A successful project:
- is a project that meets business requirements
- is delivered and maintained on schedule
- stays within budget
- delivers the expected business value and returns on investment
- is business involvement, support and guidance from start to completion
A talented project manager is the first step to a successful project, however there are other factors to consider that largely impact a project’s outcome. Such as smart planning, open communication, risk management and a strong project closure.
With that in mind, here are the 4 key factors you should focus on during the project planning phase to streamline your process and increase efficiency before kicking things off.
Following the above-mentioned factors will lead to a successful project. They will also help you to avoid complication faced by the project manager during the project development process.
1. Smart Planning
Comprehensive planning sets the project success from the start. Planning can help to meet deadlines and stay on track. It allows for a realistic timeframe to be created and for cost estimation. Ensure that you have everything in writing so that a timeline and budget can be setup and agreed on at the start of a project, this will be instrumental in choosing the right team for the project. When you outline clear project goals at the start, you will maintain control of the project.
Some steps to consider when planning a project:
- Project Scope
- Project Schedule
- Project Recourse
- Project Budget & Cost
- Project Quality
2. Open Communication
An open communication channel is very important in a project for it be a success. Ensure that all team members know what the aims of the projects are and how to achieve these goals. Good communication also includes knowing when to say no. A project team should never promise anything they know they cannot deliver. Always be honest about what your team can do and when it can be done by.
When practicing effective communication form the start of the project, the following will fall into place:
- Quick Problem Solving
- Strong Decision Making
- Higher Productivity
- Consistency in the workflow
- Better Control of the project
- Better Response from all Stakeholders
3. Proper Risk Management
It is known that projects do not go exactly as planned, some projects fail due to risks that arise during a project. Create a risk log with an action plan to tackle those risk. This will give the team confidence when facing project risks and help the clients feel comfortable with the project’s progress.
Risk Management Framework:
4. Strong Project Closure
It is essential for a project to have a strong closure. Project delivery, testing and release confirmation must be agreed upon and signed off.
Structured Project Closure means:
- Project deliverables are formally transferred to others
- Lessons learned are documented and archived
- Contracts are formally closed
Following the above approach when managing a project, will ensure that your projects have a great kick off, you will meet your project requirements during the course of the project, mitigate risks and navigate difficult situations, all resulting in a successful close.