Top10 Key Attributes For A Successful Project


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Whitepaper over de 10 kritische succesfactoren voor de implementatie van een ERP-systeem.

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Top10 Key Attributes For A Successful Project

  1. 1. White PaperBy Jacob Thaning,SVP,Global Consulting, Top 10 Key Attributes of a Successful ProjectDeltek, Inc.Table of Contents For many years Deltek has worked together with Below, we have based our recommendations onOne: Executive professional services organizations to implement a case in which an organization wishes to replaceSponsorship ���������������������1 their business solutions. This collaboration has its current business solution. The organization given us insight into all the pitfalls and risks that therefore faces a great task and change. TheTwo: Strong Project are worth being aware of when working on large organization has initiated this project in order toGovernance ��������������������2 projects. strengthen ownership and responsibility across theThree: User Below are a number of subjects and organization. Furthermore, the organization aimsInvolvement ��������������������3 recommendations concerning these top 10 key to streamline operations, e.g. when it comes toFour: Clear Company attributes of a successful project. These 10 items project management and revenue.Goals ���������������������������������3 are essential when an organization is launching or considering a large project. One: Executive SponsorshipFive: Well-Defined Description:Project Charter ��������������4 • Executive sponsorship The cornerstone of any successful project • Strong Project GovernanceSix: Well-Defined Base • User Involvement revolving around the business solutions ofRequirements�����������������5 • Clear Company Goals an organization is to put the executive team • Well-Defined Project Charter of both client and vendor in charge of theSeven: Proven • Well-Defined Base Requirements implementation. This is partly because theMethodology �������������������5 • Proven Methodology project will affect most of the employees andEight: Application • Application Software also because the support from the executiveSoftware���������������������������6 • Experienced Project Manager • Experienced Resources team is crucial in order to enable effective changeNine: Experienced management. In many projects, the executiveProject Manager�������������7 This is a good check list to use for matching team forms both management and daily line thoughts and expectations among the team management.Ten: ExperiencedResources ������������������������8 members when establishing and executing projects. Executive sponsorship must: The description is our recommendation for • Facilitate communication of the project how a project should be executed. We furthermore objective and the reason for launching it recommend that these items – and how they • Motivate the affected parts of the organization should be managed – are discussed among project to take part in the project and to adapt to new and changed routines managers during the initial phase of the project as well as on the first steering committee meeting. • Ensure general support to the project If this is done and if a common recommendation managers as well as support of the decisions and changes which some employees consider for the handling of the project is provided by the to be adverse project managers of the client and the vendor, respectively, the project and its execution will be considered more as a partnership rather than a traditional client/vendor relationship.1
  2. 2. White Paper Top 10 Key Attributes of a Successful Project Risks: This is to ensure satisfactory project progress and If the project is not 100% supported by the identify any deviation from the plan. various parts of the organization, it will not be possible to change habits and behavior across Risks: the organization. This could very well cause the If no project follow-up procedures have been organization to fall short of achieving project goals. established, there is a risk that deviations such as deadline overruns, scope creep etc. are not Risk aversion: spotted in time. The most important parameters are communication, visibility and participation within Risk aversion: the steering committee as well as relevant project In the project charter it should be determined how meetings and meetings regarding the functional to follow up on the project. It is recommendable areas. The participants must be active and the to establish the frequency of steering committee individual meetings must be given high priority. meetings, project management meetings and Furthermore, a clear communication strategy project team meetings right from the start. must be prepared with emphasis on the areas that One of the steering committee’s tasks is to require modified behavior or new habits. ensure the right project charter. This not least includes access for the project managers to give We recommend: greater priority to deviations from the plan as well as any issues which should be addressed at the • A highly relevant steering committee composition management level. • High awareness of the importance of change management • That e.g. the CFO or COO is appointed chairman of the steering committee We recommend: • That project managers are granted direct • That project managers meet on a regular access to the steering committee basis (e.g. weekly but as a minimum every two weeks) • That a communication strategy is prepared and presented to the steering • That steering committee meetings are committee at one of the first meetings held on a regular basis (e.g. monthly) • That an internal executive within the • That a project charter document is organization is given responsibility for produced and thereafter approved by the change management steering committee • Fixed procedures for the project • A solid project method and usage of Two: Strong Project Governance related project documents. Description: • Deltek uses its own method which In every implementation project it is important is aligned with widely recognized to ensure that all project managers are working international project management efficiently towards the same goals and that they methodologies, and dedicated to the all stay within the charter of the project. In large implementation of a standard system with extensions, including templates for projects with greater complexity and a large reporting to the steering committee. number of project team members, it is important to have fixed project follow-up procedures.2
