Every professional, no matter what their industry, must have a foundation that guides all business development and project work. That foundation is based on 9 tested principles.
Be on budget, on time, no problems.
The team leader or manager must be committed to ensuring that the project is problem-free, on budget, and all deadlines are met. Since what is done up front – the planning we do based on the business requirements – determines all subsequent results, our clear understanding of the business objectives helps make this goal possible.
Foster teamwork and client participation.
The best relationship you can have with your clients (internal and external) is one of partnership, teamwork and active participation. The best results come when you work directly and visibly with your clients. Never work in isolation from them. Transparency and visibility helps make this partnership possible.
Apply hands-on modern management methods.
Encourage on-project coaching and mentoring.
Get management commitment to the project.
Management commitment and sponsorship is also critically necessary to a project’s success, as is a well-defined and developed professional development program for team members.
Every project should be guided directly by a practicing expert in the tools, techniques and methodologies to be used on the project. It’s a lot easier to advance when everyone is on board and understands how the work is actually done, rather than relying on theory passed on from an absentee practitioner or methodologist. Or after a 2-day “let’s all become experts” seminar.
Be highly visible. Transparency is king.
An informed and involved client will usually make the best decisions. High visibility – contrary to popular myth – eliminates fear, uncertainty and doubt by the business community. Visibility and transparency in the work always results in interaction and ownership. Don’t hide from sight or work in isolation from the client. Have pride in your work. Success is the only option. Dedicated support and ownership comes from visibility and the client’s ability to contribute.
Use best practices.
Always use the best and most modern methods. This always brings faster results, less money being spent, and the highest quality. “Best practices” are not always best, and they may be decades old, without modern revisions. Always look for better ways. Avoid the Not Invented Here (NIH) syndrome. Look outside your organization. Be devoted to finding the best methods available. And then measure satisfaction by your client community.
Apply the best methodologies.
Use the most effective and pragmatic methodologies that you can find. Don’t use them because they are popular, or the solution du jour; use them because they have an excellent track-record according to your clients and subject-matter experts. Then, adapt as required to your organization, your industry, and your personal style of working. This will help you get the best results.
Use common sense – and a coach and mentor.
A popular old saying is, “common sense just isn’t very common.” But I think it is. The first step is to get yourself a personal coach and mentor, and ask for some guidance whenever it’s needed. Take a practical, common-sense approach to all projects. Every situation is unique and each has different needs. Never get bogged down in yesteryear’s conventional approach. It probably wasn’t that good.