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20 Actions to Help Ensure Project Success


1. Demonstrate the project need and feasibility
  • Produce a document confirming the need for the project deliverables and describing, in broad terms: the deliverables, means of creating the deliverables, costs of creating and implementing the deliverables, benefits to be obtained by implementing the deliverables.
2. Obtain project authorization
  • A go/no go decision is made by the Sponsor (Company).
  • A Project Manager is assigned.
  • A “Project Charter” is created which:Formally recognizes the Project.
  • Communicates the success factors.
  • Details the scope of the project and its deliverables.
  • Is used as a communication document throughout the project.
3. Appraise fully all aspects of the Project
  • Outline the various ways the project objectives can be met.
  • Conduct a comprehensive risk analysis:Include Technical, Commercial, Environmental and Safety.
  • Document all risks within the Project Risk register.


4. Describe Project scope
  • This includes:A Statement of Project Scope
  • A Scope management plan
  • A Work Breakdown Structure
5. Define and sequence project activities
  • Develop an activity list (A list of all activities that will be performed on the project).
  • Give updates to the work breakdown structure (WBS).
  • Design a Project Network diagram.
6. Estimate durations for activities and resources required
  • Get estimate of durations for each activity and assumptions related to each estimate.
  • Produce a statement of resource requirements.
  • Update the activity list.
7. Develop a Project Schedule
  • Include Gantt Charts, network diagrams, milestone charts, or text tables.
  • Use supporting details, such as resource usage over time, cash flow projections, order/delivery schedules, etc.
8. Estimate costs
  • Get cost estimates for completing each activity.
  • Give supporting detail, including assumptions and constraints.
  • Include cost management plan describing how cost variances will be handled.
9. Build a budget and spending plan
  • A cost baseline or time-phased budget for measuring/monitoring costs.
  • A spending plan, telling how much will be spent on what resources at what time.
10. Create a formal quality plan
  • This is a quality management plan, including operational definitions.
  • Make sure you have quality verification checklists.
11. Create a formal Project Communications Plan
  • A communication plan includes:Collection structure.
  • Distribution structure.
  • Distribution structure of information to be disseminated.
  • Schedules listing when information will be produced.
  • A method for updating the communications plan.
12.  Organize and acquire staff
  • Define role and responsibility assignments.
  • Create a staffing plan.
  • Produce an organisational chart with detail as appropriate.
  • Acquire Project Staff.
  • Create a Project Team Directory.
13. Identify risks and plan to respond
  • Design a document describing potential risks, including their sources, symptoms, and ways to address them.
14. Plan for, and acquire, outside resources (if required)
  • Use a procurement management plan describing how contractors will be obtained.
  • Produce a Statement Of Work (SOW) or Statement Of Requirements (SOR) describing the item (product or service) to be procured.
  • Create Bid documents, such as RFP (Request For Proposal), IFB (Invitation For Bid), etc.
  • Identify evaluation criteria – means of scoring contractor’s proposals.
  • Put in place a contract with one or more suppliers of goods or services.
15. Organise the project plan
  • Put together a comprehensive project plan that pulls together all the outputs of the preceding project planning activities.
16. Close out the project planning phase
  • Get the Project Plan approved, in writing, by The Client, and obtain a “green light” or okay to begin work on the project.
17. Revisit the Project Plan and re-plan if needed
  • This gives confidence that the detailed plans to execute a particular phase are still accurate and will effectively achieve results as planned.


18. Execute project activities
  • Work results (deliverables) are created.
  • Change requests (ie, based on expanded or contracted project) are identified.
  • Periodic progress reports are created.
  • Team performance is assessed, guided, and improved if needed.
  • Bids/Proposals for deliverables are solicited, contactors (suppliers) are chosen, and contracts are established.
  • Contracts are administered to achieve desired work results.
19. Control project activities
  • This includes:Decision to accept inspected deliverables.
  • Corrective actions such as rework of deliverables, adjustments to work process, etc.
  • Updates to project plan and scope.
  • Improved quality.
  • Completed evaluation checklists (if applicable).


20. Close out project activities
  • Get formal acceptance, documented in writing, that the Sponsor has accepted the product of this phase or activity.
  • Give formal acceptance of contractor work products and updates to the contractor’s files.
  • Update the project records prepared for archiving.
  • Put together a list of lessons learned.
  • Produce a plan for follow-up and/or hand-off work.