In any project, the primary focus is to manage the triple constraints of scope, time and cost whilst producing the best outcomes to the overall project.
Often though the focus on scope, time and cost can take away from the attention that needs to be provided to the supporting functions required to generate certainty of successful outcomes.
Paul Merton, facilitator of Engineering Education Australia’s Enhancing Project Performance course defines generating certainty as “getting the quality right, managing expectations through effective communication, managing risks to project success and making sure that the procurement of necessary goods and services is managed in accordance with project requirements.”
According to Merton, there are four key elements that challenge project managers and require enhanced skills to effectively manage projects. These elements are as follows.
Quality standards for the project may be dictated by industry or legislated standards. They may also be based on the unique requirements of the customer. In either case, it is essential that specific quality standards are understood at all levels and that appropriate actions are built into the project plan to create and verify products of the required quality.
Communication is basic to understanding the requirements of customers and key stakeholders and to ensuring their satisfaction with project deliverables. Proper consultation, reporting and stakeholder feedback should be built into the project plan to ensure both product success and, most importantly a strong positive relationship with customers and stakeholders.
Risk is a factor which impacts every project. As such, it is imperative that significant risks are identified and effective management actions put into place to minimise the danger of negative risk and to maximise opportunities within the project. Put simply, success doesn’t happen merely because it is intended but because it is managed.
Procurement of key project inputs (goods and services) requires careful consideration of requirements and development of associated selection criteria, a procurement plan (what, when, how) outlining how the necessary goods and services are to be acquired, selection and engagement of contractors/suppliers and the management of contractors/suppliers throughout delivery. Managing procurement is a project in itself and forms a significant component of major projects.
Paul Merton is the facilitator of Engineering Education Australia’s Enhancing Project Performance course. Sign up to one of our public courses or request an in-house booking by calling (03) 9321 1767.
Brisbane – 4 May 2017
Melbourne – 16 May 2017
Perth – 25 May 2017