How to deliver projects successfully and increase profitability
Are PMs Empowered to Deliver Successful Projects?
The Project Manager (PM) is a key contributor to project success and there are several sure signs that a PM is well positioned to deliver successful projects. Look at five aspects of projects for clues: project planning, scope and specification, change management, progress management, project communication, and recognition.
- Project planning – A PM takes ownership of the overall project plan. The PM understands the project objectives and key success factors for the project. The PM insists on and is given full visibility to all key project tasks, project dependencies, resourcing, and proposed task completion dates. The PM ensures the alignment of responsibility for project deliverables and task completion dates, negotiating or forcing this alignment as appropriate.
- Progress management – A PM takes responsibility for the early detection of late tasks, minimising surprises resulting from missed dates or unplanned costs, and working with the team to adapt the plan and schedule to minimise the impact of any material problems.
- Recognition – If the PM is really held accountable for a project, then the organisation gives the PM primary credit for project success. This recognition (which can be enhanced with a financial incentive) reinforces the significant role of the PM.
- Scope definition – Changes to project scope or even to technology choices can be a major contributor to projects going off track. The PM is involved in the consideration of any material changes before commitments are made, ensuring that the resulting revised plan is viable.
- Project communication – A PM must communicate directly and in a timely manner with team members, suppliers, or stakeholders. Everyone impacted by the project’s progress must constantly be in tune with the current project state, progress to targets, and variances.
Projects have a much higher probability of success if PMs are given autonomy and take personal responsibility for all aspects of project planning and management. Empower project managers with effective training for managing scope, resourcing, handling problems, and also by fostering commitment to project results.