A Project manager’s role is finished only when the project is completed successfully. There are times when even highly experienced project managers fail to lead a project towards success. The reasons can be aplenty. Incorrect implementation of different project management methodologies is one reason. Others may include:
- Budget Overrun
- Project Cancellation before Deployment
- Change in Project Management or Scope
There are 6 common factors that can lead you to project success. Let’s look at each one of them individually.
- A Team of Right Project Manager and Subordinates
This is the first step that leads towards a successful project. Apart from an experienced project manager (PM), the team needs a plan and strategy and executes it properly to achieve the project. Project manager can be in serious trouble if he has to work with a wrong team or persons not having adequate knowledge to run a project. The following steps can be handy in completing a project:
- Team comprising of smart and experienced people
- Right person for the right job
- Ensure long engagements from the capable person
- Think of a Win-Win situation for both PM and the team members
- Using right tools for managing the project. A task management software for teams like TaskQue is a good strategy.
- Smart Planning
Planning is vital for the successful completion of a project. Effective planning is critical for keeping the team focused. In addition to this, it also provides clarity in timelines and keep stakeholders aware of the progress against plan. If the team is capable then there is no reason that this step can create difficulties for the PM. The direction of the project should be completely clear to all the stakeholders and team members. Quality and level of detail are the most critical aspects of this step. Assuring accurate time estimation and clear understanding of milestones and deliverables is the key to project progress.
Some pivotal steps in Smart Planning are:
- Creating a strong Project Management Office (PMO) for utilization of knowledge
- Clearly defined goals that add value
- Reduce Multi-tasking
- Solid Execution
This step is where the action takes place as the role of the PM and his experience comes into play during this step. The few steps and how to deal with it are explained below:
- Manage Adherence to Plan Strictly: Manage the schedule very tightly and ensure everyone knows what is expected of them in this crucial phase.
- Manage Scope with Same Intensity: All changes to the scope must be managed very tightly and changes that were not a part of the original design should be avoided as much as possible.
- Jointly manage the Project with the Customer: Many PMs avoid customers like a disease and forget that keeping the customer engaged in the proceedings of the project is a vital aspect.
- Deliver as Expected: While this is literally quite obvious, you will be surprised to know how many ties actually PMs are not able to complete this step admirably and fail. The expected outcome should be clearly articulated and delivered.
- Open Communication
Good and effective communication has the biggest impact on the engagement, involvement and confidence of stakeholders. It ensures complete awareness of the tasks, progress, risks and updates of the project. A PM should also be able to say No when it is really necessary because of the fact that being just a Yes Man” can be the kiss of death for a PM. He may be adored by some but ultimately he will get into too many unnecessary things and ultimately the project will get delayed or will be failed in the worst case.
Key points in this regard are:
- Schedule regular meetings
- Standing meeting
- Risk Management
Risk management can simply be defined as how you identify, manage and mitigate the risk that could harm your project. During a project, there are number of things which can go wrong. A Risk Log can keep track of all the foreseeable risks, reducing action items and a tracker that records progress on the actions. All the stakeholders should be able to access it easily. A flexible action plan is needed in risk management that responds to risks.
A strong closure of project is perhaps the most neglected step in project management. The scope creep is one big disadvantage and the resources will continue to get consumed. All projects should have a strong and formal project closure for maximum impact.
Looking for some more advice in this concern? Or want to add something from your own experience? Feel free to share anything with our readers in the comments section below.