  3. 3. White Paper Top 10 Key Attributes of a Successful Project Three: User Involvement We recommend: Description: • Involvement of users with knowledge In order for the project to be successful, it is of the various business areas of the crucial to involve relevant user representatives organization in the entire implementation process from the • Having ambassadors/change agents analytical stage to testing and training and finally within the organization the go-live stage. The purpose is: • Managing the resource situation as a • To ensure that users with the greatest fixed item on the agenda at the steering knowledge of the individual processes are committee meetings involved in the design of the solution which • Ongoing measuring of the adaption (e.g. comprises these processes. This is one of using surveys) the most important methods to ensure high quality of the solution as well as making processes and functions tangible Four: Clear Company Goals • To ensure that the organization is staffed Description: with a number of employees acting as It is a pre-requisite for an efficient implementation ambassadors for the new solution that the organization knows the objectives of Risks: the organization and the project, and that these • The allocated employees cannot be objectives are broken down into operational goals sufficiently freed from other tasks for all relevant levels of the organization. This way, • Users are selected on the basis of other the project group can manage the project in the criteria than qualifications and skills (e.g. who right perspective and make the right decisions has got the time). It is important to select based on clear objectives. users who wish to participate in a change process, who have the necessary skills in relation to their field/functional area and who Risks: are respected internally If the project objectives have not been clarified, some of the risks would be: Risk aversion: • That various clarifications regarding the It is recommendable to enter into an explicit solution should be discussed before a decision can be reached and this could potentially cost agreement on how to handle the tasks from which time and resources the allocated employees are freed. When the employee and the line management involved • That prioritization becomes more difficult commit themselves to such an agreement, it than necessary reduces the risk of having the employee perform double work with deteriorating quality as a result.3
  4. 4. White Paper Top 10 Key Attributes of a Successful Project Risk aversion: Risks: It is recommendable to give the detailed project It is important to allocate sufficient time to the charter high priority. In this charter, all success preparation of the charter right from project criteria and objectives of the project should be launch. Otherwise project stakeholders and team determined at a detailed level. Subsequently, members may perceive the objectives and scope this should be communicated to everybody in of the project differently, which means they will the project group on an ongoing basis to ensure not have the same focus. The time saved by that everybody is aware of the objective through rushing through the charter in the start-up phase the whole project. In the training phase, the is very quickly spent by the project managers if objectives should be made clear to both super they need to follow up on and coordinate various users and end users. activities and discuss what lies within the project charter and what does not. We recommend: Risk aversion: • That organizations looking to e.g. replace The process of preparing the charter should be their business solution consider a number led by the project managers who should make of aspects and elaborate their needs and sure to allocate sufficient their own time and the current processes as part of the project most important stakeholders’ time. • That focus is kept on the objective of the project and that details, current systems and workflows do not draw attention from We recommend: why the project has been started and the overall objectives of the project • Preparation and communication of charter • That the steering committee approves the project charter document. This is to ensure that everybody in the steering Five: Well-Defined Project Charter committee has the same perception of Description: the project and its objectives A well-defined project charter is crucial for • A clear process for handling suggestions the project managers because it also sets the and changes to the charter scope for the project managers’ authorization. Important elements in the charter are: • Determining what the implementation does and does not cover • Breakdown into deliveries and/or activities • An objective and measurable articulation of the success criteria of the project – preferably in order of priority • Procedure for change management and communication • Definition of process for escalation in the project organization • Determining the division of work between the project parties4
  5. 5. White Paper Top 10 Key Attributes of a Successful Project Six: Well-Defined Base Requirements We recommend: Description: • That organizations be open and flexible It is a good starting point for any implementation in relation to how their needs and project that the organization has an overview of requirements are met. This will open up the business and all significant processes and for a discussion of what may be the best solution for them needs. This way, the organization will be able to define the associated requirements for the • That you pay attention to needs, best practices, technology and opportunities solution. that are either provided with the selected solution or evaluated Risks: If the requirements for the solution have not been established, there is a risk of • Wasting a lot of time during the project Seven: Proven Methodology process due to internal discussions of how the Description: solution should look Over the years it has proved to be a great • Wasting time and money if the project advantage on implementation projects to apply objective is altered a project methodology which matches the charter set for the project type in question. Risk aversion: This ensures that: An efficient way of ensuring well-defined • Time is only spent on activities that create requirements for the solution is to establish value for the project processes and requirements for the new solution • The methodology matches the specific and document these. This way, it will always be solution and the consultants involved are familiar with the work process possible to compare suggested solutions and requirements. • It is possible to use standard templates that Every project contains areas in which it will the project team members are familiar with from the beginning of the project be necessary to consider various alternative solutions which cannot necessarily be evaluated on the basis of the requirement specification. It is Risks: therefore crucial that the project team is formed An obvious risk for our clients – who are by employees who possess a deep knowledge primarily project-oriented – is that they let their of the organization’s needs, and that they have preferences for a specific project methodology proper decision-making competence in order to determine which methodology is applied in the avoid unnecessary project delays. implementation. Organizations typically make a great effort to Another risk is that the stringent and identify their needs before they can specify their methodical approach to the project gradually requirements for a new solution. becomes a looser model and that there is suddenly no control over the project.5
