This week I want to discuss a subject that I have not touched on before but which nonetheless can have a major impact on business performance and that is project management. Whilst it may look like I am stating the obvious, projects can often get into trouble when it is not clear what they are really about, so for the purposes of this article, a “project” is any activity which has clear start and end dates, defined budgets and well defined project outcomes.
Think about most of the projects you have been involved with (could be at school, at home or at work) and think about how often the original criteria were not met. It is an unfortunate fact that most projects fail by which I mean one or more of the required criteria do not end up being satisfied (e.g. think about programs like “The Block” where often rooms are not completed and/or go over budget). Unfortunately, the same is often true in business but here the effects of going over budget or missing required deadlines can be disastrous.
There are many ways to improve the chances of project success which I can’t begin to cover in this article, but if I were to bring this down to three key points that have consistently demonstrated real benefits, it would be these:
1. Be absolutely clear about what needs to be done and by when and hence what a successful outcome looks like.
2. Estimate as accurately as you can what the project will cost (different to what you may end up charging for it) by breaking the project down into reasonably sized measurable chunks.
3. Identify how you will measure project progress against all criteria and report on all these elements weekly.
If you would like more information on training courses that cover the above, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Ian Ash, AInstIB
Managing Director, OrgMent Business Solutions