Success Factor 1: A Clear Vision
Ideally, the vision will be clear enough that it can be articulated at all levels of the organization. I believe that the Vision of the project is one of the most critical factors for success. Developing the Vision is a critical exercise in communications between the Project Sponsor, the Project Manager, the Champion (if different than the Project Sponsor or Manager), and the Project Stakeholders. You should ask whether the Vision meets the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound) criteria.
Success Factor 2: Clear Leadership
This factor speaks directly to the leadership of the project. Who will be leading the project? If a Project Sponsor, a Project Manager, and a Project Champion have all been identified, have the roles and responsibilities of each been clearly identified? Are the lines of communication and decision-making clearly defined? Is there one decision maker clearly in charge or do decisions get made by committee? If decisions are made by committee, will the committee meet often enough to allow the successful and timely execution of the 30 day plan?
Success Factor 3: Clear Expectations
In order for the implementation plan to be successful, the expectations of what will be delivered within the implementation plan and what will be different after the implementation plan has been executed must be clear. Missed expectations can lead to a perception than an otherwise well-executed project is failing or has failed. Are the expectations of the individual team members also clearly defined? Poorly defined expectations can lead to missed budgets, missed schedules, rework, and poor team morale.
Success Factor 4: Defined Risk
Before launching the plan, perform a risk identification and analysis, taking extra time to analyze potential organizational risks (i.e. the organization itself, executive support, enterprise support, etc.). Start with asking the basic question: What may prevent the project from meeting its objectives within the implementation plan timeframe? Then continue to ask this question throughout the execution of the plan.
Success Factor 5: Clearly Defined Roles and Responsibilities
Are roles and responsibilities for the implementation plan clearly defined? Are the right resources doing the right things at the right time? If confusion exists over roles or assignments, this can lead to missed milestones, rework situations, missed objectives, and eventually, a failed project, and no PMO within the expected timeframe.
Success Factor 6: Clear Approach
Decide whether the plan is detailed enough to define the approach for the implementation plan. Is the plan strong enough or clear enough for the project team members to support and embrace? A solid plan is built on trust and can empower the team to do what is required to be successful.
Success Factor 7: Change Management
What happens if something changes? What is the project team’s ability to absorb and manage change? Is there a predefined change methodology already in place? If so, can it be used to support the objectives of the project? If a change process is not in place, it is important to define one for the project.