In days when ROI and meeting deadlines are the most important, what do you think should be the best practice – out-of-the-box for deliverying and do it on time with the best quality?

Yoav Aviv

Projects Management Professional | | | LION | 8200+

Honestly, it doesn’t really matter what methodology or tools you use. The most important things are to set clear baselines for your requirements, implement a solid change management process to prevent or mitigate scope creep and make it very clear (through very visible executive support and empowerment) that changes to deliverables will automatically trigger a renegotiation of schedule, budget or resources. In addition, having a clearly defined set of *business* measurements that will be used to assess the success of the specific project will go a long way towards helping you “sanity check” any project changes, prioritize issues and generally keep the project on track. (If you can get support for it, full end-to-end requirements traceability has a huge impact on project success.)

With that said, I believe that a lot of organizations have lost sight of the fact that ROI, schedule and budget are just performance indicators. The true measurement of project success is whether the project deliverables meet the customer requirements. It doesn’t matter one whit if a project delivers on-time and on-budget if it fails to deliver any business value. By all means use the standard measures as indicators of relative project health, but remember that they’re just indicators and not the goals themselves. Remember “why” you’re doing a project and work with your customers to make sure that their needs are continuing to be addressed.

Finally, don’t be afraid to kill a project if it’s not going to deliver the anticipated business value. I’ve seen some PMOs that consistently deliver on-time and on-budget, but often sacrifice key deliverables or quality and ultimately deliver a project that has no (or negative) net business value.