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Elements for Project Management Success: Part One


April 19, 2011 - While there are volumes devoted to project management strategies, tips and tricks, effective project management often comes down to three main elements—people, time and budget. In a brief three part series, we’ll cover those elements and ways to increase success.

Some project management philosophies, such as the PM pyramid, look exclusively at those as constraints. We'd like to think that software development is like creating a recipe for quality results. Key ingredients are people, time and budget. The ingredients must blend together in the right way, and at the right temperature, to achieve the proper reaction, or outcome.

Part One: People

This is critical ingredient all projects, but one that comes in many different flavors. For a project to be successful it needs proper approval, support, work and sign-off.

First, you have corporate management. Management must go beyond token sponsorship or approval for a project, and provide meaningful support to help a project manager get the desired results. As the saying goes, success starts at the top.

At the same time, there are often many other stakeholders involved. All too often stakeholders demand approval over deliverables, but then just sit on the sidelines. Stakeholders need to actively participate in the process—including helping the project manager move things along, provide timely approvals, and offer final sign-off.

Finally, project managers must keep their developers engaged, involved and focused on quality to ensure effective results and timely delivery. 

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