The factors that affect a project's success are knowledge, preparation, organization, leadership, teamwork, timeliness and effective conclusion. Each one of these factors is equally critical to the successful outcome of any worthy undertaking, and all should be taken seriously. Examine each of these factors one by one to see how they compare to where you are in your project management.
Preparation and Planning
Do preliminary studies of the project to determine if it is feasible, profitable and necessary. Feasibility studies, plans, supplies, staff, costs and time frame all need to be established before a project can begin.
Organize the project. Put a schedule in place with a beginning and proposed ending date and provide a budget so the dollars assigned to the project stay within cost perimeters. Staff should know how much time is allotted for the project, so they can plan accordingly. Distribute duties so team members know what is expected of them.
Every project needs a leader to take charge and keep things moving, even when the going gets rough. Without a leader, confusion rules and controversies ensue. A good leader delegates, recognizes the strengths of each team member and places people in the most effective positions.
Everyone involved needs to understand the basic principles and the desired outcome of the project, so it can move forward with the least amount of interruption. It is the responsibility of the project manager to ensure that everyone understands the goals they are working toward.
A large project needs a team of the best workers to finish on top. Everyone must pull together toward a common goal to make it to the finish line -- there is no room for grandstanders or solo performers. Staff members must work together with the best interests of the project as a whole in place for the entire duration.
A project manager needs to be careful that work in progress stays on course as the project nears its end. Some employees have a tendency to drop the ball or let things slide as the conclusion approaches. Costs may exceed budget. The project manager must remain alert all the way to the finish line.