4 Essential Tips on Project Delivery
September 27, 2012
Don't be overloaded with challenges
Do you feel that your project cannot be delivered because it is out of schedule, unaligned with the business objectives or too complex and vaguely planned? Do you have to report to board members about failed delivery? Or perhaps there is lack of finance and team competence?
These and other challenges can break your project. Here’re 4 essential tips to help you avoid failure and deliver your project.
1. Understand the Objectives
Before you can continue your project, take a step back and look at the project strategically. Does the project make sense? Is it being delivered according to the business requirements? You must understand the objectives and then figure out whether or not the project has been set according to the business requirements.
In other words, you need to find out if your project is reasonable in terms of the benefits it delivers to the stakeholders. If it doesn’t, why waste time? Don’t try to continue your project without fully understanding why do the project and what benefits the business will gain from successful project completion.
- What are the objectives of my project?
- Do the objectives align with the business goals?
- Does the project deliver the benefits expected by the stakeholders?
2. Analyze the Team
Your team makes or breaks the project. Your project manager’s ability to acquire, build and manage the team determines project success. On this point, you must make sure that the manager clearly knows how to ensure effective teamwork and that team members have all necessary skills, experience and knowledge required for productive collaboration and communication.
Hold meetings with the project manager and the team to find answers to the following questions:
- Does the manager (team leader) use an approach that is really effective for managing the particular team?
- Has every team member been tested for skills compliance? Do you employ the best specialists in your project team?
- Are the objectives clearly communicated to and understood by the team?
- Is there a mechanism of setting task priorities against the objectives to ensure project delivery quickest and most effectively?
3. Check Critical Path Timelines for Simplicity
One of the challenges that kill many projects is the complexity of plans. People often waste much time trying to develop complex and detailed delivery plans that no one can actually figure out how to implement or monitor.
If you encounter with this challenge in your project and want to address it effectively, I suggest you strive for simplicity. Actually, simplicity is the key to success. You must identify key tasks of your project and develop a critical path timeline. The tasks should be clearly prioritized and communicated to the performers, while the critical path timeline should have milestones referring to the tasks.
- What are the key tasks that deliver your project?
- Have execution order, priority and dependency been set for the tasks?
- Have the required critical resources been allocated?
- Does the team focus exclusively on the critical path timeline?
4. Aggressively Remove Obstacles
Removing roadblocks is a critical project manager’s task which makes the difference between success and failure. It is about solving problems that cripple the project and making decisions that move the project further until success in delivery is reached.
Your ability to pro-actively respond to challenges will depend on how quickly you can analyze current situation, understand problems and their causes, and find and deliver effective solutions.
- Is there an efficient method for measuring time performance?
- Can you say that you really know whether your project is on schedule and under budget?
- Do you track the critical path tasks coming up?
- Do you realize what you can do to accelerate the pace of deliver progress?
- Do you use status reports and meetings to get a complete understanding of progress, analyze issues and risks, and develop a response strategy?
Delivering project results on schedule, under budget and as per specification is vital to company success in today’s highly competitive business environment. The essential tips listed above in this article can help you deliver your project and avoid failure. I wish you be able to consistently deliver the bottom line results of your projects. Good luck in your project management practice!