  6. 6. White Paper Top 10 Key Attributes of a Successful Project Risk aversion: Eight: Application Software In the initial project stage it will be useful to Description: determine not only the project methodology When implementing a new business solution, but also what documents should be used in the there are crucial benefits associated with using project. standard solutions also used by similar clients. For Deltek’s project methodology contains a large instance, risks related to development projects number of document templates that can be are eliminated. leveraged. By making these decisions from the beginning, it is possible to oblige all project team Risks: members to this methodology and thereby Even if standard software is used, all minimize the risks stated above. implementation projects need extensions. This carries two obvious risks: We recommend: • The scope for what should be extended evolves constantly • That the project methodology is discussed and agreed upon at an early • The scope evolves because every stage rather than having to change the implementation process requires creative methodology later on in the project skills. Therefore, it can be tempting to keep thinking of new ways to improve the solution as • That Deltek’s project methodology you gain more and more knowledge of all the and the related documents are used. possibilities. This would lead to an expansion The project methodology PEAK of the scope and increased time consumption. implementation has been developed on the basis of 15 years of experience with hundreds of projects. Among other Risk aversion: things, it contains standardized document In the scope it is crucial to determine which templates. extensions should be made for the solution. It is extremely important that the project managers make sure to keep the project within this scope. This can be done by ensuring that no extensions are made without the use of design documents approved by both parties. We recommend: • That the organization is open and willing to adjust. • Preferably, requirements should be met by means of standards (different workflow/slightly different handling) if possible6
  7. 7. White Paper Top 10 Key Attributes of a Successful Project Nine: Experienced Project Manager Furthermore, it is important that the steering Description: committee challenges the project managers with Both the client’s project manager and the constructive questions to ensure overview and vendor’s project manager play a vital role in the control of details. project. In order to achieve mutual success, it From the initial phase of the project, is important for both project managers to have focus should be on building and maintaining gained knowledge as described below: collaborative relations rather than a traditional • Knowledge of their own organization and the customer/vendor relationship. power and ability to handle various obstacles If one of the project managers has a weakness in the most efficient way in relation to the items above, it should be • Knowledge of ERP implementation projects considered whether this weakness can be • Knowledge of and dedication to the technical mitigated in practice. content of the project. This is to ensure that the project manager does not focus exclusively on administrative processes but also seeks insight into the substance of the project We recommend: • That the client and the vendor focus Risks: on the project manager role and the experience of the project manager The risk of having project managers with limited • That the project manager role on large experience implement large projects is that they projects is separated from the solution become either very detail-oriented with lack of design role even though it can be tempting overview and focus on progress as a result, or to attempt to combine these two roles. conversely, that they overlook important details. This is to eliminate the risk of being “caught Furthermore, less experienced project managers between two stools” may have problems gaining the necessary trust • That both the client’s project managers from the project team as well as the rest of the and those of the vendor lead the way by joining forces to make sure the project is team. This becomes a potential challenge when it is executed in a partnership time to handle problems that require various forms of support or effort from the rest of the team. Risk aversion: Project managers should be carefully selected on the basis of the above criteria! Regardless of who the project manager is, a role with responsibility for quality assurance of the project management should be established.7
  8. 8. World Headquarters: Ten: Experienced Resources Risk aversion:United States Description: The risk aversion methodology is also very similar13880 Dulles Corner Ln Project team members – regardless of their to the methodology described in section 3Herndon, VA 20171 function – should have experience within their “User Involvement”. It is recommendable to agree800.456.2009 own field in order to be able to contribute to the explicitly on how to handle those tasks from which project. Depending on their role, they should: the users involved in the project are freed. WhenWorldwide Locations: • Be respected in their own organization the employee and the involved line managementAustralia • Act as ambassadors for the objective of the commit themselves to this, it eliminates the risk+61 8 8112 1200 project and the necessary changes of having the employee perform double work with • Actively take part of the project deteriorating quality as a result.Belgium • Have expert knowledge of their own field+32 (0) 2 709 2191 • Be open to new input and consider different alternatives We recommend:Denmark • That project team members are+45 35 27 79 00 Risks: officially acknowledged and rewarded for The risks are more or less the same as the ones successful project execution. This way,The Netherlands stated in section 3 “User Involvement”, namely it will be more appealing to participate in the project+31 (0)20 347 3080 that the employees might not be sufficiently allocated and that they are selected on the basis • That participation in the project is evaluated positively in accordance withNorway of other criteria than qualifications and skills. the individual employee’s career in the+47 22 01 38 00 An internal project may be perceived as less organization interesting and less prestigious than an externalSweden project and therefore it may be difficult to recruit+46 (0)8 587 077 00 employees internally.United KingdomLondon+44 (0)20 7518 5010Twickenham+44 (0)20 8843 Deltek (Nasdaq: PROJ) is the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for professional services firms and government contractors. For decades, we have delivered actionable insight that empowers our customers to unlock their business potential. Over 14,500 organizations and 1.8 million users in approximately 80 countries around the world rely on Deltek to research and identify opportunities, win new business, optimize resources, streamline operations, and deliver more profitable projects. Deltek – Know more. Do more.® © 2011 Deltek, Inc. All rights reserved. All referenced trademarks are the property of their respective owners.8 090111