Friday, March 29, 2013

Critical Success Criteria for a Project

This is what I think what is extremely important for a project to be successful.

1. Good Communication. This is not new but seems like some projects managers simply don't get it. What does "good communication" means ?

Good communication refers to :-

a) Timely communication. If you report out something that people already heard, then it is of no use and it may even create confusion,  unless you are correcting any misinformation that is out there.

b) Accurate information. Whatever we communicate whether verbally, in email or status reports, must have accurate and complete information otherwise recipients will get a wrong picture. Some people are just plain lazy to provide sufficient details.

c) Right level of details to the right recipients. Don't simply copy to all unless requested.

For example, if there is a delay because of something happened (or didn't happen), then we should inform the impacted stakeholders soonest possible and not wait for the daily or weekly report out. The communication should also include what happened, the impact of it to the players and what should or can be done by the impacted persons or task owners.  Otherwise, recipients will just read the email and .... (do nothing).

2. Commitment

I find that lack of commitment is another cause for project delays or failure. Or people say they commit but don't really honor that. It may be also due to changes in priority for the person. Or change in direction by the boss.

Only sitting down and discussing with the person will help to address it. If it doesn't help, then follow the escalation chain.

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