Firstly, there should only be one person with full responsibility for the project – the person who agrees the cost/benefit aspects and who would ultimately stop a project if necessary. Other people may be important stakeholders but there should be only one project sponsor.
Once a project manager has been selected and the team is being put together consider the resourcing impacts on both your business and the individuals concerned.
Is it possible to free up enough time for your subject matter experts so that their day to day responsibilities are not adversely impacted? If the answer is no then you must consider the alternatives – selecting a less experienced individual who could free up the time needed, temporarily reassigning individuals to the project full-time, back-filling with temporary staff.
Project work will always be the first work that falls behind schedule if an individual doesn’t have enough time to cover all of their duties (and how many people in your business are under-utilised?)
Consider measures such as working from home on project days to avoid distractions, or setting up a project room – these will facilitate focusing on the project tasks and activities.
Choose your suppliers carefully (even if they are internal suppliers) – they need to be adequately invested in the project and they should be suitably rewarded. Projects can get stressful and it is important to maintain a good working relationship with all the key parties. Remember it should be a win/win for all involved.
Lastly – set-up a change control team and make sure it is their only involvement in the project (apart from the project manager) – there could be difficult decisions to be made and the project team members may not be objective enough.
In my next article I will be looking at what quality means in the context of a project and how defining this can be difficult but is so critical to a project’s success.