There are many different project and, perhaps to a lesser degree, programme, management methods around and there are many training courses ranging in price, duration and quality.

project planThey all have their strengths and weaknesses and many of them, if properly executed, can increase the likelihood of success – it is normally better to have even a weak structure to a project than none at all.

In our experience, there are a number of key factors that, almost regardless of the methodology employed, will get most projects off to a good start and give them a fighting chance of success. Our top ten are:

  1. All projects should be aligned with your strategy
  2. The scope needs to be clearly defined
  3. The goals & objectives must be realistic
  4. What constitutes success must be clearly understood
  5. There must be adequate commitment and buy-in from senior managers
  6. Roles and responsibilities have to be agreed and understood
  7. A motivated and valued project team is vital
  8. The correct skills must be available and utilised
  9. Risks need to be managed effectively
  10. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Finally, always review what you have achieved and learnt. Typically, organisations look at projects that have failed to try to understand the mistakes that were made and learn from them (or sometimes to allocate blame!). Far fewer, however, review the successes, which is a much more motivational exercise – learn from what you did right and do the same again.