Have a Mission Critical Project? You need to take these 4 steps to ensure project success

Project failure rates have been so high for so long that executives have almost grown accustomed to failure. The problem is failure is not always an option. Some projects are too central to the organization’s vision or too big to fail in an environment with razor thin margins. Project success starts at the top. To build a project leadership team that ensures project success, start with these steps:

1. Bring your expectations into focus.

The challenge with finding the right person involves the company’s expectations. It isn’t uncommon for a hiring manager to expect to find one person who can fill each role. Sure, the ideal candidate should bring a variety of hard and soft skills, but what truly differentiates great project managers is their leadership acumen and bedside manner. For project management success, project managers need the proper support to see any project through to the end. As we mentioned above, they should be managing a team of people, not taking on tasks “below” their pay grade. It’s just not a good use of funds or resources. You may need to reevaluate your expectations and look around your organization to determine whether you have the support necessary to build a successful project management team.

2. Recognize the value of project management.

Sounds simple enough, but acknowledging the six roles in project management is one of the best ways to nurture future project managers. In fact, companies that undervalue project management experience an average of 67% more of their projects failing. If you comprehend just how critical project management is to efficiency, consider yourself ahead of the curve. But there may still be company- wide work to do, as only 2 in 5 organizations actually value project management. Engage all stakeholders in making this “solution specialty” a priority.

3. Establish process standards for these roles.

While 93% of companies reportedly use standardized project management practices, 70% limit their use across the organization. For coordination alone, you need systems and processes in place to track capacity and demand while striking the right balance between the two. Administration requires procedural standards, project templates, weekly check-ins, and so on to help ensure proper governance. Technology standards for data analysis, scheduling, and demonstration will also be key to not only proper project management, but also productivity and efficiency. One survey found that team members save upwards of 498 hours per year when using project management software. Managers themselves save around 153 hours per year.

4. Weigh current risk management strategies.

It’s easy to ignore risks because most of them will go unrealized. In fact, if you’re lucky enough, entire projects can go off without a hitch, even without risk management processes. But unmanaged risks catch up to every organization eventually, often with catastrophic fallout. Again, it all comes back to providing project managers with the proper support — and tools — to identify and monitor risks from initiation to closure. Try to cut back in any one area, and you’re gambling with project success. This approach to project management can change the culture. It’s now up to the leaders to take responsibility and implement the steps to ensure project success. To learn more about what WiserWulff can do for your organization, reach out today to schedule a time to discuss a solution perfectly suited to your operations.

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