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Ten Steps to Success in Project Management

Private Sector Magazine

A successful project manager is one who can envision the entire project from start to finish. Below we present ten reasons crucial to the success of projects.


1. Understand the scope and guard it with your life

The scope of your project is your best friend if you can understand it. Otherwise, it will be your worst enemy. Since the devil is in the detail, you should spend a lot of time understanding the scope. Guard this with your life since your reputation as a project manager depends on this.

2. Define successes at the start of the project

Understand the key success factors for the project from a customer’s and a stakeholder’s point of view. Understand the benefits, which the project should deliver, and, finally, share the success with everyone involved.

3. Understand the reasons behind the project

It is equally important to see both, the forest and the trees. Understand the reasons behind the project in order to address any issue that may arise during its implementation.

4. Define authority and responsibility

Define the various levels of approvals and their respective authorities within the project. Keep it simple and practical. Don’t overdo it by having multiple levels of sign-off.

5. Don’t procrastinate

Paralysis by analysis is the bane of many successful projects. Don’t wait for the perfect option, choose the best option available under the current circumstances and be pragmatic about it.

6. Don’t distance yourself from risks

If risks are not managed they will spread like the plague. Don’t run away from them, but look after them and soon they will run away from you.

7. Hold regular project meetings

Have regular project management meetings even if there is nothing to discuss. I am sure that, when the meeting is finished, there will be a handful of action items that could translate to issues if they haven’t been raised.

8. Over communication is better than no communication

You can never have enough communication. Understand your stakeholders and how they would like to be kept informed about the project. Try to over-communicate. Don’t be offended when someone tells you that they already know this. In fact, take it as a credit. There is no worse situation for a project team than when their stakeholders don’t know what is happening until the project is completed.

9. Projects are like marathons not a 4 X 100m relay

Keep the entire team focused and involved, whether directly or indirectly, throughout the whole process. Projects are on the slippery slope when many people turn up for the kick off or the first few phases and then the project is left only to the project manager to deliver.

10. Plan your work and work on your plan

Plan your work and cascade this culture across the project’s teams. Leave the firefighting to the trained members of the Fire Service Department.

About the author:

Srikanth Murthi is the Head of the Project Management Office at QDB. He has been delivering large scale programs for over 15 years in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Qatar. He has significant experience in driving a project-oriented culture within an organization. He is a qualified Prince 2 Practitioner, PMP, MSP and certified Six Sigma Black Belt. Srikanth can be contacted at

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