12 keys to project’s success


It is said that 12 keys are needed in order to achieve the success of project and project manager.

Here are the 12 keys.

Key 1: Take special attention to the three standards of project’s success.

In brief, the first standard is to finish the project in time; the second standard is to control the project’s budget in a certain range; the third standard is to obtain approvals from your company or your customers by achieving good product quality. Project manager must make sure every team member’s work follows these three standards.

Key 2: Plan before execution.

From the point of view of project management, many experts and practitioners share the same opinion: the most important thing a project manager should devote to is planing. The only foundation of project’s success is a detailed and systematic plan which is co-developed by team members.

When an environment not fit for planing comes to reality, project manager should develop a new plan which can reflect the variation of environment. Plan, plan and plan more is becoming a life style of project manager.

Key 3: Deliver a sense of urgency to team members by own practical action

All projects must be finished within several constraints such as time, resource and budget. On the other hand, most team members have their own interests, therefore project manager should lead the members to pay close attention to project’s goal and schedule. For instance, project manager could inspect member’s work timely, or hold regular meeting, or post some kind of reminder on the wall, et al.

Key 4: Successful projects should be used as measurement to on going project.

Standard development module of project information system can assure professional standard and successful experience being integrated into the project plan. This type of module not only can guarantee quality, but also can reduce the repeated work to lowest level. Therefore, the scope of a project needs to be reduced due to limited budget and time, project manager should determine a best module of project life cycle.

Key 5: Vividly communicate all objectives and activities of project

Project manager and team members should describe project’s objectives vividly since the beginning of the project, to make sure every relevant person can remember the project. All details of project’s activity should be described clearly, precisely and unambiguously, and be agreed upon by every person.

Key 6: Gradually achieve project’s objectives

If project manager and team members try to achieve all the project’s objectives simultaneously, it would only cause repeated work which would waste both time and money. As the saying goes, you can not build up your constitution on one mouthful. Therefore, Project objectives can only be achieved step by step. And performing evaluations after every achievement of every single objective would make sure the entire project is under control.

Key 7: Obtain precise approval of project and execute only after sponsor sign

Obtain the stakeholders’ approval for the project at the very beginning is very significant for the process of achieving the project’s objectives. Project manager should see the signature and approval as the formal start of the project. The reason is simple: anyone with the authority of refusing or modifying the project’s objectives should examine and approve these objectives at the project’s initiation.

Key 8: A thorough analysis of project’s objectives must be performed in order to succeed the project

Researches have shown that project is likely to be successful if the project’s objectives are designed to be aligned with recorded and well-known business requirement. Therefore, project manager should adhere to the principle that sufficient evidence should be found for the project’s business value before the organization’s approval for the project.

Key 9: Responsibilities and power of project manager must be equal

Apart from power, there must be responsibilities for project manager. It is not excessive or not surprised that project manager should be responsible to the project’s result. But on the other hand, project manager also should be given sufficient power to take the equivalent responsibilities. At certain times, power shows its importance, like when project manager have to obtain or coordinate resources, or ask some relevant medium/small company to cooperate, or make decisions which are valuable to the success of project.

Key 10: Project sponsors and users should forwardly get involved, and should not reap where one has not sown.

Most of project sponsors and users can raise requests and perform their (partial or full) power of authorizing project’s objectives correctly. But with this power comes the equivalent responsibility, which is forwardly getting involved into every phase of project. For instance, at early stage of the project, they have to assist in determining the objectives of project, and at the execution stage of the project, they have to evaluate the periodic objectives which have been achieved, in order to assure the project goes without any obstacle. Project sponsors also should assist in visiting relevant medium/small companies and members of target users with project manager, and help project manager to acquire necessary documentation which would help succeeding the project.

Key 11: Execution of project should follow the operating mechanism of current market

Most of the time, project manager should consider himself as a seller, to devote himself into finishing the job which the sponsors and users have handed over. Once project plan has been approved, project manager have to timely remind the team members what business requirements they have to meet, and further more, how to meet those business requirements.

Key 12: Project manager should select the best candidates to be project team members

The best candidates to be team members should have relevant technical training, to be experience, and high-quality. To the project, obtaining the best candidates usually can make up the disadvantages of schedule, budget and other factors. Project manager should create a good work environment for these best team members by helping them void being distracted, and helping them acquire necessary tools or conditions in order to develop their best ability.

In summary, the 12 keys which would lead to the success of a project cover the knowledge areas such as resource management, stakeholder management, communication management, baseline management, et al. All these knowledge has been discussed in detailed in PMBOK (Project Management Body Of Knowledge), which is a standard textbook of PMP exam. Therefore, study the body of knowledge and passing the PMP exam is crucial to a project manager.

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