Every year, millions of pounds are wasted because of poor project performance. There have been numerous studies that have shown that project failure rates are still at a staggering rate. Not only is project failure an issue, but there are then a huge number of projects that are delivered over budget and passed the deadline. So, how can you achieve goal-based project delivery, both on-time and on-budget?
- Embrace new technologies and integrate them to avoid business disruption: Handheld devices such as tablets and smartphones are fuelling the connectivity revolution. As a consequence of this, businesses are being put under increasing pressure to adopt new technologies that facilitate agility while meeting growing stakeholder demands. If you are resistant to such changes, it can bring about a period of stagnation for your project team, which makes it extremely challenging for your team to be effective and agile. You need to lead the transformation and adjust your strategies if you are to stay relevant in the marketplace.
- Hire and retain the right talent – The main reason why projects are successful is because of the people that execute them. This is why training, development, talent selection, trust, and mentoring are all key components. From your newest project management apprentice to team leaders, careful consideration needs to be taken across the board. The best project management teams are those that prioritise the development of strategic and business management skills, leadership skills, and technical skills. These are three critical areas. When people are invested in, it increases the chances of buy-in. You may want to outsource for the financial side of things. Experts in international tax, budgeting, and forecasting can help boost your chances of success when working on a global project.
- Gain and maintain executive sponsorship – Executive sponsorship plays the critical role of supporting all projects company-wide, as well as establishing the link between the company and project goals. Executive sponsors also establish the resources and budgets that are needed for success, provide guidance, assist in issue or conflict resolution, reinforce engagement, and champion projects. Without sufficient sponsorship, there would be a detrimental impact on projects. Actively engaged executive sponsors are clearly a key driver as to whether projects meet their initial business intent and goals.
- Bridge the gap between strategy formulation and execution – Another important step to take is to tackle how to execute your business-wide strategy. Research shows that a surprising number of organisations do not know how to bridge the gap between the identification of strategy and the execution of strategy. This can involve everything from selecting the right methodologies or tools to teams and stakeholders, as well as gaining buy-in from executive sponsors, and identifying resources and talent. This is a good point to slow things down and make sure all of the factors mentioned above, as well as others, have been taken into consideration and carefully planned out.
- Practice benefits realisation management – Last but not least, you need to identify, execute, and sustain a benefits realisation plan. This is a powerful way of aligning portfolios, programs, and projects to an organisation’s overarching strategy. There are three key steps to establishing such a plan. You must take the steps to establish processes for the identification of benefits and monitoring progress towards achieving these benefits throughout the life cycle of the project and beyond.