Top 5 – Principles of Good Project Management

July 2, 2012
project management FINAL

What do the following have in common? Building a house, integrating a new software platform into your organisation, sending a rocket to the moon or planning a wedding.
The answer? They are all projects and each one of these projects will require a detailed plan to achieving the end result.

However whilst the leader of each of these projects will start off with the best of intentions research shows that less than 10% of all projects are completed on time and to budget.

A recent report by The Standish Group shows a staggering 31.1% of projects will be cancelled before they are ever completed. The report also indicates that 52.7% of projects will cost 189% of their original estimates and only 9% of projects will be completed on time and to budget.
Whilst these statistics are less than motivating there is light at the end of the Project Management tunnel. Successful projects are possible and these are governed by guiding principles of project management.

1.The Right Project ManagerThe success of a project relies on great contributions and the skills of individual contributors, none more so than the Project Manager who leads the team and is ultimately responsible for the end result. Below is a list of some of the key skills of a good Project Manager;

  • Inspires a shared vision
  • Is a strong communicator
  • Displays enthusiasm
  • Ability to delegate tasks
  • Calm under pressure
  • Can build a strong team
  •  Developed problem solving skills
  • (the topics on behavioural interviewing and Leadership can help you select the right Project Manager)

2. Time,Cost,QualityThere are three key dimensions to project management:

  • Time- completing the deliverables of the project by the agreed time frames
  • Cost – providing the deliverables of the project within the budget
  • Quality – delivering the project to a level of quality acceptable to the sponsors and stakeholders of the project.
  • (look at the model time cost quality model in this topic)

3. Planning No matter which text or project management authority you subscribe to, they all agree on one key point, fundamental to a projects success is planning and that this planning is ongoing. The planning must have structure be systematic and must involve the whole team. Naturally as changes occur that alter the course of the project the plan must change too.(the project templates in this topic will help you)

4. Communicate UrgencyBecause projects are time sensitive Project Managers must convey a sense of urgency. They must continue to reiterate the end goals and motivate the team to move towards completion. Most projects teams are made up of individuals who have lots of other priorities on top of the project , it’s the job of the project manager to keep them focused on the projects deliverables and deadlines.

5. Proven Project Management MethodologyTo increase the rate of success of a project a project management life cycle methodology must be employed. PMBOK, Prince2, MSP and PRiSM are all well-known project management methodologies. Due to the specific nature of these methodologies training in each of these methods is available and advisable.If your project has gone off the rails or you don’t know where to start click here (link to ask an expert)

Project Management

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