Why It’s Important to Celebrate the Completion of a Project

Done! Complete!

You and your team have just finished an assigned project.

High fives all around—even if virtually

A lot of time went into the various elements of this project—from conception to implementation The outcomes and learning points were valuable and worthwhile. You are grateful for the wonderful collaboration across the team from all their various locations. Together, you overcame major obstacles to make a positive result.

So, should you celebrate?

Why You Should Celebrate Completed Projects

In the real work environment, we don’t stop to celebrate completed projects often enough. One task gets done and then you are on to the next. 

Besides the performance and tasks completed, there is a lot of personal and emotional investment put into a project by each person on the team.

Here are several reasons you should celebrate when those project milestones hit the finish line.

  • Your team has invested a lot of time and effort into a challenging task that had time limitations and specific success criteria and metrics to achieve. You learned how to work together, with possibly new people, and take part in making what seemed like the impossible become possible.
  • If you were a new team, there was communication and team dynamics to come to grips with. Learning to define the project’s scope and objectives and then breaking down the timetable for accomplishing everything was difficult and a constant work in progress.
  • And each team member put a lot of effort into work tasks. Each individual focused on producing quality work along with reaching targeted deliverables. Doing this project was no easy task.
  • With the closure of the project at hand can also come the parting of ways for the various team members.

Ways to Celebrate Project Completion

Consider the following simple to elaborate ways to put some celebration into your future completed projects. 

  1. Review and make a presentation of the project. Allow all participants to share their observations and reflections of the experience. Consider sharing what they would not do next time, the things they liked most, and ideas to think about in future projects.
  2. Publicize the project success and outcomes. Why not conduct a mini conference to present the project scope, flow, and results? Make this a teaching opportunity for encouraging other employees to take on a project. Or it could be a poster session or lunch and learn to share the project.
  3. Communicate the project results internally. Use your intranet site and internal newsletter and other communication channels to have a group photo and summary of the project success. Have partners and stakeholders on hand to share the limelight with and express gratitude to.
  4. Create a project history with documentation. Develop a digital report of what it took to charter the project and the scope and budgeting required to do the project. Show example of the objectives, Gantt charts, schedules, communication plan, the tracking, and quality checks required to deliver the end result.
  5. Project managers organize a celebration event. Host a small celebratory event to thank all who took part in the project. Acknowledge the entire team for their collective input and achieved result. And don’t forget to recognize each individual team member for their specific contribution that impacted the whole team.

Kevin Eikenberry, a leadership consultant, author, and speaker, said, “Done well, celebrations can shape your company culture, increasing job satisfaction and long-term retention of team members. Celebrating success is more than just a good or nice idea, or even the right thing to do. It can provide meaning, create teamwork, and help achieve even greater success.”

When you understand the benefits of celebrating completed projects, you can better justify the time and money required on these events. There is always time to celebrate, no matter how busy you and your team are.

In fact, stopping to celebrate a current project completion provides motivation to look forward to the next project down the road.

Recognition Reflection: How do you typically celebrate project completions in your organization?

Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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