lundi 30 décembre 2013

7 Signs That Your Project Will Be A Success

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You might be busy looking out for things that will cause problems on your project, but have you ever stopped to think what you should be focusing on to ensure that your project has the best possible chance of success? Of course, we can’t guarantee your project will be a success, but you can give it a head start by making sure that you have identified these 7 signs. And if your project isn’t showing these signs, then start working towards getting all these elements in place!

1. You Have A Project Plan

A project plan starts with a project task list, and if you have one of those, you are on the way to making your project a success. Without a plan, you have no idea about what you are supposed to be doing and how you are supposed to be doing it. A plan gives you structure to the project and helps you stay on track.
Using online tools to create your plan and your schedule means that it is easy to share with the project team. This is another sign of success, as we’re about to see.

2. You Collaborate With Your Team

Teams are essential to projects, and collaboration between team members is critical to ensure that your project has every chance of being a success. If you aren’t collaborating with your team members, they are probably operating in isolation and that isn’t good for anyone. Make sure that they talk to each other as well as to you, and use collaboration tools like instant messaging to help the discussions along.

3. You Track The Project Budget

It’s easy to track the project budget with expense management Budget tracking and managementsoftware or even a simple spreadsheet, but yet many project managers fail to do this. Knowing how much you are spending is important to make your project a success, as a project that overspends significantly is not likely to be considered that successful by the stakeholders!
Keep track of your project expenses along with copies of the invoices and any other monies being spent. All you have to do is make sure you record the information somewhere and compare it with what you thought you would spend. Of course, that means that you do have to have a forecasted budget to compare it to, so put one of those together before the project starts. If your forecasted spend is similar to what you are actually spending then you are doing a good job of keeping the expenses under control and you’ll be helping your project be successful.

4. You Have A Process For Managing Risk

Risks are things that might go wrong. They are things that might impact your project, either for good or for bad. Mostly, we focus on the risks that would be bad, because no one wants bad things to happen that affect whether or not the project will deliver the right things on time.
A successful project is one that has a process for managing risk. When you identify something that could potentially impact your project, you should work with your project team to put together an action plan to address the risks. Break the plan down into activities and make sure that someone is responsible for seeing them through.
Use a risk log to capture all the risks and what you are doing about them. Then you can share this with your team. Update the log as you go and close any risks that are no longer relevant. In short, that’s the basic risk management process, but as long as you have some approach to handling risk, you’re doing OK!

5. You Put Every Change Through The Change Process

What you set out to do at the beginning of a project is very rarely what you end up doing, and that’s because each project has changes. A change is something that alters the scope, quality, budget or requirements of the project. And each change should go through the change process so that you can control it. After all, changes can affect multiple areas of the project, so you need to make sure that they are implemented in a sensible and managed way.
The change process should include doing some analysis of the change and how it will affect the project, identifying any potential cost or time implications and then preparing a recommendation for the project sponsor about whether they should accept or reject the change.  Successful projects don’t leave managing change to chance, so check that your change process is working.

6. You Manage Stakeholders Effectively

Stakeholders have an interest in the project or the thing the project is delivering. stakeholder managementThey include the person who is the customer of the deliverable, the project team, the sponsor and any other suppliers and internal colleagues who are working with you, getting a benefit from or helping somehow with your project.
Obviously, some stakeholders are more important than others as they have greater influence and a bigger say in whether the project is a success or not. In general, the more influential the stakeholder, the more you need to manage them! Managing stakeholders isn’t as scary as it sounds. It’s mainly about making sure that you have a detailed communication plan and that you meet or talk to them regularly to keep them updated. Those chats are also their opportunity to give you feedback about how they think the project is going, so be sure to listen as well as talk.
A clear sign that your project is going to be successful is that you have happy stakeholders who regularly receive project communications and reports.

7. You Store Your Files Centrally

A good project manager should be able to put his or her hands on any project document within just a few seconds. Can you do that? The easiest way to have confidence that you know where all your project files are is to store them in one single place. An online document repository or file storage system is ideal as you can access it from anywhere with an internet connection.
Many online document stores also save previous versions for you, so it’s easy to check that you are looking at the latest, most up-to-date copy.

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