How do we increase the probability of success for a project?

Many people will know of Glen Alleman. He writes an excellent blog called Herding Cats. Glen recently wrote an article called “Project Governance and Agile Development.” In the blog he posed a very important question:

How do we increase the probability of success for a project?

I felt inspired by this – I must have been because at 0630 on my morning walk around the streets of North London I started to think about a series of supplementary questions that need to be asked and of course answered.

The actual questions will depend on your company, the project, and the circumstances behind the project…..

  1. Why do we need this project?
  2. How does this project link into our business strategy?
  3. What do key stakeholders say about this project?
  4. Who will deliver this project?
  5. Do we have the skills to deliver this project?
  6. How do you know?
  7. Do we need to create an overall structure for this project – an architectural plan that will help project delivery?
  8. Do we need to spend time analysing whether we should be working on this project?
  9. What are we going to deliver?
  10. What are the true business benefits?
  11. What are the risks involved in delivering this project?
  12. What is our communications strategy for this project and how will this be managed?
  13. What will success look like and what will failure look like?
  14. Does this project link to any others and if yes, how?
  15. Do we need to ensure that anyone involved in this project is full time or is part time OK?
  16. If full time, what arrangements are needed to reallocate their work? If part time, what elements of work will be delegated or simply stopped?
  17. What arrangements need to be put in place to ensure that this project will be effectively monitored and controlled? (See question 6)
  18. What arrangements will need to be put in place to ensure that changes to the project will be effectively managed?
  19. What arrangements will be made to ensure that a realistic budget will be developed and monitored (time and cost)
  20. How are we going to identify and share the learning in this project
  21. Can I get some project management training?
  22. What’s my role in this project?
  23. What training will be needed for the project team?
  24. How can we develop a strong project team
  25. How will the project team members be selected?

There are many more questions that could be asked – if you think of some more, then do let me know.

Photo of Bengal Tiger by anankkml

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