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Sensible Project Manager Hangout 6

Sensible Project Manager Hangout 6

“Project Success Factors” was the topic for the 6th hangout of the Sensible Project Manager Hangout Community. In this community of project managers and others who enjoy discussing project manager topics, we have a weekly hangout which is hosted via Google+ Hangout. These hangouts are held each Friday at 9:00am pacific time. Up to 10 people can join the hangout and those not making it to the hangout can view the conversation via Hangouts “On-Air”.

During the hangout we discussed what it takes to make a project successful.  Prior to discussing the project success factors we discussed what a successful project looks like.   All projects should be measured against the following items:

What does a successful project look like?

      • Schedule – The project will deliver the scope of the project within the timeframe identified.  Or in other words the project will be on schedule.
      • Budget – The project will be delivered within the budget defined.
      • Scope – All scope items identified will be delivered by the end of the project.
      • High Quality – The scope will be delivered with high quality.
      • Customer is Happy – Ultimately, the greatest measurement for a successful project is if the customer is pleased with the solution or service that is delivered from the project.

Project Success Factors

The success factors discussed in the hangout is an adaptation from an article called Top Ten Project Success Factors which was a extract from a book written by Karen A. Brown & Nancy Lea Hyer called Managing Projects: A Team-Based Approach, published by McGraw-Hill in 2010.

      1. The Vision is clearly defined
        1. It is critical to have a clear vision of the project.
        2. The vision must be agreed upon by management
      1. The project team understands the Vision and understands its Value.
        1. It is important that the project team and all stakeholders understands the vision and the value that is achieved by delivering a solution which meets the vision.
        2. Enthusiasm within the team will build as they catch the vision of the project.
        3. Project Managers & Project Sponsor responsible to help the team understand the value.
      1. Strong Teamwork
        1. Teams which work together well are more efficient and they usually deliver successful projects.
        2. When there is good teamwork communications are usually increased.
      1. Customer is understood / preferably involved throughout the project
        1. The customer is key to the success of the project.
        2. Involve the customer as much as possible so that the solution meets the customers needs.
        3. Team can get sidetracked if they don’t understand the customer.
        4. Strong customer interactions during an agile project is a key concept for agile development.
      1. Project has enough resources / preferably dedicated
        1. Project success is very dependent on the availability of resources.
        2. The right resources must be available when they are needed.
        3. Dedicated resources on a project team is preferred.
      1. Roles & Responsibilities are Clear
        1. Team needs to understand what their role is
        2. Fosters good teamwork
      1. The Project is planned well
        1. Take the time up front to plan the project correctly.
        2. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
        3. Agile projects still requires planning.  Planning just looks a little different on an agile project.
      1. Effective management of uncertainty
        1. There are always unknowns on a project.
        2. Don’t wait for the unknown to come to you…attack it and plan for it.
        3. It is recommended to include buffers in the project plan to account for the unknown tasks.
      1. Great Communication
        1. Project managers should continuously share information with all stakeholders.
        2. Keep management updated on status, both the good and the bad.
        3. Be transparent with the team and stakeholders.
      1. Effective scope management and change control
        1. Make sure everyone understands the scope.
        2. Scope should be clearly defined and agreed to.
        3. Have a strong change management process in place
          1. Follow it.
          2. Don’t be afraid of change…it will happen.
      1. Strong Leadership
        1. Leadership ties all of the previous success factors together.
        2. Lead the team don’t just manage the team.
        3. The project manager is really making sure the rest of the success factors are followed.

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