• Tara Humphrey

Project Fundamentals | The 3 key factors that make a successful project

Updated: Aug 21, 2018

When it comes to projects, most specialists in this area will be following a structured methodology which rightly so incorporates the following elements, plus more;

•    Project scoping documents  •    Controlled starts, changes and a controlled end •    Version controls •    Project assurance  •    Implementation plans  •    Communication plans  •    Quality assurance processes •    Testing  •    Plan, do, study act cycles 

However, if the above elements are not underpinned by 2 key factors the project will be doomed. These 3 factors are: 

1.    A clear project vision  Everyone around the table needs to understand the project’s vision and rationale.  This vision needs to hopefully inspire, be meaningful, clear and succinct, set the direction and rationale. 

This may take a little while to refine and should be the anchor for when difficult decisions need to be made and keep people on track. 

If the project vision isn’t fully formed, it will result in a group of people walking to the beat of their own drum. This isn’t to say you won’t make progress, but the project will never achieve its full potential.

2.    Effective and frequent communication  Poor communication often leads to frustration all around and people either going off an doing their own thing or nothing at all.  During the good and the bad times, communication is a must. In person, over the phone, via emails, in marketing materials, meeting minutes, newsletters and recently I have started using videos to keep people updated.    If in doubt, over communicate and link back to the vision and achievements to create a positive project environment. 

3.    Willingness and Trust  I have been part of many project teams where a) they point blank did not want to be part of the project or b)  The team did not trust each other.  Now granted, when a group aren't used to working with each other,  trust is naturally developed over time. However,  if the trust has been broken in the past, or organisational and personal values are not aligned, the building blocks for an effective working relationship fail to fully form.

Here take your time, start with identifying some small wins to develop trust and collaborative working. Don’t try to run together before you can walk. 

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