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5 tips for successful projects

T.C. Seow | Oct. 5, 2012
Project Management Institute shares five success factors for good project management at symposium in Singapore.

Good project management can mean the difference between a long drawn timeline that saps resources or a timely completion of a crucial undertaking.

Slow economic growth, shifting global market priorities and a push for innovation are also contributing to a complex business environment that practitioners and organisations must learn to navigate quickly, according Mark A. Langley, president and CEO of the Project Management Institute.

At the Project Management Institute's (PMI) Symposium held yesterday in Singapore, Langley spoke about how project managers and their organisations could be successful in today's environment. His keynote presentation drew from PMI's Pulse of the Profession, the annual global benchmark research report for organisation project and programme management.

"Organisations that are not strong in project management risk nine times more dollars on projects -- or, an average of 27 percent of each project's budget -- than organisations with mature project management programmes," he said. "Organisations that keep a sharp focus on fundamental project management practices are realising huge results, and now is the time for Singapore to realise these results."

The top five critical success factors for project, programme and portfolio management, according to PMI's study, are:

1. Staffing the team with appropriately skilled people.
The PMI study reveals that nearly 70 percent of organisations now have a career path for those engaged in project management.

2. Taking the time to create a realistic implementation plan.
Project managers are getting better at organisational project management; 20 percent of respondents categorised themselves as having "high" organisational project management maturity, up from 11 percent in 2006.

3. Ensuring top-level management support for the project.
Organisations that have active project/program sponsors on at least 75 percent of their projects have a success rate of 74 percent. In contrast, organisations that report less active sponsor involvement report an average success rate of 63 percent.

4. Clearly defining the expected benefits from the project.
Despite tight economic conditions, organisations will continue to increase their focus on benefits realisation as a project and program success metric.

5. Effectively managing change associated with the project.
More than 70 percent of respondents always or often use change management and risk management techniques.


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