As an experienced or novice project manager one of the things that you will learn about during any courses for professional project managers that you undertake is that a successful project isn’t in fact always a success. 

Reaching your project goal with the desired outcome, for example creating the product, programme or service that you set out to achieve can indeed be deemed to have been a success. However it is important to look at the overall picture in order to see if the project has been a success on the whole. 

What constitutes success in project management?

There are three factors that govern the success of your project within the field of project management. These are:

  • Did you achieve the desired outcomes?
  • Did you come in on, or under, budget?
  • Did you complete the project within the allotted timescale? 

If the answer to all three of these questions is “yes” then you may consider your project to have been successful. And on the face of it this may in well be correct. However, it is also important to take a look at the things that have gone on in the background, things that centre around the members of your project team in order to consider whether your project has been truly successful. 

The impact on your project team 

Success can often come at a cost and all too often this means that your project team may well have paid the price. Bringing your project in on time and on budget can have a detrimental impact on the team. This is particularly a risk if you do not handle the workloads of the project in an effective manner and do not ensure that you have the right number of team members for all of the work that is involved. This detrimental impact may be a mental impact or stress related and can ultimately put pressure on them to strive to do better next time, which can result in even more stress and potentially lead to burnout. 

It is important to ensure that the balance between working well and overworking are met. This is something that any project manager should be looking at when they produce the plan for the project. Communication between the project manager and the project team is essential. 

How can you overcome this issue?

The experts at Parallel Project Training recommend looking at what might be causing the stress within your project team. Once you have this information  you will be able to see where you should be making adjustments to ensure that it does not happen in the same way again. This will include things like setting realistic expectations for any future projects that you undertake. 

Whilst stakeholders will probably be delighted with quick time frames for projects it is important that these are realistic. They should not come at the expense of the wellbeing of the members of your team. Likewise, cutting corners to ensure that you come in on budget by choosing cheaper options for components for a product will not reflect well on the organisation in the long run either, and will certainly not constitute a success.



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