‘Project management’ is something we all do, every day, without realising it. Think about preparing a nice cup of tea, boiling the water, preparing the cup, choosing the tea, will you need a spoon? How many sugars? We do plan, prioritise and manage tasks, risks and dependencies without even realising it. But are we doing it in the best way? How much water is in the kettle? Where are the cups? Milk before or after? Project management is often considered unimportant, until troubles come up and then you realise how good project management could have made simple processes and activities smoother and faster.
We commissioned YouGov to carry out research about the challenges of building custom software with over 500 key decision makers from private sector firms. 45% of key decision makers in the private sector felt that good delivery management led to a successful project, and 1 in 3 said poor delivery management was the single biggest risk to a project. You can click here to read the white paper.
Set yourself up for project success
Five of the six top reasons people gave for the failure of a project were related to delivery management. These were:
- Unrealistic timeframes
- Lack of properly stated requirements
- Poor budget management
- Lack of project ownership
- Poor project management in summary!
By addressing each of these issues, you can get one step ahead when it comes to building projects of your own. We’ve turned them into a checklist of project management musts below.
1. Think in phases
You want to get to market ASAP, you want your App live yesterday, yes, that will make the difference! But unless you have unlimited budget and resources you cannot have it all in 1–3 months. So what is it that you really need to get into the market? Start small and build using your users / customers’ feedback to improve.
2. Properly stated requirements
Many firms start with the solution and lose sight of the problem they’re trying to solve when building bespoke software, but staying focussed on the problem is key. Understanding the real needs of the project leads to success, so understand what it is you want to achieve in the short and long term.
3. Good budget management
Be realistic from the outset, boards don’t run out of money, they run out of patience with extensions. And this is also true for resources and time.
4. Clear project ownership
Define project ownership from the outset and use RACI analysis to understand who is doing what:
- Who is responsible for completing each task towards the project?
- Who is accountable at each step if things go wrong?
- Who should be consulted for expert guidance?
- Who needs to be informed about the project because their work depends on it?
5. Good project management
Put in the time to plan the how the project will be managed before you start. This should include building relationships, defining approaches and setting up the right tools.
Sourcing delivery management expertise
Having the right person is key, your Chief Technology Officer might know everything there is to know about the tech, but if they lack experience delivering a project, you put the whole project at risk.
Move someone into your team
Moving someone from a different area of the firm can be an effective way of bringing someone with the right experience to the team quickly and cheaply. Being distanced from the technology gives them the space to run the project.
Work with a delivery partner
Using a specialist delivery partner instantly injects experience and passion for project management into your team.
Consultants can also help you futureproof your technology and your team. A project becomes more than just a build. It includes upskilling your existing team to take on maintenance of the build and gives you ownership of your technology so you’re able cater to the needs of your customers.
Get in touch
We have experience not only in development but in delivery of custom-built solutions and can work alongside your existing team.
If you’re interested in 6point6 working with you, we like to start with a workshop to understand the needs of your project. To organise one, or find out more, get in touch.