Have you or a client ever been involved in a project which hasn’t achieved its objectives or where there’s been a big cost overrun? If so what went wrong? Looking back, is there anything that could have been done differently?
Here are my top tips for getting better project outcomes:
- Set out clear objectives of what you want to achieve – what is success?
- Communicate with people affected to get their views and ‘buy in’
- Plan– set out key tasks, timescales and who is going to do what
- Think carefully about– what could go wrong, eg:
- the ability, time and skills of staff, suppliers (and perhaps clients) to deliver.
- the impact of the project on people, their concerns and their reaction.
- technical challenges
- cost overruns
- damage to reputation or relationships
- Think again about the things that could go wrong. How likely are they? How serious?
- Think about how to manage the main risks and whether the plan needs to be altered
- Think about the project as a whole. Taking everything in the round how risky is the project? (This gives a sense of perspective – the more risk the more respect is needed)
- Get other people to review the plan and the risks to get their views.
- As the project progresses review progress:
- Obtain feedback
- Think about risks again and how to manage them
- Amend the plan if needed
- Getting help: I have conducted several post project reviews, identifying lessons for the future. Rather than be wise after the event, it is far better to take a forward looking approach….…. my number one tip is to have your eyes wide open….
….I have developed techniques to help SMEs think carefully about the risks at the outset. If you or your clients would like further information then do get in touch by either e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling me, David Lewis, on 07836 331677.