Prior to understanding what are the factors leading to successful project completion, let’s understand what a successful project is.
“A Project is considered to be successful if the goals are achieved”
At times you might reach your project goals but may fail to meet other criteria associated with successful project completion.
Having an accomplished project manager is the first step to project success, but there are other major factors that contribute to the project’s outcome. To be a success, a project needs careful planning, effective communication, and attention to detail. With proper risk management and strong project closure, organizations can create project success.
5 Most Important Factors for Project Success
1. Intelligent People
To make a project a success, you need capable people in your team. A project can derail at any point in time. For this, the project staff and all the stakeholders of the project must share their enthusiasm and commitment with the group. The team should share similar visions for the project and aim for success.
Project managers face serious trouble if there is a deficiency in the team. Improper leadership and an out-of-sync team can send a project spiraling towards failure. The project manager should assign the right job to the right team members and ensure they are all working well with each other.
2. Comprehensive Planning
Having a detailed plan sets the ball rolling in favor of project success from the start. The team and the stakeholders of the project should always know from the beginning in which direction the project is heading. Comprehensive planning can help the team to meet crucial deadlines and stay well organized.
There are many benefits of smart planning. This starting step in the project allows a realistic time frame to be created. It gives accurate time for cost estimations to be produced and also helps in clear documentation of milestones and deliverables, which will make things much easier as the project progresses. Planning details the resource requirements and acts as a warning system. If there is any lapse, then the warning system will provide you with clear visibility of what to expect.
According to ‘Learning Legacy: Lessons learned from the London 2012 Games construction project’, the scale and complexity of delivering venues and infrastructure for the London 2012 Olympics drove a program structure of around 50 individual projects. A high level of detailed planning was developed in 2007 which defined the scope, specifications, and initial budgets across the entire program which helped to complete the construction of the London 2012 Olympics. Each project was also required to provide detailed information on the budget position, progress, and other aspects on a monthly basis which facilitated in-depth reviews and an integrated program overview. In fact, the program management of this major sporting event which had many sub-projects helped to improve standards of practice across the UK construction industry.
3. Open Communication
An open communication channel is very important in a project for it to be a success. When the team is working on a specific schedule, it is important that the team remains well-informed in every aspect of the project. Also, learn when to say no. One should not make promises that one cannot deliver. As a project manager, be honest about what can be delivered and when that can be delivered.
4. Proper Risk Management
It is a known fact that projects do not go exactly as planned. Some projects fail and some fail spectacularly due to risks that arise during a project. According to PMI’s ‘Pulse of the Profession: The High Cost of Low Performance’, organizations today are losing USD 109 million for every billion spent on projects and programs. Create a risk log with an action plan to tackle those risks that arise during the project.
As a project manager, make sure all the stakeholders are well informed about your risk log and where can they find it. Even if something happens, your team can resolve the problem in an efficient manner with the plan already set in place. This gives the team confidence when facing project risks and helps the customers feel secure with their project’s progression.
5. Strong Project Closure
It is essential for a project to have a strong closure. As a project manager, you should be firm and agree with the client that all the critical success factors have been met. Project delivery, testing, and release confirmation must be agreed upon and signed off.
Along with all the above-mentioned points, organizations have also found that having certified project managers on board is an important driver of project success. As per PwC’s ‘Insights and Trends: Current Portfolio, Programme, and Project Management Practices’, organizations that have certified project managers increase overall success in terms of the KPIs of quality, scope, budget, schedule, and business benefits. See the diagram below:
[Source: PwC’s ‘Insights and Trends: Current Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Practices’]
Project management certifications like PRINCE2, CAPM, PMP, MSP, and P3O impart knowledge about project management best practices for successful project results. Project management certifications can transform a good project manager into a great project manager.
Implementing the above-mentioned factors will lead to a successful project and develops a good rapport with customers and stakeholders. These factors also help you to avoid intricacies faced by the project managers during the project development process.
That’s it, folks! Hope you found this informative and interesting. If yes, here are some interesting articles for you.