How To Ensure Project Success

Last week, I referenced this article, written by Vance VanDoren, of Control Engineering about how to avoid project failure. In addition to discussing the most common reasons for failure, he provided a list of ways to succeed:

  1. Define project goals;
  2. Develop project scope and schedule;
  3. Establish multi-discipline project team;
  4. Define the mechanical process;
  5. Develop functional process controls descriptions;
  6. Develop network configuration drawings; and
  7. Develop equipment and programming specifications.

First Things First

I have to agree that lack of good/solid project requirements is probably the #1 challenge to project success. This can result from the customer not having a clear understanding of the project, the integrators failure to perform adequate requirements, or simply the sense of urgency to get the product started (without sufficient requirements.

Get the Customers to Help You Help Them

As I said last week, you may want to reference Vance’s article with your customers as a way to educate them about common project pitfalls. By better educating them, you can increase their understanding and desire to help you ensure the success of the project.


3 Responses to How To Ensure Project Success

  1. Fantastic article!!

    It sums up the majority of our project issues nicely.

    It is also a great way to show our clients why the “additional” steps in a project, such as requirements analysis and project planning, are absolutely critical to the success of their project.


  2. Doug Wilson says:

    Very nicely and concisely put.

    We have found that the earlier and more often you do reviews with customers, the better the project turns out. At first, the “extra time” may seem to be a burden on the project’s resources. However, in general, this time is more than compensated by reduction in the time required to redo things if this involvement is skipped.

    When I was in the Navy, we vented our frustration with senior leadership that pushed us to move without proper planning by saying “NEVER enough time to do it right, ALWAYS enough time to do it again”.

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