Project Management

9 Top Things to Make a Successful Project

These are the 9 things that make a wonderful project!

1.   Know who your Stakeholders are. These are the people you have to communicate to. No one likes surprises!

2.   Spend a lot of time getting the scope right and signed off on. If the scope isn’t correct or sufficient, you will never get your requirements correct.

3.   Spend lots of time on your work breakdown structure. Break it down into work packages until they cannot be broken down further. A rule of thumb I use is a work package cannot be more than 40 hours.

4.   Spend a lot of time in team building. A good team works harder and produces a better product (and also has more fun!). Also reward them with a party or outing at the end of a successful project.

5.   Follow the SDLC. If the scope changes after you have written the Requirements documents, the Requirements documents must change accordingly. This follows all the way down the line. It is very important that you educate your Stakeholders that a change must go through a change review process, documents must change and the schedule will be extended.

6.   Manage people’s time on a daily basis. Not only do you want the time they spent on their task but also the remaining work. If you first estimate something at 40 hours and are 20 hours through, that doesn’t mean you are 50% done with the project. This way you can manage the schedule closely by putting an additional resource, dropping other functionality or whatever makes sense so you can make your schedule.

7.   Never surprise anyone. I make it a habit to never surprise my Stakeholders. As soon as an issue comes up, communicate it and brainstorm on options. I also tell all my team members to never surprise me. If I get bad news as soon as it happens, I have time to recover. If I get it 2 weeks before shipping I get very angry.

8.   Spend lots of time on Risk planning, Risk analysis and contingency planning. You can never spend too much time.

9.   Monitor the project carefully. Your critical path can change in an instant so you must look at it at least weekly.



September 26, 2008 - Posted by | PMP, Project Management | ,

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