The Extra Ingredients for Project Management Success

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The author spent the first part of her career working in IT and IT Project Management in the oil industry and investment banking on complex global projects involving the management of outsourced project teams. She now runs a digital marketing company with particular expertise in technical SEO and Content Marketing.

I have been thinking about what might just be the main ingredients of a successful project. But just like you can follow a cake recipe but the cake doesn’t turn out to be quite as good as you expected (or at least mine don’t) so you can follow the rules and methodologies of good project management but still not be able to deliver successful projects consistently. (Luckily I’m better at project management than cake-baking).


So if you’ve got all the right ingredients what are the other factors that need to be taken into account to give a better change of project success?




Make sure the business objectives are clearly documented and communicated so that everyone is working towards the same goal. And so that everyone knows when you start to drift outside the scope of the project.




How well motivated the project team are will have an enormous effect on the final outcome and it is often left to the project manager to do the motivating, but it is, after all, in the best interests of the project and your personal success to do so. So view motivating the team as one of the extra ingredients of the best projects.



Any project manager who expects, or even hopes, that the initial project plan will never change is not living in the real world. Project plans will always change, and, if they don’t, it is only because the scope and objectives have changed to accommodate the plan.



Whilst it is impossible to anticipate all risks, pro-actively managing tasks and their deadlines and milestones can help you to be aware when there are serious issues looming. You might then have some advance warning to help you mitigate the risk effectively.


Considering these factors does not mean there is no need to follow a standard methodology such as PRINCE2 or APM PMQ but they will serve as a reminder that you can improve your chances of success quite easily with a few extra ingredients.


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Project management has developed into a fully-fledged chartered profession since the granting of the Royal Charter in the UK to The Association for Project Management (APM) in 2017. Training courses for project managers were already available and highly popular to help people gain professional project management accreditation, but with this wider recognition of the profession it is now seen as a desirable career path for many. Whilst the APM has the coveted Royal Charter and continues to develop its APM PMQ (formerly the APMP) programmes, there are also other internationally recognised qualifications that continue to be highly regarded such as PMP and PRINCE2.

Organisations have become increasingly project-focused in this era of rapidly emerging new technologies and they value the expertise that comes with experienced and fully qualified project teams and managers. By investing in their project management capability businesses can be confident of delivering their new projects in time and on budget more often and more successfully. Many major corporation are now training their people to have the right project management qualifications as well as relevant experience, through internal Learning & Development (L&D) programmes; or by using external project management training providers.

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