Gartner research shows that only 40% of projects are completed in time and within the budget set. This is not surprising, as project management requires to look beyond calculations, turnaround times, profit margins and the cost of failure. Successful projects rely on an integrated approach of the project lifecycle.
The first step in this process is anticipation. If you know what comes next, you’ll have sufficient time to respond. Projects depend on experience; they must be organised such that they can be replicated in the future. Historical data can inform us about future situations. To lay the foundation for success, you need clear-cut agreements about scope, accountability and resources.
Projects include the following three aspects:
- Monitoring: Is the project on schedule and within the budget?
- Management: Where do you need to intervene?
- Reporting: What is the current state of play?
A project and its management are indivisible
Projects are complex because they combine a large number of simple processes, and often at least as many stakeholders. This requires that the interrelationship between these processes is carefully monitored. Solid forecasts are becoming increasingly important. ‘Project management’ and ‘project execution’ may be separate concepts in theory, but in practice, where it matters, they are indivisible.
Information is the unifying success factor
Information connects people and is the critical success factor. This calls for one central location that unites all aspects of the project. Each party involved must keep track of the current status of their own project. Information must be consulted and maintained from a single source.