Category: Professional Body
The Eight Principles for Project Success
As suggested by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, there are eight key principles for project success. Below, we explore what each of these are in detail.
When managing large-scale projects, it’s sometimes important to go back to basics, to the fundamentals of what makes a project successful. The Infrastructure and Projects Authority have created the eight principles for project success, and we will look at each of these individually, below.
Principle 1: Focus on outcomes
Their first principle is to focus on outcomes. This doesn’t necessarily just mean the larger outcome of the project, but the smaller deliverables and key checkpoints along the way.
It’s important at this stage to really understand the business case for the project, its funding and resources, and to implement KPIs around this. This is also the stage to find out more about the wider benefits and vision of the project – understanding all of these elements will help to keep the project on track for the long-term.
Principle 2: Plan realistically
The initial planning stages can make or break a project. But, by investing time in up-front planning, you can both validate the project (is it deliverable?) and make concrete estimates, forecasts and predictions to help inform decision making.
Principle 3: Prioritise people and behaviour
Often overlooked, the people involved in the project can have a significant impact on the outcome. Make sure you plan ahead and prioritise developing a diverse group of people, backgrounds and skill sets, and be clear on everyone’s individual responsibilities from the get-go.
Principle 4: Tell it like it is
Try to create an open culture where people are encouraged to speak up, raise risks, potential issues and challenges. Create an honest reporting structure and feedback loop to encourage unbiased and independent data; particularly when the data is being used to drive decision making and forecasts.
Principle 5: Control scope
Having a clear scope from the outset will make things easier throughout the project lifecycle. It can be used and reflected back on as often as required, and will help with the change management process – allowing you to test changes and suggestions, and present the changes to cost, resourcing or timelines against your original scoping agreement.
Principle 6: Manage complexity and risk
In the early stages of a project, you will want to reduce complexity and risk wherever possible, prior to moving to the delivery stage. Where it’s not possible to reduce, manage them as much as you can by planning for them as soon as you’re able to.
Principle 7: Be an intelligent client
The best way of managing your project from the get-go is by developing a comprehensive understanding of the supply chain. Where possible, consider the supply chain in the early briefing stages and have anyone who is likely to be outsourced bid for scope and costs as soon as you’re able. This also allows you to build trust-based relationships very early on, driving a collaborative culture between you.
Principle 8: Learn from experience
Finally, it’s important to learn from experience. Not only your own as a project manager, but the experiences of others in the group, and independent perspectives too. Listen and learn from everyone’s experience and viewpoints, and be sure to apply these to your project. On an ongoing basis, it’s also key to share your learnings and feedback on the project as you go.