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:
- Define project goals;
- Develop project scope and schedule;
- Establish multi-discipline project team;
- Define the mechanical process;
- Develop functional process controls descriptions;
- Develop network configuration drawings; and
- 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.