During a recent Project retrospective with my peers, the topic of: what makes a successful project came up. One clear thing that was difficult for everyone to really elaborate on was: Value Realisation. What makes value realisation clear for the stakeholders? How do you make them realise value realisation when it occurs?
We came up with the above diagram for what elements are needed to show effective value realisation in projects.
Selling better projects
This is from the start of every project. Selling the right project and solution that the customer needs / wants. It is not just about selling them the idea of a “pipe dream” but of a workable and realistic solution that will meet their needs. Effective expectation management is key here and something that should never be underestimated.
Project Manager Skill
One of the biggest mistakes that organisations can make is having the wrong people in the most important positions. Having a Project Manager with the right skills to be able to lead and deliver a project is absolutely critical for a successful project and something which I strive to instill in every Program/ Portfolio Manager! Having an ineffectual Project Manager will potentially ruin an otherwise successful project.
Culture of Empowerment
The culture in the organisation is critical for success and effective value realisation. I’ve seen that where there is a culture of empowering the team to deliver and take ownership for the task/projects that they are doing; that value realisation comes as a consequence of this. If you are a Project Manager, you can create a culture of empowerment in your teams by giving them the autonomy and ownership of the tasks that they are doing and also by giving them the necessary background for them to take ownership of the project as a whole. One thing that
What is a common thread?
Within all of these elements runs two key elements: Effective organisational change and Innovation. You need to be able to have a “Champion of the Change” in the organisation who will take over the PR of selling the project within the organisation and be in an influential role to be able to “sell” the project and it’s value to the wider stakeholders and organisation.
I also consider Innovation to be a common thread running through successful value realisation. Encouraging innovation in how you sell projects can help you deliver more tailored/unique solutions that will resolve the requirements of the client. Encouraging Project Managers to be more innovative in their skill development and management can help the team in their delivery of the required tasks and deliverables. For me, Innovation is the blood that runs through a team’s veins to deliver successful and effective value realisation in projects.
Whenever you run a project, the solution that you are providing represents the potential value of the project whereas often the end customer will only desire the realised value. Based on this, I started thinking about the other factors involved in having successful value realisation and came up with this chart:
The main additions for me concern the core PM triangle of Scope/Cost/Time but also adding in the very important element of Leadership. I think having effective and suitable Leadership will give the organisation a lot more power and ability to deliver value realisation to the stakeholders and enable the project to be considered a success.
Would you agree with this? Do you think that the diagram looks differently? Let’s start a discussion and share knowledge!