14 Dec Avoid Being Bob Cratchit this Christmas
By Christine Brown, Wednesday 14th December 2016
The countdown to Christmas is well underway with children (and some adults) eagerly opening advent calendar doors counting down to the big man making his way down the chimney. And if the excitement of Christmas parties and stresses of manic last minute Christmas panic buying when you realise you’ve missed someone off the list weren’t enough, there is still work to be done at the office!
It’s not unheard of for some companies, who I shall leave unnamed, to release tenders with a deadline that falls flat on or next to the festive season. More than once I’ve had a deadline of Christmas or Boxing day – one of the perks they don’t remind you about when working for international companies is that not everyone celebrates the same holidays, and even if they do they may set a deadline for an inconvenient time to have it ready for their review on their return from the festivities.
Work life balance can get out of whack for everyone at one point or another, make sure that doesn’t happen this season by getting ahead of the game and closing off as much as you can as early as possible. This might involve getting a little more authoritative with your team as they may be difficult to motivate when their minds are on whether or not to ask Auntie Doris round for the Christmas Eve party this year after the scene she caused last time. Try these tricks to keep the project on track to finish in time to relax with a Christmas tipple:
• Divide and conquer – like the elves working hard on the millions of presents for Santa’s deadline, many hands make light work. Review what input is needed for the bid and source resources from the relevant teams in your Company to add their input to their designated sections.
• Set clear time lines – Explain the fact that this MUST be completed by a set date, set milestones such as first drafts to be sent to you by one date, reviews complete by another. Have everyone adding input confirming they can adhere to completing their allocated tasks by these dates and if they can’t help, to source additional resource for them.
• Don’t let them get distracted – Much easier if you are based in the office with them so you can pop over to see how they are getting on, however if they are based on the road or in another office make sure to set regular team update calls on the progress made as well as checking in with each of them individually. Find a balance that keeps them focused but doesn’t interrupt them too much when they are actually getting on with it.
Lastly, when everything has been submitted, make sure to celebrate with the full team who helped you get there, and have a very Merry Christmas!