Step one in project management

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Chatting away to a client. Up comes the topic of project management.

They ask me which I think is the best approach to delivering successful projects.

My response: it depends on the nature of the project. They are surprised – does this mean I don’t have a preferred approach?

Er.

Yes. And no.

Well where do I start? I was schooled in Goal-Directed Project Management and back in the day also used the 7 Keys approach – of which I remain a big fan as it focuses you on the desired outcomes from your project endeavours. Risks are Mitigated, Stakeholders are Committed, etc

(Oh – legal bit: 7 Keys was devised in PwC and became the property of IBM GBS when that iteration of PwC Consulting was purchased.)

But there’s more to this…..

Back to my conversation – which type of project? How do you decide? Maybe you should work out what is going on before you can decide:

  1. You know what you want to achieve and you know how you are going to achieve it.
  2. You know what you want to achieve but you don’t know how you are going to achieve it.
  3. You don’t know what you want to achieve (e.g. very vague headline business objective) and don’t know how you are going to achieve it.
  4. You don’t know what you want to achieve (e.g. that vague objective) but a whole infrastructure is already in place to deliver this unknown thing (it happens!)

Each drives very different approaches to delivering a successful project. Well in my mind they do certainly.

So, for your current challenge, which type of project is it? And how are you going to ensure its success?

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