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Project Manager : June July 2011
Why mastering the fundamentals leads to project success ... and improves your golf game. BY RON PARELLO, MAIPM Hitting the sweet spot CAREER CENTRE Address the ball, feet shoulder width apart, head and eyes down focused on the rear of the ball at the point of impact, relaxed back swing in an arc, bring the club down along the same arc in a smooth motion, hit the ball in the sweet spot of the club head, follow through and look to see the ball sail through the air and land in exactly the spot aimed for. I have been playing golf for over 20 years , and each time is different. There is just too much to think about getting right. Recently, I went back to the fundamentals and focused on perfecting three aspects. My game improved and I am now hitting the ball more consistently ... and enjoying the game again! In this article I will present what I believe to be the fundamental aspects of project management and illustrate, through a case study, how we applied the fundamentals to ensure project success. Definition of success Some believe success is delivering the project outputs to a defined scope and quality on time and within budget. But this is only part of the story. The delivery of the business benefits and bringing about change so that it is the new ‘business as usual’ is the ultimate goal and what really defines project success. I recall a stor y that sought to highlight the different views of project success. It centred on the cross-city bypass tunnel project in Sydney. The project was delivered on time, under budget and was an engineering success. But the cost of the toll deterred motorists. The benefit of reducing traffic congestion was not realised, and revenue expected from tunnel users was not achieved. This resulted in a financial loss for the cross-city tunnel owners. This project illustrates that the traditional view of project management alone does not ensure project success. Case study: APCD project Eighteen months ago I joined a project that was still in its concept stage. The Army Personnel Coordination Detachment (APCD) project sought to deliver a personnel service that improves the experience of Army members (and their families) transitioning into civilian life. The APCD capability is now an integral part of the Defence Transition process and is receiving positive feedback from Army personnel (clients) and from Defence Transition staff who own the transition business process. So why was this project successful? I believe we got five fundamentals of project management right. 1 ACTIVE AND VISIBLE EXECUTIVE SPONSORSHIP Prosci’s Best Practices in Change Management Benchmarking Report 2009 identifies “active and visible executive sponsorship” as one of the greatest contributors to overall change management
April May 2011
Project Manager Aug Sep 2011