common areas, utilizing social media, posting on your company’s intranet site, creating a newsletter, or hosting a town hall or gallery walk. Also, creating a project video about progress, key milestones, and the end result is a great way to engage your team and communicate your project’s accomplishments.

Regardless of your project’s size and duration, make sure to consider how to celebrate and appreciate your project’s and team’s accomplishments throughout the project.