10 Tips for a Successful Project

  1. Know who the “real” customer is and how you can help them achieve their goals.  While the SOW may have clearly stated the requirements, you do have a responsibility to ensure that the project delivers what the client really wanted. This helps to ensure customer acceptance as the project closes.
  2. Understand who the client has to report to and when.  Everyone has a boss. You have to give the client project information in such a way that they can provide it to their boss in a timely and professional manner.
  3. Stay on top of your project…you are the owner.  You have to know the details of each part of the project and how the parts are related.
  4. Track the cash…know where it is coming from and where it is going.
  5. Hold your team accountable to the schedule.  Involve both your team and the client in developing a realistic schedule.
  6. Aggressively deal with scope creep.  My personal preference is to close out the initial project first and then start a new project for additional add-ons. Sometimes, this is not feasible or practical.  In these cases, be sure to document the change orders and gain alignment on any impact to cost, schedule and/or scope.
  7. Do not underestimate or overestimate risk, but always keep it in perspective. Acknowledge and plan for each risk.  However, realize that not all risks will occur.
  8. Pay your subs in a timely manner.  Subcontractors have bills to pay and families to feed.
  9. Document lessons learned…the crime is not making the mistake the first time, it is repeating the mistake repeatedly.
  10. Have fun and enjoy the journey with a smile.  Always have a sense of humor!