ABSTRACT:Every project team desires to have a successfulproject implementation.
A collaborative project brings together people withdiverse skill sets, and working styles together. The teams could be located ina single office or distributed geographically. Depending on the type of projectbeing implemented, there are several factors that have influence on theprogress and success of the project. We consider it important for the team tobe informed on the key critical success factors that have either already been triedand tested, or some as described by the industry and personal experience of theauthors.In this paper, we are describing the ten most critical factorsthat impact the success of any project. The approach we took was acollaborative one, in which all the team members shared their experiences inthe industry, as well as learnt about the various factors through researchingrespected journals.The paper describes the ten critical success factors impacting thesuccess of a project. The paper also presents ideas on some key performanceindicators that are useful to measure the status and quality of the overallproject.
The indicators also are useful for the stakeholders to know theprogress of individual milestones and overall quality of the project. The paperalso describes ideas on what are some factors influencing the success andfailure of projects. We hope that this paper will serve its purpose by influencingpositive outcomes by disseminating the information in the industry.
WHATIS SUCCESSFUL PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION:Successfulproject is all depends on the final outcome of the project. Project managementand project success are not directly related and project can be successful evenif the management fails. However, project implementation has been defined inmany ways and most of the researches tell that for any project to beimplemented successfully they should meet four important factors they are.· On Schedule· On Budget· Effectiveness criterion· Final Client satisfactionIfthe management divides the project in to small modules and sets time frame foreach module and a budget limit along with a particular specification likereleasing the product internally and test it and see the effectiveness of theproduct. Later releasing it to limited number of clients to get their feedbackso that it will help us in understanding the customer satisfaction and thetrending changes in the market. All these are controlled by project managementto achieve the final goal by utilizing the existing resources and using thetools of the company without affecting anything.
If we meet all these fourfactors successfully then we can be assured that project is implementedcorrectly. CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS:1. Project mission – The project missionstatement gives the team a clarity on the common goal. It improves thequality and efficiency of the project. Poor project mission will confuse theteam and hampers the team performance in achieving the goals. The projectmission statement has to be prepared by taking the inputs from all partiesinvolved. The project mission states what, why and how a project should be. Theproject mission statement also imbibe trust in the end users.
We can explain itmore clearly with the help of public sector projects. The project mission givesthe public a clear understanding of the project and what to expect from theproject. The incomplete project mission pushes back the investors andstakeholders from the project.
2. Top managementsupport– The top management refers to the highest-level officers and executives. Theseare the people who actually check out the policies which act as the frameworkfor the team to implement the project and their support acts as a criticalsuccess factor to the project’s success. They are the actual initiators of theproject and generally they are also the key stakeholders in the project. Theproject has to be validated and reviewed from time to time, this is where topmanagement have to be effectively involved and alert the team and should alsoprovide the resources if needed. If the top management is serious about theproject, the team, managers, everybody will be on alert and this also instillthe confidence in the stakeholders, investors and the users, thus making it acritical success factor.
3. Projectschedule/plans – As they “without a plan, we plan to fail”. Projectschedules and plans are so crucial because they act as input to the developmentof the project. It acts as a tool to communicate about the work among variousteams within the project. The project schedule/plans include survey andanalysis, market research findings, developing and presenting the designs,develop the concept models, develop and revise the prototypes, design thedevelopment and testing process and supervising project management activities,thus making it as a critical success factor.
4. Client Consultation– It is an initial stage of project implementation, during that time theproject is discussed. But most of the managers will think that they havecompleted all scenarios but miss few scenarios, if everything is initiatedcorrectly from the start then the clients will accept the product.
According tothe articles it is said that client consultation is the beginning stage ofproject and it will help to increase the project acceptance later or at the endof the development. 5. Personnel –6. Technical tasks – It refers to the implementation people andensure that they are not only available for particular group but all technicalskills and advanced technology is available for everyone to perform theirtasks.7. Client acceptance – The act of “selling” the final project toits ultimate intended users. Client acceptance is one of most important successfactors.
All the effort made by the entire team is validated when the clientaccepts the end product. For this to happen, the team has to make sure that theclient is given the proper and successful demo of the product. To get a gooddemo, the team has to setup a perfectly working demo environment or a demosystem where things work smoothly and least amount of issues. This may requireadditional hardware and equipment such as additional virtual machines, andspecific devices. Make sure the network works without hiccups.
