If you considered the amount of projects that result as a failure, the number would be quite high. Top companies also have to deal with failure, therefore it seems the secret to succeed in project management is not as easy to discover. But, before we talk about failures, we should first define what success means in project management.
Success means achieving a goal following certain steps
As we deal with projects, success means achieving a goal while maintaining a preset budget, respecting the deadline and providing quality work, as requested by the client. This process involves following certain steps, in each stage of the project, which means reaching your goal progressively.
If all team members work to achieve a preset goal and they know how to get there, the project will be a success. If they don’t, the project will be a failure.
This requires for the project to be managed by a project manager who needs to act as a leader. The first question that comes up is, “why as a leader and not as a manager?”
Management implies planning, organizing, leadership and control. The general management of a business or organization needs to ensure the continuity of existent processes.
Therefore, managers can maintain the business direction, but they cannot change it. To determine the employees to turn to a new direction, you need to be able to influence them, hence the leadership qualities that a manager needs.
Projects, on the other hand, have a predetermined time frame. A project has a beginning and an end, while a company continues to exist, obviously. Projects also means adapting to constant changes, that might occur during the process, which require analysis and approval, and if all the requests are approved, they need to be integrated within the project, because the end-goal of the project changed along the road.
The mechanisms for project management require leadership, because projects need flexible leadership mechanisms, that can’t be provided by basic management (because of its rigidity).
The project manager should use their leadership qualities to influence their time. The time doesn’t work for the project manager, but they work together with the project manager. Essentially, it’s about leading through influence, not through hierarchy.
If you were to analyze the hierarchy within a project, the project manager is situated at the top of an organizational chart, and below that person is the rest of the team. All of them exchange information to ensure the direction and rhythm of the project. In this situation, project management software is a necessity, as it enables information sharing and efficient communication among team members. The team’s job is to deliver the work requested by the client. The golden rule to ensure success is to make sure each team member knows exactly what they need to do and when they need to do it.
In the case of most failed projects, the team members are not exactly sure what they were supposed to do. Generally speaking, they execute some basic processes that they know how to do, following instructions. The managing team members are also having troubles establishing clear responsibilities, procedures, relationships within the command-execution chain, task, objectives and so on. As a conclusion, the mistakes are often caused by the people in charge.
Compliance, the secret enemy of successful projects
Most people just comply to rules: they come to work, do what they did each day, what their colleagues are doing, without knowing exactly what really needs to be done, when it need to be done, or if they even do their job correctly. Often, when people are assigned verbal tasks, they listen, but they don’t always understand them.
Compliance reduces the dynamic of a project. People don’t think in order to come with ideas of their own to improve a project, they just follow the pack. If an audit is made, no one is found at fault, nevertheless the project fails.
Even when projects are based on a complex strategy, a careful planning is made, those projects might fail. The main cause is related to the fact that team member comply to those who don’t know exactly what they have to do, which is a wrong way to behave.
Achievers are those who know how to follow the right steps in order to achieve a goal. They know what they need to do (following a project strategy and having all the information) and then they start to act in order to achieve the goal. They’re successful because they know where they need to go, and what steps to follow in order to get there. They have a clear path and they reach a destination they know beforehand.
On the other hand, you have a situation in which everyone is sent on their way without having clear indications, directions or goals. Team members that are not provided with all the information and tools they need to achieve their goal will fail.
How to handle a successful project
Success projects are handled by project managers who know what they need to do, when they need to do it and they know how to do it. They also know how to communicate all of this to the rest of the team members, they make sure the information is received correctly and that the members apply the information correctly and completely. Project managers know the right path and show it to other involved in the project.
A successful project is a project in which the team members act deliberately in a certain way in order to achieve their goal, following a flexible plan, which incorporates changes made “on the go”, in order to achieve efficient goals.
The secret to guarantee the success of a project is that a project becomes what you planned it to become. Success means having a complete project management plan and a competent and responsible project manager who knows which path to follow in order to finalize it.
Lantech-Soft is providing project management software tools for companies and organizations, to complete successful projects each time. Request your free offer today and turn all your projects into successful ones each time.