How to Stop a Successful Implementation Becoming a Failed Project

How to Stop a Successful Implementation Becoming a Failed Project

Insights | 06 March 2018

In a perfect world, projects are simple… Set the goal, plan your resources and milestones, deliver on time and within budget.

But what happens when you hit all the above marks and the project still fails?

Planning and implementation are only parts of the equation. “On time” is no longer enough. Scope, schedule, budget and quality are all important, but there are other critical factors that also need to be executed to ensure success.

Consider these steps for achieving project success after implementation:

  1. Benefits management

Primarily articulated during project initiation, benefits management refers to the ongoing focus as to why the project exists in the first place. What are we trying to achieve by doing this project? What does success look like? Are we trying to work more efficiently, increase product penetration, or increase customer satisfaction? A combination of these outcomes?

Key themes to remember about benefits management:

  • ‘Pushing the button’ with a system or a process is often an enabler to a wider impact or outcome. The outcome needs to be explicitly owned, planned and tracked.
  • Benefits should remain relevant at implementation and beyond.
  1. Change management

This is all about winning the hearts and minds of the people within the organisation, therefore early engagement is key.

The more an individual or team understands their role in project success (and concerns are mitigated or managed) the better the likelihood that the new way of working will be embraced and championed.

Key themes to remember about change management:

  • Don’t leave yourself out of the equation. What am I accountable for? Remember: communicate, communicate, communicate. Where are we? What is coming up? Learn and adjust as you go.
  • Discover what works and keep doing it (or do more of it). Change what is not working.
  • Break implementation into manageable components and timeframes.
  • Ensure that transition is planned and agreed. No surprises!
  1. Transition to BAU

Or more accurately, the new way of working – not quite business as usual.

This stage is just as important as the above mentioned. Transition planning and support is a must.

Key themes to remember about transition to BAU:

  • Do people understand when the change will occur?
  • After we ‘push the button’, what are the key roles? Are vendors included? Who do they contact if there are issues or problems?
  • How do we know that the change is working, and that the new way of working is going as expected? Here, managing user expectations is critical.
  • Have escalation paths been clearly defined?

In the end, no one sets out to fail and success should never be taken for granted. No company – or government – is immune, either.

  1. Consider leveraging Agile

In a recent article, we outlined a few tips and tricks to help your organisation with adopting an agile approach. These recommendations will ultimately help you achieve project success.

Key themes to remember about Agile:

  • Be situationally aware. Agile is an umbrella term for many methodologies. Selecting the right one (or a hybrid) is crucial for success.
  • Start with a bold vision. Ensure the vision is clear of what true enterprise agility looks like. Align your teams and scale from the bottom up.
  • People First. A framework and a process by itself is not going to make your organisation agile – you need to start with your greatest asset – your people. Tweet: framework and a process by itself is not going to make your organisation agile – you need to start with your greatest asset – your people. https://ctt.ec/552gv+ @PMPartners
  • Engage Leaders. True cultural change needs to start at the top, with engaged, informed and involved leaders who drive the transformation. Tweet: True cultural change needs to start at the top, with engaged, informed and involved leaders who drive the transformation. https://ctt.ec/YbF38+ @PMPartners

Tell us, what tactics and strategies have you implemented to prevent project failure after implementation?

Does your organisation need help with Agile coaching and implementation? Call us today on 1300 70 13 14.

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