Let’s begin with a quick description of what project success actually is before we get to the success factors. The answers seem simple at first glance: a project is deemed good if the purpose of the project is achieved. That implies you’ve set concrete objectives. But actually it is not enough to meet your project objectives to consider a project to be good. You may achieve your project objectives but fail to achieve several other goals related to the project’s completion.
Factors in Success
In project management, there are lots of studies on success factors. Results vary depending on the participants, the size of the study, and the industry. Nevertheless, some recurring factors are evident that seem to play a crucial role, regardless of the context of a project.
Let’s have a look at such factors:
1. Experienced Project Managers & Professional Project Team Leaders
You can understand the theory and methods of project management, but experience is one of the key factors of success in the end. The more experienced a project manager, the more likely he/she will be able to overcome the daily project challenges. To avoid misunderstandings, keep clear roles and responsibilities in mind. Successful project managers are known not only by technical knowledge but also by leadership.
Ensure that the team members have the necessary skills to deliver the results required and bring a positive attitude to the project. Also, as a whole, the team must function. So it is essential to build a team that is motivated to work towards a common goal together.
2. Methodic Approach
For success, the choice of a suitable methodology for project management is crucial. To ensure that your process is clear, reliable, and efficient, follow the trends and techniques of the framework you have chosen. All stakeholders should understand and agree on investing time to define a clear project objective.
3. Proper Planning
Many project managers hurry to the project execution stage and do not take sufficient time for sound planning. Don’t make a mistake here. Invest sufficient time and resources in thorough scheduling.
4. Adhere to the Best Practices
The wheel does not need to be reinvented. Project management itself is a challenge. Use frameworks and best practices wherever possible. Instead of constructing everything from the ground up, draw from the experience of past successes and adapt proven strategies to your individual case. This enables you to concentrate your resources on your project’s really distinctive elements that will make all the difference.
5. Monitoring & Control
Check your progress and regularly evaluate the results. To quickly understand if the project is on track, define key performance indicators (KPI), and use reports. You will recognize early on when things go sideways and can take countermeasures before greater harm is done.
6. Use a Professional Software
The quality of your chosen tools has a direct effect on the quality of your management. The role of project management software is commonly underestimated. Professional and intuitive software minimizes the risk of errors and miscalculations, provides the best possible overview of all relevant KPIs, and reliably displays significant data on all necessary devices. The software promotes safe and easy team collaboration and is the basis for providing access to the information needed by each team member.
Invest in a professional and specific tool instead of working with Excel or other spreadsheet programs not created for project management needs. It will simplify your job, and it will affect the success of your project.
7. Effective Communication
With proper communication, many undesirable developments in projects could be prevented or at least discovered earlier. Ensure that formal communication processes (meetings, documentation), as well as informal processes, are implemented and used. Communication between members of the team plays an important role. Offer opportunities for your employees to come together outside the official meetings, for example, in your offices in a coffee corner or a chat tool.
8. Work with Commited People
Any strategy and plan have the ability to fully fall apart without the right team in place. As a result, the core project staff, specialist resources, manufacturers, and all stakeholders should be part of the team dynamic. All those involved must be committed to the group, share similar project visions and strive to achieve overall success.
It is important to assign the right individuals to each aspect of the project and make sure they work together well. In addition, to have the most successful result, the entire team should be fully informed and involved, which means that communication has to be on par.
9. Careful Management of Risks
Project managers know that planned things rarely go off. It is essential to produce a risk log with an action plan for the project’s risks during the planning process. Ensure that your risk log is known by all key stakeholders and know where they can find it. If something happens, with the management plan that has already been set up, the team can quickly resolve the problem. When facing project risks, this will give the team confidence and help the customers feel comfortable with the project’s progress.
10. Strong Closure of Project
If there is no strong closure for a project, it can continue to consume resources. The project team must be firm and agree with the client that it has met all critical success factors. It is necessary to agree and sign off on confirmation of the project delivery, testing, and release. Satisfaction surveys are good forms of documentation for future reference to be logged and filed and valuable information for future use.
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