Currently, most of the strategic initiatives of organizations are materialized through projects. According to the statistics published by the PMI at PMI’s Press of the Profession in March 2013, there is still a high percentage of projects that do not reach their objectives or that are canceled during execution. This generates that the organizations lose money and their motivation in the implementation of the same ones.
I know that there are no magic recipes, but during my time as a project manager, and multiple talks with my colleagues, I have identified some practices that can reduce the gap of failed projects or that do not meet their objectives.
Below I share what I have called the 6tips to succeed in projects:
1. Associate it to a strategic objective
Every project must seek a benefit for the organization, so it is recommended that they are aligned to a strategic objective, clearly defined and quantified, that allows measuring their results.
2. Assign a “Project Manager”
Project Management is a profession, that is to say, that the person who executes the role must have specific and adequate training, have a series of complementary competencies and skills that support the success of a project.
3. Adopt some kind of guide, methodology or practice of Project Management
It is important that the organizational structures and adapts some recognized and proven Project Management framework or guide; this allows having an organized process that manages to standardize the way projects are carried out and implement practices that are endorsed worldwide.
4. Clearly limit the scope
Identify promptly the project stakeholders and define a strategy for their management It is important that spaces be sought so that stakeholders, sponsors and the team know in depth the scope and requirements to generate a shared vision, and thus avoid or reduce the changes that may be generated due to a weakly defined scope.
We must always determine the different interest groups, define what and how we are going to involve them in the execution, how we will keep them informed (even isolated in some cases), what their change management process will be like, among other aspects.
5. Maintain an open space for communication
This is one of the most determining factors; When it is given in an open, timely and assertive way, an optimum working environment is generated, communicating the necessary and constant information and opening spaces for dialogue at all levels of the project.
6. Maintain a negotiating position in favor of the project
As Project Managers, we must ensure and achieve profitability, oriented to the fulfillment of the strategic objective to which it is aligned, and we must adopt a negotiating, conciliatory and argumentative attitude in order to reach agreements that ultimately benefit the results.
Following these tips, promoting good Project Management within our organizations and leveraging the experiences and good practices that others have identified and shared, we will achieve better results and take our organization to a higher and more competitive level.