Is it possible that just five questions are able to bring your project to a close in a successful manner? Probably not, honestly, but these five questions listed on the blog Herding Cats can significantly increase the likelihood of a successful project. The questions include:
- What capabilities are needed to fulfill the Concept of Operations, the Mission and Vision, or the Business System Requirements?
- What technical and operational requirements are needed to deliver these capabilities?
- What schedule delivers the product or services on time to meet the requirements?
- What periodic measures of physical percent complete assure progress to plan?
- What impediments to success, their mitigations, retirement plans, or “buy downs are in place to increase the probability of success?”
Measuring the Right Elements
These five, as it is easy to see, cover many areas of the project, including capabilities, requirements, plans and execution (alongside continuous risk management). They not only help the project manager better understand what the project aims to do, but how to measure the project’s status throughout the process and who needs to be involved through the project itself. For instance, operational requirements are built through the understanding of the stakeholders and of the project team itself (as they discover what needs to occur in order to provide the business requirements). Furthermore it allows the project team to understand what “done” means, which is remarkably important for keeping the project on track and successful:
If we don't have some idea of what DONE looks like in measures of effectiveness, then the project itself is in jeopardy from do one. The only way out is to pay money during the project to discover what DONE looks like. Agile does essentially this, but there are other ways. In all ways, knowing where we are going is mandatory. Exploring is the same as wandering around looking for a solution. If the customer is paying for this, the project is likely a R&D project. Even then the “D” part of R&D has a goal to discover something useful for those paying.
Read the full article here to learn more about the ways to find out the answers to those five questions (as well as why it’s important to you): http://herdingcats.typepad.com/my_weblog/2014/04/5-questions-that-need-answers-for-project-success.html