Managing a business project- regardless of its size and nature – can be quite challenging in the real world. According to a 2016 report from the Project Management Institute, “Pulse of the Profession: The High Cost of Low Performance,” only 62% of projects meet their goals and business intent – a trend which has been dropping since 2008 – and 16% fail outright.

Some of the studies by Gartner and Project Management Institute all have a recurring theme on why projects fail. Here are some of the common reasons they identify:

  • Lack of clear link between the projects and the organization’s key strategic practices.
  • Lack of clear accountability for measured results.
  • Lack of consistent processes for managing unambiguous checkpoints.
  • Lack of consistent methodology for planning and executing projects.
  • Lack of customer input during the phases of requirements elicitation, product description, and implementation.
  • Lack of workforce motivation.
  • Lack of the right tools and techniques needed to achieve consistent results throughout the project.

But regardless of why projects fail, it’s the business bottom-line that takes the punishment. The PMI report found that a whopping US$122 million is wasted for every US$1 billion invested due to poor project performance, a 12% increase over last year.

With a huge amount of resources at stake, it is imperative to keep every aspect of the project in line to ensure it meets its goals and objectives on time and on budget. Here are few things that you can implement to improve the chances of success for your projects:

  1. Establish Clear Vision and Goals

A project should have a distinct purpose with a defined end goal. Having a clear vision and goal will help you keep on track and create short-term goals for the project. Furthermore, when every key stakeholder completely understands and agrees upon the project’s vision and goals prior to the start of the project, you will be able to define a strategic project plan crucial to making your idea a reality.

With milestones in place, it’s easier to meet deadlines and to deliver the goods on time and on budget. These two are crucial to project management success, so it pays to keep these in mind every step of the way.

  1. Have a Clearly Defined Roles and Responsibilities

A project will surely fail if the team members lack complete understanding about their roles and responsibilities. Take time to detail what roles are needed, the exact responsibilities of each role, and which project team member will fill it.

Proper task delegation can come off as a show of confidence in your team members’ inherent skills, which then boosts morale and becomes instrumental in bringing about the best possible project results.

  1. Ensure Communication Within the Team

Taking the collaborative approach is one the key steps to running a successful project. To achieve this, you should create a communication plan at the start of the project that lays down every type of communication method that will occur as well as when it will take place.

It’s also vital to categorize what types of messages will be communicated and the general information they’ll address. Ensuring the right message is paired up with the right audience will help minimize problems as you move along the project timeline.

  1. Remain Flexible and Adaptable

You don’t want anything to go out of control during any of the phases of the projects, but events can happen along the way which could set your project back. That said, you need to be aware of the possible project management risks that you may encounter, and have flexible action steps that can effectively respond and address these risks should they arise.

  1. Manage Your Resources Efficiently

Document all the resources you will need before starting the project. Resources include budget allocation, venues (in the case of focus groups), conferences or events you’ll need to hold, equipment that your team members will require, and human resources in the case of third-party specialists and consultants. Booking resources ahead of time can also help you more easily manage your project’s budget.

  1. Measure Your Success

Once your project concludes, use the measures of success that you agreed at the start to gauge project performance. Was it within budget? Was it on schedule? Did it produce what it was meant to produce, and at the required quality? What can be learned from this project? After a thorough evaluation of project performance, report it to your sponsors and key stakeholders.

Completing projects successfully can help boost your confidence and the overall morale of your team members. Use these tips for your next project and you will be able to achieve your desired win.


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