How to Manage a Project

Project Management

Success in Project Management

There is no "magic formula" to success in project management. In practice it is simply a matter of introducing definition, focus and clarity into the project and then managing people and tasks actively to ensure progress.

Experience of projects has shown that the successful ones have the following in common.

The project is clearly relevant When the project is seen to be sensible, valuable and useful, and linked to the key tasks and objectives of the organisation.
There is a single project focus  When there is a clear, named single Project Manager for the project.
The sponsorship is sound When the project is well sponsored in the sense that there is a person or group who are clearly named as responsible for sponsoring the project on behalf of the organisation, and who fulfil their duties well.
There is a skilled & capable Project Manager  When the Project Manager is competent and has the appropriate skills and knowledge for the work, and also has experience and expertise in project management approaches.
There is a clear project management framework When the project is managed within a clear project management framework that is well understood and accepted within the organisation.
The project is well scoped & planned  When the Project Manager invests sufficient time and energy in the early days of the project in scoping it and planning it in detail.
Empowerment & delegation are sufficient  When the Project Manager is sufficiently empowered in the sense that he or she  can gain access to the resources needed to carry out the project and has the necessary delegated authorities to take decisions and act on their own authority when needed.
The organisational climate is conducive When the project is carried out within an organisational climate where there is a high degree of co-operation, openness, and responsibility in terms of people doing what they have agreed to do.

If this looks daunting, don't panic. In practice few projects fulfil all of these all of the time. However, it is through these eight factors that one reduces project risk. No single factor guarantees success, but all contribute to reducing the risk of failure. If you do have a number of them in place then that will increase your chances considerably.