If there are anyissues that cannot be resolved, the team can make an effort to identify theissues and limitations into the Known Limitations documentation, and alsoinform the client regarding the issues. 8.Monitoring and feedback – Timely provision of monitoring and providingfeedback information at each phase in the implementation process can positivelyaffect the project. For any project, there must be monitoring of the varioustasks that are in progress. The individual team members who are assigned thetasks should be able to provide the status of their progress, which will helpin understanding the overall progress. For every project, there would beseveral releases, each having its own schedule. The project leads have to gatherthe status of individual tasks and get a sense of how much overall progress hasbeen made, and figure out if the scheduled dates can be reached as decidedearlier. Also, monitoring includes taking a look at individual performance andstrength in their tasks and understanding if they are facing issues completingthe tasks as this may impact the overall schedule.
Then, based on themonitoring, feedback can be given to the members that will highlight thestrengths and constructive feedback that will help the members to makenecessary changes to improve their work.9.Communication– The provision of an appropriate network andnecessary data to all key factors in the project implementation. Communicationincludes establishing the necessary paths between the members in the project,establishing the required tools for communication, and the formats of dataexchanged to keep everyone updated on the latest status, and any issues thatneeds to be resolved. Regular communication is essential to understand thevarious aspects of the project progress. This also allows for exchange of ideasamong the team.10.
Trouble-shooting – Ability to handle unexpected crises anddeviations from plan. Unexpected situations may arise during the execution of aproject. One deviation that could happen is team members unable to work due tounexpected health issues, or family emergencies. This would lead to change inrelease schedule, or change in the scope. To avoid the change in scope orchange in schedule, the team has to look to load balance the remaining tasksamong themselves.
If that is possible for the team to load balance, then therewould be no need for changing the schedule and scope. However, one thing toconsider is to take into account such scenarios in the initial phase when communicatingthe release schedule and scope to the stakeholders. It is a good idea to add abuffer time that would absorb such unforeseen events. IMPROVING PROJECTSUCCESS AND QUALITY:The project management team should focus onimproving the quality of the project and improve its success rate without anyinterruptions from day 1. The best way to improve the project success andquality is to primarily focus on the scope of the project. It includes thedesign and documentation of the project. So, focusing and investing on thisarea yields best results. One must be accurate with requirements to be gatheredwhich acts as inputs to the development of the project.
The second thing to bedone to increase the project success and quality is to set the reachable andreasonable milestones so that the teams can work with lot of enthusiasm toreach those goals. Another important thing to be considered is communicating therequirements and results from top to bottom of the project team hierarchy. Butimplementing all these steps is not an easy thing in real time environments,even if we implement at least 60% of this it would considerable increase theproject success and quality. PROJECT PERFORMANCEINDICATORS:Every project needs to establish the KPI (keyperformance indicators) as this will help in gauging the overall projectperformance and progress. Several factors help the management and leaders tounderstand the performance of the project. These factors can be broadlyclassified into four categories, namely: Timeliness, Budget, Quality, andEffectiveness.Timeliness category includes,Time Spent on the project overall, time spent on individual features, andtime spent on individual tasks by the team members.
These indicators can helpidentify the areas where most time is spent, and whether it is having anequally beneficial impact on the project.The number of changes made to the schedule. The schedule can bechanged during the initial phase of the project, when the requirements,resources, and timelines are evolving. However, after the schedule iscommunicated, if there are changes to the schedule, that could sometimes meanthat there is a change in the scope, change in requirements, or unseen changein schedule of team members.
Changing the officially communicated schedule candisrupt the expectation with external stakeholders who are expecting theproduct to be delivered at a specific date.Budget category includes,Number of budget iterations that have been made before the final version.More number of iterations means the planning team is spending lot of time onfinalizing the budget. However, that might not always be a negative thing, as abetter planned budget plan can mean unexpected scenarios may be covered.Budget Variance, this indicator relates the actual budget usedwith the project budget. If the variance is too high, meaning that the actualbudget is too high above the projected budget, that indicates either theprojected budget was not well planned, or there are too many unexpectedscenarios that have creeped into the project.Quality category includes,Number of errors, meaning the number of times the budget orschedule has to be revised due to errors and the need to redo the tasks.
Customer complaints, the more number of issues reported bycustomers could mean either there are defects or the product contains somebehavior that is not expected by the customer.Effectiveness category includes,Milestones that are signed off on time, this means theindividual milestones within the bigger schedule are being completed on time,which includes validation and testing of the milestones and sign off by theowner.The number of returns, this measures the return rate for individualparts in the product, or the product as a whole. A bigger rate translates toquality issues, or customer complaints not resulting in resolution. DISCUSSION:The research on critical success factors evokedseveral responses and answers from all the team members.
The individual membersthrough their research learnt about several factors and important concepts forproject success. The team discussed together the various concepts,methodologies, and factors collaboratively. Every idea was given the time andeffort to socialize with the team and discussed the pros and cons for thematerial.
