Want to know the Secret formula to project delivery?
As a Freelancer you are continuously entering new situations with lots of unknowns. You may not be familiar with the company, the people or even the industry or type of business. But no matter what the situation is, a good project manager delivers. So what are the key factors to a successful project delivery? The common belief is that if a Freelancer delivers on time and on budget then he has done his job. Unfortunately, this is not enough.
Delivering on time and within budget are the minimum requirements for a project manager but does not necessarily get the desired results.
So what else should a company expect when outsourcing a project with a freelancer?
After many years of project delivery to large corporations, I came across an interesting training firm in Montreal – called FGT – that had a structured approach to Project Management. They effectively put into words what I had been doing intuitively my entire career.
These 6 factors are the secret to successful project delivery. So whether your hiring a freelancer or taking on a new project, whether just for a few hours or a complex IT implementation, keep in mind the following.
6 Key factors in project delivering
1- Deliver on time
A lot of bibliography is written on this subject and still tons of excuses are made for not delivering on time. Do your due diligence before quoting, understand the issues, ask the right questions and have back up plans for the critical steps. Have a detailed plan of the deliveries, the activities to reach those deliveries, the person responsible to execute, and the deadlines. Consider the risks involved and how you will mitigate them. When following the plan, work backwards and understand upfront what needs to happen in order to deliver the next step.
2- Deliver within the budget
Common practice is to add a significant buffer to your estimate by fear of not complying with money and time. This is obviously inefficient and costly. A good project manager is continuously following and anticipating the cost of the project. When you are really faced with an extreme situation, consider reducing or modifying the functionality requested. Looking for best practices for your estimate is a recommended strategy.
3- With the functionality required
This is a key phase of project management. A lot of misunderstanding on what is expected from the project manager drives projects execution over the budget. Clearly understand the problem that needs to be solved. You will find that in many situations clients are not capable of defining the project clearly or exhaustively. If the problem is not understood properly you could be designing state-of-the art solutions unnecessarily.
4- In line with the company’s strategy
Make sure that you clearly understand what the project has to achieve in the broad context of the rest of the organisation. In this way you will be able to take the right decision at each step of the execution. At the end of the day, you want to create a solution that adds value to the client, is there to stay and does not expire by the time you are finished with the project.
5- With the satisfaction of all the stakeholders
It is not enough that you have delivered the project on time, on budget and with the functionality required. Many times a part of the organisation or a key participant is not happy with the results. Understand who will be affected by your project and get them on board from the beginning. It is easier to get to the objective when all of the participants of the team are rowing in the same direction. Get the commitment from the team, the high direction and the client.
6- Ending with an evaluation
Finally, every project should end with an evaluation from the client. By reviewing the different steps and events with them you will identify what went well and what went wrong. And most important, what would you do differently in your next assignment.
From filing cabinets for a few hours to a website development you will always be able to apply these 6 factors and achieve customer satisfaction. There is nothing more fulfilling than having a call from your client to deliver a second time.