Characteristics of a succesful project Thursday, May 22, 2008
Advanced Trading has an article in which Peter Cooke, head of project and business management at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, offers five characteristics of a successful enterprise project, namely
1. Sponsorship. A senior executive champions the initiative and ensures the commitment of appropriate resources: people, vendors, tools and money.
2. Clarity of Purpose. The objectives, scope and direction of the project are clear. All project participants understand this "road map" and the benefits it will deliver.
3. Resources and Teamwork. The team structure, roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and accepted. The team works together in equal partnership.
4. Project Control. A disciplined program/project management infrastructure exists to maintain milestone and project plans, manage program risks and issues, monitor resource allocation, report on progress, and coordinate communications.
5. Communication. All levels of communication (internal/external, formal/informal) are honest, frequent and consistent. Success is recognized and celebrated along the way.
Based on my own experiences of running large complex change programmes, whilst endorsing his views I do think he missed one fundamental element out - a project can't succeed without having a core group of smart, motivated people who thrive on challenges; that willingly accept responsibility; are happy to take decisions; and who have fun in the process. All projects hit issues of some sort - how a team reacts "under fire" is what differentiates the great ones from the poor and in my view, this is why so many projects actually fail.