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Having a talented project manager is the first step to actual project success, but there are other important factors that contribute largely to a project’s outcome. It takes careful planning, attention to detail and effective communication to make a project succeed. With vigilant management and a strong project closing, a company can consistently reach project success.

1. Smart People

Without the right team in place, any strategy and plan has the potential of completely falling apart. Because of this, the core project staff, expert resources, suppliers and all stakeholders should be part of the team dynamic. All of those involved must have commitment to the group, share similar visions for the projects and strive for overall success.

Project managers can face serious trouble if inadequacy is present within the team. Inept leadership or an out-of-sync team can send a project towards failure. It is important to assign the right people to each aspect of the project and make sure that they are working well together. Additionally, the entire team should be completely informed and involved in order to have the most successful outcome, which means that communication has to be on par.

Use a software tool to get everyone online and using a central repository of information. Tools like Copper Project not only allow you to manage the To-Dos and Project plans, but will also allow you to set the availability of your resources, and then book their time on specific tasks/projects. Once they’ve logged their time, you have a powerful system that not only automates time-sheets/invoicing, but stops your project processes falling apart when your staff move on.

2. Smart Planning

Comprehensive planning sets up a project for success from the start. All stakeholders should be on board during the planning process and always know in which direction the project is going to go. Planning can help the team to meet deadlines and stay organized. Good planning not only keeps the project team focused and on track, but also keeps stakeholders aware of project progress.

There are many benefits to smart planning. This first step in the project process allows for a reliable and realistic time-scale to be created. Assuring accurate time for cost estimates to be produced and for clear documentation of milestones and deliverables will make things much easier as the project progresses. A proficient plan details all resource requirements and doubles as a warning system. If task slippage is at risk, then a warning system will provide clear visibility of what to expect.

Use a tool that offers a full drag and drop timeline so that you can quickly and effectively build a project plan and establish an accurate end date. Use previously completed projects as templates for your future projects. In this way not only can you avoid redundancies associated with creating a new project from scratch each time, but the more often you reuse a template project the closer you’ll be to accurate timelines and budget estimates

3. Open Communication

Looking closely at details and listening to outside sources of information is vital to the success of a project. Keeping open communication within the team is absolutely essential. When working under a specific timetable, it is important that the team remains well-informed. If a problem arises on one part of a project, it can negatively impact other parts as well. Communication is the best way to prevent problems from occurring.

Communication should also be focused internally within the organization. Keeping an organizational history of major projects will give convenient access to improved policies and business processes. If this isn’t done, then a team may repeat mistakes that have already occurred. Listening to stakeholders and paying attention is a very important ingredient for success.

Good communication also includes knowing when to say no. A project team should never promise anything they know they can’t deliver. Saying no in the beginning could save an overabundance of unnecessary problems later. Always be honest about what your team can do and when it can be done by.

Aside from using a tool that allows draggable timelines, also find one that allows you to use previous projects as templates for establishing your new timeline. Not only will you improve your processes over time (becoming more accurate with your estimates and setting client expectations accordingly), but you also improve communications between all your project participants.

4. Careful Risk Management

Project managers know that things rarely go off exactly as planned. During the planning process, it is vital to produce a risk log with an action plan for the risks that the project could face. Make sure all key stakeholders are aware of your risk log and know where they can find it. If something happens, then the team can quickly resolve the issue with the management plan that has already been set in place. This will give the team confidence when facing project risks and help the clients feel comfortable with the project’s progression.

Having a central online database of project information is vital to ensure you don’t lose crucial project momentum during the project, but also in the event of losing key participants you can quickly get your new team members up to speed.

5. Strong Project Closure

If a project does not have strong closure, then it has the potential to continue to consume resources. The project team must be firm and agree with the customer that all critical success factors have been met. Confirmation of the project delivery, testing, and release must be agreed upon and signed off. Satisfaction surveys are good forms of documentation to log and file for future reference and valuable information for use in the future.

It is the project manager’s job to ensure that everything runs smoothly on a project, but having a great project manager doesn’t guarantee a successful project outcome. The entire team paying attention to key factors is what will help lead the project to true success. This success will then lead to proactive, organized project plans and an increase in quality of all future projects.

Reference: Erin Palmer & www.project-management.com



  • As a Global IT director with General Motors, it’s critical that I source high calibre technical candidates every time. ERS bring such a level of confidence and integrity to the pipeline of candidates that distinguishes them from everyone else in the market. ERS is about relationship building, getting to know our company, our management team and our requirements. They assist tailoring job specifications to ensure the widest range of candidates are attracted to the job profiles. ERS hands on screening of candidates means that we have an excellent ratio of interviews to job offers and subsequently, shorter ramp-up cycles, improved business value, increased efficiency and low attrition. Candidates are not just screened based on their CVs, ERS invests a lot of time to get to know the candidates and this profiling gets best results, both for my teams and for the prospective candidates. Our local team has hired successfully through ERS from multiple countries which means our teams are also very diverse in their skills, experiences and cultures. The technical roles filled range from Senior managers, Architects, Java developers, Mainframe, Middleware, SAP, High-performance computing, Mobile Development, Infrastructure, scrum masters and a wide range of global operational roles. Global IT Director General Motors

  • ERS, part of the Casseo Group were engaged on a critical programme aimed at further enhancing Dell’s renowned Supply Chain model for outbound logistics in EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa). The ERS team immediately “hit the ground running” and added immense value in augmenting the internal Dell IT team seeking to expedite this critical project.  They brought a strategic and realistic view of the possibilities for the project, as well as a professional focus on delivery of a quality product to agreed timescales.  They managed a wide range of internal relationships, as well as cementing the external commitments needed from Dell’s partners to make the project a reality.  Throughout the project life cycle, they always brought a practical perspective to the table when wrestling with a complex project, and executed creative and innovative solutions to ensure success. A very worthwhile partnership which I would eagerly recommend to those in search of external expertise and commitment in meeting their project commitments. Dell

  • GE Financial Insurance (now Genworth Financial) engaged ERS as part of the Casseo group, to assist in the delivery of a complex cross-functional project. The project entailed managing the IT Infrastructure and providing IT Support to assists a dedicated debtor recovery team that was set up specifically for the project. Based in Birmingham, ERS leveraged excellent project management and technical skills to quickly win the confidence of the local team. Over a period of time, ERS as part of the Casseo group worked hand-in-hand with this team to deliver an outstanding result where significant more debts were recovered than had been thought possible.  I have no hesitation in recommending ERS and the Casseo Group. Programme Manager, Genworth Financial

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