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Keys To Successful Project Delivery

Successful Project Delivery At Fishtank

As consultants here at Fishtank we are all committed to working with our clients to deliver the best solutions. We are also passionate about working through challenges with them and delivering projects that not only meet their expectations but exceed them. Projects can often pose common challenges and successful project delivery is based on a number of key factors. Here are some of those keys to successful project delivery.

Identify The Project Requirements

Identifying the project requirements is a key factor in making a project successful. The project team must understand what they are actually building and what the end goal is. Planning, gathering the business requirements and outlining the objectives are the first steps that must be undertaken in the process. Once the requirements are all understood by the team and agreed upon by the clients every key member of the project team knows what all the building blocks are and the end goal becomes much clearer.

35% of projects fail due to inaccurate requirements gathering.

Once the project requirements have been outlined it becomes easier to estimate the effort involved building the features.

Communication Is Key

You know what they say about communication. “Lack of communication leads to a lack of trust that leaves room for doubt”. The entire project will be built around the ability to successfully communicate. Start by identifying who the key stakeholders and decision makers are and establish a rapport with them. After all, you are going to be working together with them for a number of months, or possibly longer, so it’s vital to know the people you are talking to. Establish a communication process that works on both sides. Organize a meeting cadence and set a platform for discussion. Sometimes it’s quicker to get a question answered on a chat platform than it is to wait for an email to be answered that could take days.

29% of projects fail due to poor communication.

As briefly outlined in a previous blog on ‘What is Agile?’, clients should be brought into the process much earlier and more frequently where they can be a key decision-maker. This way the communication is far more frequent. Keeping the key stakeholders in a project engaged means they are actively involved in the process.

Full Transparency

As in any working relationship transparency alleviates many of the issues that would otherwise be seen if both the project delivery team and the client are not open with each other. It builds trust and having that trust from both sides will immediately build a solid foundation for the project. Throughout the lifecycle of a project the more everything's out in the open the better the project will evolve. Withholding certain information or not properly explaining the complexity of a feature, for example, only leads to confusion down the road. Be transparent with our own internal team as well as they are essentially the people responsible for delivering the product. They can only provide true estimates for effort based on all the information presented to them.

29% of projects fail due to inadequate vision.

Invite your key stakeholders to every strategy, planning and design meeting to get their feedback and always ask the question “does this meet your expectations?” That way you are honest with them and they are completely honest with you. If there is a gap in expectations it can be resolved in those planning or strategy meetings. One of the worst traits of a project is informing your client of a problem you could have told them about months ago.

Tracking Risks, Issue, And Actions

All projects go through peaks and troughs and problems will arise at any given point. Planning can be thorough but often issues will surface, especially where the duration is longer. Risks are potential issues that could happen but haven’t yet. Actions are the proactive attempts at mitigating risks or managing issues. However, all these need to be tracked somewhere and monitored. Those documents are called RAID logs (Risks (R), Assumptions (A), Issues (I), and Dependencies (D). By keeping track of these all the possible risks through a project are identified and have an action plan should they arise. Share this with the team and the client for full visibility.

37% of projects fail due to change in project objectives.

Tracking risks, issues and actions can be tedious to keep track of but ultimately there will always be a point of reference so that nothing is forgotten or missed. If all these issues are tracked effectively the job of managing scope creep becomes easier because every facet of the project is being traced. Added scope will never come as a surprise because every risk or issue has been called out, documented and shared with the team and project stakeholders. We'll be discussing scope creep and how to manage it in a future blog.

Conclusion

The critical moments in a project often define their ultimate success and every day new challenges are posed which impact project schedules and progress. However, if these key factors are followed it will be difficult to go down the wrong path.

*Percentage statistics were referenced from this article.

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