7 Project Success Tips

Slalom Consultant Carl Manello

Carl Manello is a Solution Lead for Program & Project Management based in Chicago who enjoys exploring how to tightly couple the art and science of project delivery with business operations.

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” 
– Bill Cosby

While I’ll challenge Mr. Cosby to stick to comedy (an easy ask), I challenge all  of you to drive for better delivery.  As professional PM’s, you each can determine the key to success for your projects.  While Slalom has methodologies, guidelines, standard practices, statements of work and master services agreements in our arsenal to help drive a successful delivery, our PM’s know that the key to success is understanding the value that our clients seek to realize.  The secret for delivering a successful engagement is getting to the root of what our clients see as business value.

Dr. Harold Kerzner, author, professor and Executive Director at International Institute for Learning (IIL), had a series of podcasts on the IIL site.  In A New Definition of Project Success, he highlighted seven postulates for success.  As you focus on delivering your best, keep these in mind:

  1. It doesn’t matter how well or how poorly a project is executed if you are working on the wrong project.
  2. Being on time and on budget is not necessarily success.
  3. Completing a project within the triple constraint does not guarantee that the necessary business value will be there at the end of the project.
  4. Having mature project management practices, such as enterprise project management methodologies, does not guarantee that the business value will be there at the end of the project.
  5. “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” – Warren Buffett
  6. Business value is what your customer perceives is worth paying for.
  7. Success is when business value is achieved.

At Slalom, we continuously work to narrow in our focus on what it is that our customers want.  We need to ensure we are “pleasing” the right set of constituents. We feel that success can be defined at the beginning of a project.  But as seasoned PM’s, we know we must continue to re-validate throughout the project and ensure that we bring closure as the project comes to its end.  We must ensure that we not only complete our engagement successfully, but that we complete it by delivering business value.  And as far as encroaching on Bill Cosby, well, I’ll be here through Thursday – two shows nightly; please remember to tip your wait staff.’

Slalom Consulting Chicago Slalom Consulting's Project and Program Management focus
More about Slalom Consulting’s Chicago office. More about Slalom Consulting’s Project and Program Management focus.

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About Carl M. Manello
I am Slalom Consulting's Practice Lead for Delivery Effectiveness. I work to support organizations' capability and delivery maturity -- not just IT organizations -- so that their initiatives run more predictably, efficiently and provide the best results.

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