Every viewpoint was carefully read. And through discussion, andcombined with our industry experience, we came with the ten best successfactors that were most important. The discussions were lively, vibrant, andcollaborative. REASONSFOR PROJECT SUCCESS AND FAILURE: Projectcan be successful or fail because of many reasons. But if we say that projectis successful we are considering some factors, like time is the give task iscompleted on time and in the given budget or not also the performance of theproduct if it meets all these three factors than the manager will agree thatthe project is successful.
According to the recent studies there are manyfactors for a project success and failure, during the initial stages of theproject, an authorization will be given to the project managers to discussabout the projects layout and the risks involved in the project with the teammates to better understand the project and the expectations of the clients.Every project will have both success and failures they are.Factorsfor Successful Project:1. Project Definition: It is the initialstage for any project to get accepted and if the scope of the project is strongand is well explained then it will help the project to be successful.
2. Project Strategy:Once the project is accepted we should come with a better strategy to completethe project in a specified time and budget with the existing resources.3. Support: Trust is the key reason formost of the project success.
If the higher authority support both the projectand the project manager and by encouraging them in all times will help theproject success.4. Availability of Resources and Funds:Once the tasks are divided we should check all the resources and if they arenot sufficient then depending on the budget we should hire temporary resourcesto complete the project.Forany project to be successful there are two types of steps to be followed one isProject Management issues and the other one is performance issues it will comeonce the project is developed completely.
They are1. Cost: Every project will have anestimated budget and it will help us to ensure that the project is successful. Mostlyit will be calculated at the end of the project and if the project doesn’texceed the given budget then it is successful, but mostly projects will nothave fixed budgets during the initial stage.2. Time: It is the very important factorfor any project success, if the project is completed in the given time andmeeting the scheduled dates then the project is successful.3.
Performance: It is nothing but thequality once the project is ready we should make sure that it is meeting allspecifications and have less maintenance costs.Factorsfor Project Failure:Most of the projects willfail because of the following reasons. They are1. Project Scope: If the scope of theproject is not clear and the data provided by the client is not sufficient thenit will lead to project failure.2. Estimation of Cost, Time and Benefits:During the POC if the company estimates wrong budget time and resources then itwill affect the project and the chances are very less.
3. Wrong Technical Requirements: If therequirements are not matching or sufficient then it will affect the projectdevelopment.4. Communication Issues: Lesscommunication or means less consideration from both stakeholders and clientsrequirements. If the requirements are not met properly then it will affect theproject. BEST PRACTICES:One must follow the best practices in theimplementation of the project so that it increases the efficiency of the teamsinvolved and improves the quality of the deliverables. Some of the bestpractices are discussed below:1.
Continuouslymonitoring the work progress: The project managers have to continuouslymonitor the work progress and draft the progress report so that they can ableto figure out the defects in the implementation.2. Communicating withthe team:Effective communication has to be adopted and the requirements and thedeliverables have to be communicated properly among the teams.3.
Revising the budgets: The budgets have to berevised from time to time basing on the market trends and several otherfactors, so that the whole project is not affected by that particular segmentwhich is deprived of the resources due to external factors4. Continuously gettingapprovals from the top management: The project managers have to continuouslyupdate about the project progress to the top management and explain theseriousness of the issues, demands and get the timely approvals as that theycould progress the project without obstacles.5. Appreciating theefforts of the team members: Appreciating the team members for their bestwork improves the morale among the team and motivates the team to workeffectively to reach the common goal.
CONCLUSION:So,the research and study made us finally understand that Quality is the veryimportant factor which all managers look for. Because it will give us a clearidea whether the project met all the client requirements and the customersatisfaction, along with this project management is a complex task all managersmust take care of different factors depend on the resources and time. Noproject is so simple and complexity of the project will bring difficulties forthe project managers to keep track of all activities and make sure everythingis completed on time without delay. Our research also states that though PM arevery good during initial stages of implementation but lack of communication andpoor judgement will also make the project failure. But the project managementis growing very drastically in today’s world, most of the companies are gettingsuccessful with good management and support from the team, because if theproject manager is very efficient in communicating and understanding the issueswill help in planning, organizing and managing resources easily so that it willbring success to any project. As stated above project consist of 10 critical successfactors and along with that dealing with project issues like time, cost andperformance to deliver a better product and also dealing with clients is thebiggest task in project management because once we deliver a product we shouldcheck the client satisfaction if client is satisfied then it is a true success toany company.
Also, projects success is not a single person achievement it involvesa group of people, trust and support to make the project success.