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valentines day project management

A Project Manager’s guide to Valentine’s Day

An annual celebration, the day of love, St Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. While the more cynical of us may see it as one big marketing ploy, for others it is the most romantic day in the calendar year and one that needs celebrating! Whatever your view, embrace this given opportunity to show your affection and make some plans with your partner, sweetheart or valued friends.

You could well have your plans down to a T – you are a project professional after all. Or you may have found the event has crept up on you like many upcoming project deadlines do! Either way, we’ve got your back. This guide will take you through smart approaches for making plans, and how to ensure you stick to them; and we’ve thrown in some brow-raising stats for good measure!

Project: Valentine’s Day

Not to remove the romance, but by treating the occasion like a project, and your partner as the client, your project management skills will come into play and things are more likely to run smoothly. There are a whole host of aspects that Valentine’s Day and projects have in common:

Establishing their needs

Whatever you are planning, Valentine’s Day is about completely selfless acts. Know your “customer’s” requirements and be sure to deliver something that they will enjoy and appreciate.

End goals

This leads nicely on to achieving successful results. Your end goal is complete customer satisfaction, and by assessing their wants and needs early on you can find a gift or make plans that you know are fitting. In turn, achieving the best possible outcome – their happiness.


Timing and planning go hand in hand. Leaving dinner reservation arrangements until the last minute could see you face disappointment. Research by the National Restaurant association found that 34 percent of consumers plan to eat out on the 14th February, making it the second busiest day of the year for restaurants. (With Mother’s Day coming in first.) Good time management is also essential if you have a grand scheme for whisking your loved one away for a romantic weekend. The further in advance you can arrange this, the better.

Time management

Time management for the day itself should be a key consideration too. Don’t agree to flower deliveries that can be made at any point between 7am-7pm if your loved one works nine to five. Nor book a table for dinner straight from work without factoring in time to spruce yourselves up.


Outside of the box thinking can make or break your Valentine’s Day, so apply your knack for risk assessment and strategic thinking. Achieving the best possible results goes right back to knowing who you’re planning for. Roses and dinner might not be their thing, so think of more innovative activities that they will enjoy. Perhaps a day date to a gallery or museum, or a walk in a park you have been meaning to visit.

Knowing your budget

If you are of the opinion that Valentine’s Day is just a ‘Hallmark Holiday’, try and change your mindset to the underlying meaning of the day – love! Just as with any project, sticking to the budget is a priority. An experience can be of much greater value to your loved one than an overpriced box of chocolates or a bank-breaking dozen roses. It truly is the level of thought that counts.

The work/life balance

Whatever your Valentine’s Day pursuits, treating it like a project might just be the key to your success. Invest thought and careful planning, and whatever you do, do not miss the deadline.

Research found that almost half of UK SME owners (43 per cent) have had to cancel a Valentine’s date because they were working late. And we wouldn’t be surprised if this figure was similar for project managers! A work/life balance is essential for forming and building strong relationships, so ensure your date is getting your full attention by switching off your work phone and not checking your emails.