How to Make 2022 Your Year for Powerful Project Delivery

What will you do differently in the New Year to improve your project delivery?

Before you answer that question, I want you to consider setting a goal theme for 2022.

Let me explain.

What’s a goal theme?

A goal theme is a topic you choose to focus on for the year, where all your planned actions are aligned to help you achieve this one theme.

Unlike aiming to achieve a single goal or list of actions (which may often be disjointed to other things you want to do), a goal theme requires you to look at every part of your life holistically, so you can consider how you will support yourself to achieve your theme.

A goal theme example

Let’s say your goal theme for the year ahead is to have more time to spend with family or friends without compromise. 

To achieve this, you’ll need to consider what is currently consuming your time and implement actions which will help you to either reduce the number of things that are taking up your time, or improve your efficiency.

What should you do before you choose a goal theme?

Before the year ends, you would have created a plan of the projects you intend to roll out for the next 3, 6, or 12 months.

At least, I hope that you’ve created a plan. If you haven’t, then this is definitely where you need to start. Having a roadmap of what’s to come helps you to be better prepared to make more informed decisions, to know who you will need to involve and how much of your time will be required.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by starting a long-term plan, then check out my article on Powerful Project Planning: How To Plan For Success Every Time to help you get started with confidence. 

Once you have your plan, decide on the goal theme you intend to work on during the year. While you can have more than one goal theme, I wouldn’t recommend any more than three as this will become too overwhelming and you’ll be less likely to accomplish what you’re setting out to achieve.

Ideas for goal themes

Now you know what goal themes are and what you should do before you get started, it’s time to choose a goal theme to focus on for the year ahead. 

For an overview of considerations for delivering powerful projects download my 20 Ways to More Powerful Projects guide. This is a starting point and will give you an idea of how you should be operating.

Here are some specific suggestions for project improvement goal themes.

  • Reducing instances of scope creep
  • Projects delivered within 2% tolerance of time, cost, and scope commitments
  • Confident and trusting relationships with stakeholders
  • Resolving all project defects within the warranty period
  • A reduction of re-work caused from inaccurate or incomplete user requirements
  • No work after 6pm
  • Feeling supported by leadership and team
  • Being more confident to speak up 

How to take action on your goal theme

Once you’ve decided on your theme, you need to set the actions to support achieving the theme.

Here are 3 steps to help you decide what actions will bring you closer to your theme goal. 

1.  What’s causing the need for your theme?

  •  If you want more time back, what is currently consuming your time?
  •  If you want to reduce scope creep, what is causing the scope to change, increase, or deviate? 
  • If your issue is defects not being resolved within the warranty period, what is causing this?  

2.  What can you do to create or facilitate a change to the above causes?

Sometimes it’s a case of we don’t know what we don’t know. 

It may simply be that we need to become aware of the above causes to start to change them. Step #1 above should help you flush the causes out. 

Some considerations for how you can create change could include: 

  •  Understanding the roles, accountabilities, and responsibilities of each team member and stakeholder to better support each other’s needs and minimise the above problems. A RACI template is terrific to support this.
  • What existing or lack of boundaries are not supporting your theme? 
    Consider things like working hours, processes to approve and track changes to commitments, requirements for sign-off and escalation processes when commitments are not upheld. 
  • What do you, the team, and your stakeholders need to know and how frequently? Use a communication plan and a progress report to help you keep track of these important functions.
  • What alerts could you set up to prevent or allow time to manage and overcome risks and issues? This may include more regular risk or RAID meetings to review and triage possible obstacles. Do you have a RAID (Risks, Assumptions, Issues, Dependencies register and how can it be improved to better support you?

3.  What actions will you commit to for your goal theme?

  • Using the list of items in Step #2 brainstorm all the actions you can think of to reduce these causes.
  • Prioritise the list of actions based on what’s immediately doable and will see results.
  • Select the top 5 actions you will commit to within a set period. If you have started with a brainstormed list of 10 items, choose the top 5 and work on implementing these first. If you get through the list then you can choose to act on the remaining 5. You can repeat steps 2 and 3 until you achieve your goal theme and at times you may build these steps into your continuous project improvement process.
  • Make sure your commitments are defined, (communicated to the relevant people – team and stakeholders) and tracked. Otherwise it’s just a Wishlist!

Resources to help improve focus, efficiency, accountability, and results

Now that you have a plan and a goal theme focus, you need to make sure you have the resources to keep your goals on track, maintain accountability, track your progress, and continue to improve your results.

How do you do this?

To begin with and to make sure you start this process considering all possibilities for improvement, I have included the link to my very popular 20 ways to More Powerful Projects downloadable guide.  

Download the 20 Ways to More Powerful Projects here

Helpful resources to help you achieve your goal theme.


  • Using the list of items in Step #2 brainstorm all the actions you can think of to reduce these causes.
  • Lessons Learned: Capture past lessons and accountable actions for future improvement
  • RACI Matrix – Responsible Accountable Consult Inform: A tracker of the project team and stakeholders’ level of responsibility on major project functions
  • RAID Register – Risks Assumptions Issues Dependencies: Capture project obstacles and set accountable actions to mitigate and manage
  • Communications Plans – A register of all required communication needs – can be used for both stakeholder and team communications
  • Progress Report – Contact with subject Progress Report for a copy of this item


Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Not sure you can do this on your own?

Great things happen when we work together as a team. 

If you’re not sure where to start, I can support you on your journey to more powerful projects. 

You can book your FREE 30-minute discovery call with me today to discuss the possibilities.

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