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10 top tips for project success: an introduction

how to run successful projects - an introduction

Projects don’t go to plan. That’s a given. In fact, there is no success without some amount of failure. Great inventors like Thomas Edison experienced a lot of failures on the way to a successful invention.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

Anyone pursuing a goal of value will make mistakes and wrong decisions. The key is to expect failure, prepare for it, and be ready turn it into a lesson and a stepping-stone to success. So what if, despite your projects not going to plan, every project you ran was genuinely successful? Is this just a pipe dream, or is there a secret sauce which, when applied liberally, assured project success?

On the face of it, everyone loves projects – an exciting venture where teams bond and comes together to make something extraordinary happen – something greater than the sum of its parts. That bit sounds fun. But not for long.

Where it gets a bit scarier is the reality that a project is usually time and cost constrained, has a definite beginning and end, and is developed specifically to meet some strategic objectives. So if you don’t meet those constraints, you’re going to start feeling the heat and in short, is a failure.

Project success is a combination of factors. Some will be in your control, and some not, but there’s huge value in thinking about how can you create and manage a project which results in a happy team, a happy client and ultimately, a happy you. In this series, we’ll explore what that you can do to make sure your projects are consistently successful.

Our Top Ten Tips series will look at how you can address the following ten activities to improve your chances of project success.

  1. Understand success
  2. Understand your client
  3. Plan, plan, then plan again
  4. Build a great team
  5. Be realistic
  6. Keep communicating
  7. Manage risk
  8. Start moving and keep moving
  9. Stay positive
  10. Pay attention

What do you think? Is there a secret sauce for project success? I’d love to hear if you’ve got any thoughts on ensuring project success in digital project management. Join the conversation below and let us know what you’re thinking!

Ben Aston

About Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and VP of Client Services at FCV, a full service digital agency in Vancouver, Canada. I’ve been in the industry for more than 10 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from video virals to CMS’, flash games to banner ads and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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