Taking the right approach to managing a project is crucial and there is much discussion on the relative merits of different frameworks. However, key to success involves understanding the pros and cons of each methodology and how it fits with the project.
To ensure alignment and performance, focused organisations do both top down and bottom up governance. In any case, great project managers always ensure good project governance and that well informed decisions are made – including stopping the project if intended benefits are no longer needed or won’t be achieved. If a project doesn’t add business value, it’s still a failure even though it may deliver on time and within budget. To perform well, projects must establish a clear view of its strategic value, build a robust business case, and maintain continuous focus on business objectives. Because the business case often is the biggest risk and to guard against failure, we argue that the project manager should play a critical role in evaluating the business case. He or she must understand, trust and be able to defend it. If they can’t, they should escalate the risk.
When a company is required to remain Sarbanes-Oxley compliant, project managers must always perform an impact assessment to understand if a project will impact a financial system or process. If this is the case it’s critical to structure the project so that evidence is captured consistently and can be referenced easily. Managing SOX compliance is a critical dependency for go-live and a key deliverable. A “no-go” decision because SOX assurance cannot be provided will be a critical issue at exactly the wrong time.
Projects lead to changes – something that many instinctively oppose. No matter how well planned a project is, there is always a risk it will fail unless the change is accepted by the people affected. A key component of securing success, too often neglected, involves identifying and managing stakeholders. Here we explain 3gamma’s unique approach to this, which includes not just mapping influence and interest, but also attitude.