Project awareness

Avoid starting up/committing to too many things at the same time. Avoid pulling resources away from prioritized goals. Cooperate better with other project members. Make information about project status more easily available. Improve the traceability for others of what has been done and where it has been put. Become more aware of which projects you should and should not get involved in.

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I know what is meant by a project

A project is a collection of tasks that satisfy one or more of the following criteria:

  • Several people are expected to contribute to or are interested in the outcome of the tasks
  • The tasks extend over a longer period
  • The tasks must be completed within a given deadline
I know what is meant by project awareness

Project awareness is the ability to see the work one is focused on in the context of an overall project, and this project's impact on overall goals.

I can recognize the indicators of low project awareness in a team

The following characteristics may be an indication that a team has low project awareness:

  • New projects/initiatives are started without projects in progress having been completed
  • Many projects run in parallel
  • The team members are not expected to actively use a centralized communication platform where the team can communicate and seek out the status of the project and individual tasks
  • New projects are started without assessing or having to answer for how the project is intended to affect overall goals, key indicators or the adherence to key responsibilities
  • Meetings have to be held or individual interviews conducted to map out the status of the overall project
  • People get frustrated because they don't have the information they need to keep track of or report project status to stakeholders
  • It is difficult and time-consuming to unravel what has been done by whom and how
  • Team leaders involve themselves to a large extent in the task-solving of operational projects
I have a solid project awareness 10

Some are only aware that something is a project if the client is a customer (customer projects), and are less aware that something is a project if the client is their own organization (internal projects).

It is common for people to start new work without being aware that they have also started a new project.

Sometimes this is due to low project awareness in general, while at other times it may be due to smaller tasks that develop into a project (without registering that this has happened).

It is common for people to think of tasks they are assigned as belonging to their "my tasks" list, rather than seeing them in the context of the project they belong to.

This makes it more difficult to collaborate on tasks in a project, and to uncover the overall status of a project (because you then have to look up the task lists of several individuals, rather than a common task list for the project).

Justifying a project means being able to defend and explain explain why a project exists.

Project justification usually involves being able to point to an overarching priority for the team like an objective, a performance indicator or a responsibility that the project is designed to influence/take care of.

If you have too few projects running in parallel, you run the risk of having nothing to do if work gets blocked by a third party over whom you have no control.

If you have too many projects running in parallel, you run the risk of having little to no progress on several of the projects because each individual project is allocated too little attention, time and cognitive capacity. Too many projects run in parallel also increases the risk of overload and burnout.