Project Manager’s Annual Plan

Do you know what to wait from the upcoming year? What are you going to achieve in 2020? Have you already prepared your Project Manager’s annual plan? If not, this is the right moment to start planning to get a clear picture by the New Year Eve. Let’s move on!

Hey Crizpers, today I suggest thinking of the upcoming year and of the challenges you are going to put for yourself to be achieved. It is still not even Christmas yet, however, December is always a short month as there is always a ton of stuff to be completed to close the year. I am proposing to start thinking of the steps you are going to undertake in 2020 to become more successful and powerful by the end of the next year.

Let’s think of the items that concerns you at most and where you eager to get an improvement. At this moment I am speaking about the components related to your professional sphere, however, the suggested approach could be efficiently applied to the other aspects of your life. I would offer a list of components that you could take as a basis. From my point of view it is the most common one. Further, you are welcome to evolve it the way you prefer and considering your own needs and requirements. Let’s go!

Annual Review

Plan to conduct an annual review of what you have done during the past year as a PM. Analyze whether you have performed well or if something could be done better. List the well-done stuff and be proud for yourself about it.

Conduct the Annual Review

Don’t forget to add the well-done items to your list of achievement. This is very important as I know that many of us have made wonderful and useful things during the career path, but unfortunately we may not recall all of them if not written down. A good practice is to record the great doings as soon as done, nevertheless, would be nice to record them at least later. Why it is important? You will need this stuff to modify your resume or to request for a promotion. Or, for the consideration of what could be done more.

List the stuff that you would like to improve, and think if it is still relevant. If the components are outdated, do not spent your time on them anymore. Should the listed items be still important, plan the improvement steps and implement them in the upcoming annual map.


Review the projects in action and planned for the upcoming year. Pin-point their due dates and setup the measurable goals which will outline the success of the work completed. Build your projects roadmap and make sure the overlapping is manageable.

Put the boundaries of your work-life balance and review the roadmap once again. I am trying to communicate the importance of your work integration into your life time. It is necessary to ensure that you will have enough hours in a day to perform well and to have time for the recovering. If you see issues, would be a good move to proactively react and to re-plan or to request for additional resources in advance.


For many people it is the most desired item to be elaborated. What do you wish to achieve in your career path in the upcoming year? I propose to plan it in advance in order to have a clear understanding what steps and when will you need to make.

Consider not only the position that you believe is realistic to take at the current moment, but the position you want to take over. Think of the requirements you should look at in order to get the desired job. Let’s say, you want to evolve from the Project Coordinator to the Project Manager, or to become a Project Management Director, or maybe to be a PMO Manager, or a VP of Project Management, who knows.

Imaging you already have this job and think of the requirements from the perspective of the given position. Being a Director, what qualities and skills you need to possess and perform to correspond to that status? List them all and plan how to get them in case you do not have them now, or how to evolve them should you feel they are not strong enough in them yet. And act as if you already have the job you dream of.


Based on the career preferences and on the analysis that was done in order to define the gaps for reaching out the desired position consider options to implement the education into your activities. This is always a good thing to invest. Try to identify the knowledge that would be useful for your professional path, define the form of the education you are most comfortable with and find the education provider that offers what you need.

Further on, make sure that the new knowledge is recognizable. Minimum is that the education provider gives a certificate of the course completion that confirms the area of knowledge and the amount of knowledge received. Better is if upon the completion you would be able to earn a professional certification using the studied information. You could check the overview of the professional certs in the article – Certification. What choices does a Project Manager have. It may help to plan.

Meet professionals on Conferences

Review the professional conferences and pick the ones you would like to attend in 2020. Plan when and where you are going to travel in order to participate in the even. No matter whether it will be on the neighborhood street or in the country nearby. Make sure you know about the important occasion in advance so that you will be available when the time comes. You could check this list, or google for more specific events.


Build the annual plan based on the research you have made above. Map everything. Should this be a big piece of paper, excel file or a professional tool, you choose. The main purpose is to write down everything you plan to achieve in the next year. Don’t forget to prioritize the items in your list. Most important and desirable should have the most number of points, that’s evident.

Do this like if it will be a single annual project. Look, you know how to lead projects. Now this will be your personal project. Things will be more enjoyable in case you know that all is possible and you should only conduct the certain actions to achieve the noted goals.

And don’t forget to include in your plan how you are going to treat yourself once the goals from the map are reached. Write this down as a project closure phase.


Divide all of the goals you plan to reach into the phases. Put the due dates for them. It will be easies and more realistic to track your performance on regular basis, than leaving everything to the next annual review. Implement your Project Management soul into your life. Plan your professional path and your life as a project.

How we define what we need to do in order to deliver a project? We build a work breakdown structure and put tasks within. Same is here. Develop an action plan. Put there everything: what projects should be completed within a year to close the plan; what should you undertake in order to obtain a new knowledge; how to act to get a promotion or a new job; what should you do to balance your work and private life, and so on.

Don’t forget to estimate all the actions to make sure you will have the necessary time, personal and material resources. Put high and complicated goals, but don’t forget we are human.

High-Level View

Professional Roadmap for the Annual Plan

Now you should have a clear annual plan and know what are you expecting from yourself in the next year, and where you wish and plan to be during the given period of time. All the goals are measured and concrete, separated into the estimated milestones. And, you have the action item which you need to complete to make the goals become real. It is a fascinating start!

Make sure your annual plan is visible to you and you can and will reach it out easily and frequently. Put a tradition to review your plan weekly, monthly and quarterly. Treat yourself intermediately and on the milestones completion. I believe you could reach the professional goals you have put for yourself.

By the way, this will work for all other goals you are willing to hit. Thus, you may combine the map for both professional and personal plans, or to build separate ones. Just don’t drop them and you will see how your life becomes a Project, how Project Management is applicable here and how it works in the real being.

Let me know if you have already built the annual plans before and how your Project Management skills are integrated into your life?