Project Management

The 6 Best Steps to Project Success

The move towards a more team-oriented environment represents a positive shift forward in business, acknowledging more and more that the individual is important, but the overall harmony is even more important. Andrew Garbutt, writing for the Association for Project Management, explores the essential steps to follow in order to properly implement transformational change:

  1. Provide clarity for all stakeholders.
  2. Implement clear and simple governance.
  3. Get the environment right.
  4. Have a holistic scope for the program.
  5. Work with the culture to change the culture.
  6. Engage and communicate.

“Transformational change” is an applied modification that alters the previous strategies and procedures that have been essential to the organization’s culture. At the root of change, and these accompanying six steps, are the people involved in the organization. To begin, there needs to be clarity for all stakeholders. Different stakeholders may require different visuals in order to fully grasp what is occurring, but nonetheless, the leader needs to maintain the vision of the “big picture.” The next element is to maintain simple governance. Establishing defined roles for everyone, generally understood responsibilities, a simple organizational structure, and a process that is conducive for rapid decision-making will establish adequate governance.

The environment needs to be one that inspires efficient and effective team decisions too. One such way to do so is to encourage team members to challenge proposals and approach ideas from new sides. It is also vital that team members understand what innovation really means to the process and how to handle risk management.

The next two steps focus on the culture of the organization and how to approach said culture. Leaders need to understand how the cultural environment in the organization operates and how to best manage it. Change needs to address not only the typical structures, process, and systems, but also needs to look towards behavior of individuals and the team collectively. One of the frequent occurrences is that change fails because little to no attention is paid to culture.

The final step is for leaders to communicate well with their team. The most important time for communication is in the beginning because that is when a project is most vulnerable and malleable. One common mistake for leaders is that they often underestimate the amount of time and resources required to adequately communicate.

An organization cannot simply throw a group of people together and hope for the best; they need to actively pursue excellence by encouraging teams to be high-performing. This will result in a project being monumentally successful.

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