During a recent discussion with a colleague of mine, we were trying to work out a list of what are the biggest factors towards client success and therefore a successful project and outcome. We came up with the following list and I’d love to hear what you think:
1) Clear, known requirements upfront
It is so vitally important to understand what needs to be delivered during a project, that without it, you are surely to fail and the chance of success is 0. Requirements isn’t just about knowing what should be delivered but how it should work and any considerations that are relevant to the acceptance of the final product by the end user. In software, this could be knowing acceptable waiting times or transactions that you will be doing.
2) Right people, in the right positions
You can have the best group of individuals, but if they’re not in the right role, it will be utterly pointless. It’s like putting a goalkeeper in striker position in football. They may be ok, but they won’t shine in their position. When I start a project, I try to ensure that I understand what everyone enjoys doing, their talent profile and where they could best fit within the team.
Having the right people in the right positions is vital to making sure that you can build a strong team that can deliver.
3) Adequate Project Management and Governance
The “secret sauce” of any successful project is ensuring that you have adequate Project Management and Governance in place. When I have analysed projects that have failed/ had issues, one of the key elements in all of them, was related to the Project Management qualification of the team, whether this was too little project management effort, not enough governance in place or issues with the project managers.
I have been told several times that I was “wasting time” by ensuring that we had set up all governance for a project, but in the longer run, it really helped the project when issues or risks did occur.
4) A well functioning team
A team that does not work well together can cause issues with mis-communication, delays and poor quality. I recommend investing time throughout the project to ensure that you can invest in your teams, their activities and the learning and development of each team member.
A well functioning team can look different depending on the location, composition or type of team so I would recommend looking at each team as unique groups and seeing what each team needs for success.
5) The right environment
How can your team excel? What are the elements to ensure that they can work together productively rather than with disturbances. During our discussions, the elements that were most important for the right environment, included:
- Undisturbed time to be creative and work
- Lack of micro management
- The right tools to work
- Ability to work together
The right environment is important to ensure that your team have the ability to succeed.
What are your top factors towards success? What would you add to the list?