It has been said that nearly 80% of all projects either fail completely or never get to completion. This is a very big statement to make, but I have found that if you stick to the 10 tips given below, you will most definitely always deliver a quality project, on time and within budget.

1. Project kick off.
When you start your project, the most important thing is to ensure that you obtain the requirements in as much detail as possible. You will then be able to exactly understand what needs to be delivered, by when and to whom. This business case document will form the basis of your project.

2. Timeframes.
As far as possible, keep timeframes as short and realistic as possible. Do not commit to long term deliverables, but rather split these up into mini projects or separate phases of an overall encompassing project.

3. Milestones.
Create milestones for every phase or piece of work in your project. Add delivery dates to these and stick to them. If you are going to miss a deadline, communicate this to you client as early as possible.

4. Deliverables.
Deliverables should not be confused with milestones. Once every deliverable has been completed, it must be formally handed over to the client, who should sign an Acceptance Form to confirm it has met their expectations as per original requirements.

5. Clients.
Understand your client and involve them right through the entire project, from planning to implementation. Communicate to them on a regular basis to ensure you get their buy-in in the project.

6. Scope.
Document the scope of the project up front, including what is in and what is out and have this signed off by the client. Any future scope changes must be re-evaluated and agreed by all stakeholders against the original scope. A formal change management process will go a long way to assist with this.

7. Quality.
Quality on any project should not be a negotiable factor and must always be of the highest possible. Ensure that you implement a clear quality management process, ensuring constant review throughout the project. This should include peer reviews so that team members review each other’s deliverables.

8. Risks and Issues.
Risks and issues must be formally documented and discussed and reviewed at least every week. Ensure that these are prioritized, responsible persons assigned to each and actions have due dates.

9. The Team.
It is very important to assemble the best team possible to deliver the project. Require the best you can afford. Your role would be to lead and motivate the team and ensure they work well together.

10. Communication.
Make sure that a formal communication plan is drawn up, which will communicate the correct information to the correct audience at the correct intervals, from daily team meetings right up to the executive level of dashboard reporting to senior management.

Applying these ten tips to every project you manage should put you on the right track to deliver projects of high quality, on time and within budget, every time.

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