Key Ingredients to More Project Successes
By Brad Egeland
Of course, nothing can guarantee ongoing project successes. If we had a magic formulate that could, we’d be millionaires. But there are some major ingredients, I believe, that together often characterize a team that will tend to experience more success than others. The list likely includes many more than these that I’m about to discuss below, but these are critical ones, in my opinion…and experience.
A solid trained staff. A certified staff of project managers in your PM infrastructure or PMO won’t guarantee success for every project every time out, but having a solid group of leaders talking the same language and possessing confident leadership skills may be half the battle for some organizations. There are many great options available to get your PM staff on the road to certified success – many come with guarantees and different certification options to help you PM staff be the best group of project and team leaders they can possibly be.
Well-defined roles. Project team members who know their roles and, therefore, know pretty much what’s expected of them can perform at a higher level of efficiency and competence because there’s little to no uncertainty of the expectations surrounding their tasks. It’s easier for them to take ownership of their “portion of the project” so to speak. Ownership breeds accountability and accountability breeds quality workmanship.
Experienced leadership. Experienced leadership – both at the project managerial level and among the skilled project team members – is a great ingredient to have as part of the project team. You always have those early PM career projects that you have to get under your belt where you won’t have the “experienced leadership” possibility…everyone has to earn their stripes. But once you get there and are using best practices and learning lessons along the way that you build on for future successes, then the likelihood of overall project success is much higher.
Positive atmosphere. Finally, a project team that enjoys what they are doing and can work well together will be more cohesive and the communication will flow more freely and the atmosphere will likely be very positive. That positive atmosphere can be an incredible contributor to project success. Even if every project team member is working remotely – you can still have a very happy and cohesive team and a very positive atmosphere that will affect the outcome of the project. I’ve had many projects where none of the team ever worked face to face with each other, yet the camaraderie was incredible and the atmosphere was very positive.
Summary / call for input
These are just a few steps or concepts that can help yield high performing teams. There are many more ingredients to great project teams but the basic ones can be overlooked at times and when an organization is struggling for project successes you may need to go back to basics first.
I’m very open to more thoughts and discussions on readers’ opinions on more ingredients. These are just four key ingredients that I feel strongly about based on the most successful projects that I’ve led throughout my PM career. Please share your thoughts and let’s discuss.