This probably sounds like a strange question in the hopefully very organized world of project management, but it really isn’t all that strange. How do you know when your project engagement has come to an end? What is your project completion critera?
Project managers wear a variety of hats on nearly every project they manage. Exactly what hats they wear usually depends on several things – the complexity of the project, the culture of the organization, how much authority the PM is given, and sometimes even how the customer wants the project manager to lead the project (important customers tend to have a lot of weight on some projects). I’ve asked around, started discussions in forums and social media, and the roles that seem to come up the most often in people’s minds are these four…so I’d like to discuss them here and get your feedback as well. The four that are often mentioned are:
One essential factor of successful project management is proper communication. Sometimes, IT managers and personnel find it difficult to communicate project goals and progress with a non-technical audience, simply due to the nature of the work involved.
A foundational study by the Standish Group found that IT project success is dependent upon good communication. Three main success factors are: participation, management support and clear requirements. [Read more…] about Project Management Communication Tips
Since more projects fail than succeed, it’s OK to go ahead and talk about the elephant in the room. After all, we can all benefit from each other’s failure stories and learn lessons on how to deal with failures and possibly avoid them. [Read more…] about Top Four Reasons Most Projects Fail
Wouldn’t it be great to have everyone’s attention all the time keeping the project team engaged? Every meeting you see individuals on the edge of their seats, hanging on your every word. What you say drives what they do. How well they do it helps define your success. Its like a well-oiled machine. The whole is much bigger than the sum of the parts…never the other way around. Business like it was meant to be.
This, of course is hard to achieve. Why? Because not all employees and team members buy into the all for one, one for all concept. Not all feel the warmth of working toward a common goal. Some are more focused on personal gain or feel like they know better and can do it better (and no one says that isn’t true, we just need to acknowledge that as a team, not rogue individuals).
So how do we ensure that everyone is on the same page? How do we make sure that our team members are fully engaged and working toward the common goals on the project? [Read more…] about 3 Tips for Ensuring Your Project Team is Fully Engaged
All the recent talk about the Titanic got me thinking about the similarities of being involved in projects that we know have hit the metaphoric “iceberg” and are now slowly sinking and falling apart around you. What are the five warning signs that your project is about to fail could we have looked for to help ensure the success of the project, rather than everyone going down with it?
Here are five warning signs that your IT project is about to fail
1: Inconsistent Timing
Timing on a project can be a delicate thing. The Project Manager jockey’s slack and other project variables to keep the completion date fixed. Consider timing to be an issue when factoring in the scarcity of resources. Resources will always be your biggest obstacle so, what they’re working on is of critical importance to you.
A Project Manager’s friend is the scope change. If the resources aren’t available, or the scope has changed then bring it up in the next client update and move the completion date to accommodate the change.
2: Scale & Lack of Definition
The project is monolithic. The adage “How do you eat an elephant? “comes to mind. When you engage in a large project, it should be broken down into manageable pieces. Each objective and milestone must be well defined and achievable. Otherwise, you may find yourself going back to the drawing board over and over again to “get it right” which will impact the timing (see one above) and is a sure sign the project is not going in the right direction.
If you’re going to use Waterfall, then spend the time up front to define, document, meet and agree on the scope and schedule.
3: Lack of Support
Buy-in from all the stakeholders that the project will impact. Lack of support from management, department heads or from within the project team itself is vital. If any of these are going in different directions, failure is in the air. Manage support through Communication, our next point. Regularly scheduled meetings with a fixed agenda that reveals all is critical to your project’s success.
4: Poor Communication
Communication must be clear, concise and coordinated to ensure the success of the project. I use a “weekly traction meeting” to keep communication “in”. When communication goes “out”, it’s difficult to maintain support. A weekly traction meeting is simply a status update with a fixed agenda, every week at the same time. Invite all the stakeholders and send out the meeting minutes.
5: Lack of formal status updates