You might think that a project's success means that the project’s purpose and goal is reached. But in reality, that alone isn’t enough for the whole project to be considered successful.
Project objectives may be achieved while other goals that are related to the project’s completion have failed.
In project management, many studies have been conducted on what makes a project truly successful. Results vary depending on the participants, the industry, and the project at hand. Even so, some factors are recurring and evident as they play a crucial role, regardless of the field and context of the project.
Let’s go over the key factors that guarantee project success.
Although it sounds obvious, make sure to choose someone who has previous experience as a project manager.
An experienced project leader knows what to look out for and can anticipate hurdles, bottlenecks and risks to the project and plan accordingly.
A superb project manager knows all the ins and outs of the whole project, has the great technical knowledge, is a proactive and professional communicator and is a motivating leader.
Make sure that each team member has a purpose for the project and that they add value to the team.
The team works as a cohesive unit when progressive communication is set in place. Make sure that everyone is familiar with the project’s chosen communication tool for the project.
Do regular check-ins to check for team motivation levels because a highly motivated team works together towards the agreed-upon project goal.
The old adage, “Fail to prepare or prepare to fail”, rings true here. Never underestimate the amount of effort needed for planning a project as it's always better to be over-prepared than under.
Any miscalculation or lack of preparation can lead to an expensive setback.
Make use of collaborative planning tools so that everyone knows what is happening and when their deadlines and deliverables are.
If previously used frameworks and practices seem to be working for your project, make sure to adapt them to your project management. The wheel does not need to be reinvented. So instead of coming up with everything from the ground up, pay attention to lessons learnt from previous projects and implement proven strategies. This way you can prevent certain setbacks and get ahead in time and resources.
Also examine project closeout reports or post-project autopsies to see what worked, what didn’t and what can be improved for the next project. These sessions are invaluable.
It is highly important to check on your project’s progress daily and stay on track with every task. Project management tools such as Asana, Trello, Basecamp or MS Project are the easiest and best way to have a complete overview of the whole project and what every resource is busy with. It also allows for transparent collaboration between team members.
Proactive communication between the team members and between the project manager and other project stakeholders is vital for a project to be delivered successfully.
Tools for communication within the team and outside the team need to be set in place from the beginning. Prioritizing that many unwanted and unexpected developments with the project can be prevented or discovered early on.
Any team is as strong as its weakest link. Even the best strategy and plan can fail if there isn’t the correct team in place. Project managers, specialist resources, developers, manufacturers and all stakeholders are part of the whole dynamic.
Every single member has to be committed to a mutual goal and vision for successful project fulfilment. It’s essential that these goals are communicated to the entire team at the beginning as well as getting team members' feedback on these goals. If these goals were set outside of the team, by people without a working knowledge of whether these deliverables are achievable, it creates despondency within a team. Get the team onboard sooner than later.
Any new team members need the goals of the project explained to them as well so that everyone is on the same page and clear what is expected and why.
Every project comes with certain risks and setbacks to look out for. It goes without saying that it is proactive and smart to be aware of them and also be prepared to take action if any of them take place. This is where an experienced project manager shines. Make sure proper analysis has been done and all risks are calculated before any action is taken. In a situation of a setback, the project management plan is set up properly and the team knows which steps to take quickly to resolve the problem and timelines can be amended accordingly.
If the project has no set time frame and end dates for the tasks that lead to the project end goal, it can take up a lot more time and resources than is actually necessary. Setting certain time limits motivates the team to work efficiently and supports the fulfilment of the whole project.
Project scope is vital when understanding what needs to be delivered and why. The majority of projects fail because the scope hasn't been buttoned down or it’s been allowed to change over time or when stakeholders don’t understand the ramifications of changes made. This is probably a project manager’s greatest headache.
Choosing a more agile project methodology will also help in containing scope creep, or keep the project on track.
Make sure processes are in place to first document the entire scope and how much a project will cost. Ensure that when project scope changes, that proper communication happens around the real-world consequences of changes. Deadlines will shift or the budget will be affected. Project managers who handle this delicate aspect of a project with finesse are worth their weight in gold.
OmniTiim offers free project consultancy and a thorough investigation of requirements to ensure your project doesn't become a statistic.
Before a project starts, we sense-check the scope for you and validate the project requirements thoroughly to ensure even greater success. We then connect projects with the best technical and project management talent to drive the project forward.
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Keeping all these key points in mind and setting up your project accordingly will help you achieve a successful final result. Project management is a complicated task, so it is smart and beneficial to be proactive and know the steps that have to be set in place before the project can even begin
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