10 Critical Factors to Consider For Success of a Project1. As Complex As You Make ItPlanning and delivering a project can ...
designated as project manager or one who assumes that role. You as a project manager own theultimate responsibility to ens...
for project(s).4. Specific & Quantifiable Project ObjectivesSurely, any project has certain objectives which are expected ...
changes (& compromise on project cost, timeline) or refuse (& risk customer engagement)? I thinkthis really needs careful ...
assign resources to work on these.At times, issues being submitted may appear to be teaser to progress of your project. Bu...
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10 critical factors for success of a project

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The critical factors you need to consider for successful project delivery.

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10 critical factors for success of a project

  1. 1. 10 Critical Factors to Consider For Success of a Project1. As Complex As You Make ItPlanning and delivering a project can be a fairly complex process. Its complexity can be attribute to:changing project dynamics- scope, cost, resource requirement; the time & efforts required, forming aproject team to execute deliverables, making everyone understand what he/she is expected to deliverand what is the schedule of delivery, generally projects have interdependency of project activities,collecting feedback or trace progress of the project, also during lifecycle of a project, it observesunplanned issues & risks being surfaced. 1Despite of set of these processes mentioned above makes project management to appear complex; it isyour approach that will make it simple. Try following things. Set a clear objective for stakeholders, especially for your team Communicate regularly with all stakeholders especially your team Get regular feedback from customers as well as project team2. Project manager is responsibleWell, it is not entirely true, since it is a collective effort, entire team has to work together to make ithappen. Undeniably you will have to accept the fact that: from organizations’ point of view, it is therole – Project Manager that has been identified to own project & deliver it withstanding risks ontime, within budget. The overall owner of the processes mentioned above, either there is a person1 Image Reference:: http://www.krp-consult.de/__we_thumbs__/76_1_cartoon.jpgwww.zilicus.com © Zilicus Solutions 2012 1 | Page
  2. 2. designated as project manager or one who assumes that role. You as a project manager own theultimate responsibility to ensure that project is successfully delivered. In short, to carry out projectmanagement activities, organization & customer need project manager.Overall responsibilities 1. Prepare a project plan – including schedule, communication, risks, etc. 2. Schedule tasks & milestones with respect to agreed timeline 3. Identify, secure & assign appropriate resources 4. Tracking project progress – Tracking milestone achieved & pending status, manage issues and risks 5. Update stakeholders about project status & deliverablesIn todays collaborative environment, it is apparent for project managers to engage his/her entire teamwith project management and collaboration tools & techniques to streamline project activities & getthings done.3. Reinforce & Regain FocusDon’t have enough fund/ resources?If you struggle to get enough funds, resources for your project; you need to understand organizationspriority towards project. If you believe that organization need to focus on deliverables of your project;it requires your organization to relook at prioritization of project portfolio.Are you loosing track?Despite of the fact, we have tools and techniques to streamline project progress; we see projectsgetting delayed/ de-scoped or abandoned. Not every organizations have portfolio management rolewhich will take care of assessment & prioritization of projects: planning & execution activities. In suchsituation, project teams may find themselves getting dragged because of changing projectrequirements, changing environment & project management team without clear focus.Avoid The Trap:At times, projects need higher management (as appropriate) buy in & strong support to deliver itsuccessfully. And to gain buy in for a given project, one needs to build a business case, justifying cost-benefit analysis by delivering project – highlighting kind of support required: be it in terms ofcustomer engagement, resources with specific skill sets, space, equipment, project duration, etc.This exercise will help you & your organization to focus on right set of projects & right kind of supportwww.zilicus.com © Zilicus Solutions 2012 2 | Page
  3. 3. for project(s).4. Specific & Quantifiable Project ObjectivesSurely, any project has certain objectives which are expected to be aligned with goals of anorganization. When project objectives are being set, it is important to set specific & quantifiablecosts & benefits expected from delivery of a project. E.g. gain 250K revenue for a given productcategory which otherwise – is a loss of sale by making products available to store. Thus, these tangible& quantifiable benefits act as ultimate reference that everyone involved in the project would focus on.5. Project Plan - Clear & DetailedFirst & foremost – Project Planning: it is the most critical factor. The project plan which is carved wellsaves a lot of time, cost later. As they say –devil is in the details. So it is critical to the project to carveout the as much as details as possible. Also the detailing done in project plan, builds up theconfidence of project planner & the team responsible for execution.Your project plan should have: a. Mutually agreed & Clearly defined: I. Distinct Milestones, set of deliverables II. Timelines to achieve milestones & provide deliverables III. Detailed resources roles & responsibilities – skillset /& grades of material required IV. Estimates of project cost with reasonable accuracy based on above parameters V. Contingency plan with - optimum estimate b. Establishing a clear mechanism to highlight & manage project issues & risks – (i.e. clear SLA) c. To set clear focus for every team member about project activities & processes they need to follow d. As team members work on project related activities, you can compare progress of project with the planned schedule & you should become alert of losing track – which has time & money implication.6. Don’t let it leak – Project Scope has to be sacrosanctQuite often we see, project scope being altered during the course of project execution. It is the sameprinciple that needs to be followed while preparing project scope: A fix in time, saves nine. Quite oftenit has been observed that project scope is broadened; more often than not, such project creep impliesthat the project scope was prepared & published pre-maturely.Alright, it (the mistake?) has happened. What should you do next? Should you agree for any furtherwww.zilicus.com © Zilicus Solutions 2012 3 | Page
  4. 4. changes (& compromise on project cost, timeline) or refuse (& risk customer engagement)? I thinkthis really needs careful considerations.Your customer may not appreciate your reluctances (toward accepting any new/major changes) butgenerally accepting small scope change & delivering those does not get accounted. I have seen thishappening; at the time of project sign off & also in future, customers may not consider, the extra milesyou have run. You need to note that even though, you run the extra miles, at the end of it, your &organization’s credibility of delivering project on time & within budget can be at risk.Essentially your customers also know well that project scope was mutually agreed. Hence deliveringproject as defined on schedule within cost may be of his interest too & may accept to contingent planto include ‘changed project scope’ in some alternate form/way. You have to get customers’ & highermanagement buy in to say NO, if ‘accepting scope change’ is going to hurt project’s objective &organization’s goal in foreseeable & reasonable future timeframe.Having mentioned this, it is in best mutual interest that you have a factual discussion with customer.Be transparent & understand each other’s concerns. Mutually Re-prioritize project deliverables, workout contingency plan& agree on time & cost estimates.7. Build Inspired Team – It can save you greatlyThe sense of ownership & in turn involvement makes your team to stretch their limits. Yes, weourselves have done it & seen examples around. The sense of belonging & ownership instils a healthy& highly productive environment – benefits of which you should maximize to get things done quicker& of high quality.It is not really rocket science to build such team, rather an art: Especially if we have gone through it,we can relate to it quickly. The least you have to do is:  Be transparent  Communication (Be regular & have clarity)  Listen to their ideas (You never know, they may have better way of doing it. So support them)  Let them be creative, give them space (generally, it helps you to get returns)  Get them involved (again, listen to them, get their inputs, make them integral part of process)8. Issue Management:Practically, every project deliverable has numerous issues surfacing in its lifecycle. Your organizationneeds an effective process & efficient mechanism to manage issues. You need to realize issues as theysurface, recognize their severity, and assign priority as appropriate to the project delivery schedule,www.zilicus.com © Zilicus Solutions 2012 4 | Page
  5. 5. assign resources to work on these.At times, issues being submitted may appear to be teaser to progress of your project. But it is yourissue management practice which will make it routine job. It is needless to say that you need to makeprovision for risk management while planning & scheduling your project.9. Risk Planning & MitigationAs they say, Devil lies in the details. At least you would know there is a devil & you can planaccordingly. So it is in your best interest to document potential risks right from the beginning of theproject, assess & prepare through appropriate response plan to tackle those risks.You would agree that this exercise really prepares you for the battle: means – as unplanned/ unknownrisks appear during execution of a project, you would know what approach/methodology to employ inassessing risks and strategy to mitigate risk (re-scheduling tasks, assigning resources, update projectdeliverables, estimates)10. Identify & agree for point of closure of a projectAs PMBoK™ states, project is a temporary endeavour. Once project is delivered accordingscope, as agreed project resources should be returned to the resource pool (or transferred to otherproject), else project is considered as open and then it has project continuation cost associated with it.Again, it is in best mutual interest to discuss about which all project deliverables are according toproject plan & figure out which project deliverables were not agreed project scope. Through thisdiscussion you need to agree whether future work will require initiation of a new project or it will beaddendum to existing project (agreement on former option will close existing project & otheroption(s) will keep the project status not-closed).Concluding Remark:Be transparent. Communicate clearly & regularly with everyone involved in the project._____________________________________________________________________________ ZilicusPM is online project management software that offers an incredibly simpleand collaborative ways to manage projects lifecycle. Try ZilicusPM a powerful tool to stay on top of things.Take a tour; You can sign up for 30-days risk free trial.www.zilicus.com © Zilicus Solutions 2012 5 | Page

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