Wednesday 9 February 2022

5 necessary conditions for project success, how many do you meet?

The two components of project success are: (1) the success criterion, that is, the dependent variable on which we judge the success of the project outcome. (2) success factors, i.e. independent variables that will have an impact on the smooth implementation of success criteria. the two phd students i supervised jointly identified five necessary conditions for the success of the project, which i was deeply impressed with.

1. before the project begins, key stakeholders should agree on success criteria

this is because:

(1) you need everyone to have a shared vision of the end of the project. if people work for different ends, albeit unintentionally, they will not be able to reach one place in the end.

(2) you need everyone to adopt the same success factors, follow the same project strategy, and succeed on the same path. you don't want project team members to go in different directions.

(3) differences between different success criteria, although small, can lead to different outcomes, and can even affect the importance of how you deal with time, cost, or quality.

2. at the project's configuration review point, continuously determine consistent criteria for project success

it's not enough to just reach a one-time agreement on project goals at the beginning of a project, we also need to ensure that people maintain a consistent vision of project outcomes throughout the project lifecycle. this can be done in configuring review points and end-of-stage reviews.

3. maintain a cooperative working relationship between the project sponsor and the project manager, and both parties regard the project as a partnership

there is growing evidence that project managers and project sponsors must act as partners and move towards common interests in order to achieve successful project outcomes. both sides must adopt a win-win approach to working together. unfortunately, the two often try to cross each other, see the project as a fixed cake, and both want to sacrifice each other's interests to gain their own benefits.

their attitude is a game attitude, but there is no game in the project, it can only be a win-win or a lose-lose situation. if the project sponsor and the project manager try to play, they will lose both, but one of them will lose worse. each party must think about the project, not for him personally.

4. authorize the project manager and develop a medium-level system

unfortunately, project sponsors often try to impose strict institutions on project managers to maintain control. as a result, project managers do not have the flexibility to deal with risk. but the other extreme is not enough, if the promoter does not give guidance, there will be a state of loose management and chaos.

in fact, the sponsor should have a medium-level system, agree with the project manager on the understanding of the goals, set parameters, and the project manager work within this scope to achieve the goals, and allow the project manager to respond flexibly to risks. at the same time, sponsors can release authority for project managers at the time of the stage gate review, knowing that this authority can be reclaimed at the same time.

5. project sponsors should focus on project performance


project performance is good when the sponsor pays attention to the progress of the project, but the sponsor usually thinks that the project progress is worse than it actually is. when the sponsor does not pay attention to the progress, the project performance will be poor, and the sponsor will think that the project is progressing well.

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