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Seven Essential Steps for Developing a Successful Project

Gestion de projet en entreprise | Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton

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Updated on September 21, 2023

Businesses launch many projects each year. Properly planning each project will foster its success.

Is your organization planning on expanding operations? Does it want to make an acquisition? Does it need to implement a digital transformation or make changes to redirect its business model? It’s important to know your objectives and assess the impacts of each project in order to prepare. Here are essential steps for efficient project management.

1. Properly determine the objectives targeted by each project

Before anything, you must ensure that the project that you want to carry out will meet part of the objectives you’ve prioritized in your strategic business plan. As there could be many possible solutions, is this project the most appropriate and is it the right time to make it happen?

  • How will the project’s content provide a winning solution?
  • Will completing this project help meet various needs within the organization?
  • To what extent does it align with and where does it rank in the strategic plan?
  • What resources are required within the organization to carry out the project?

2. Setting the project’s expected results

Prior to starting, you must plan for concrete, precise measures that will enable you to confirm along the way that the project will yield the expected results. Make sure to:

  • Thoroughly define three or four of the project’s measurable performance indicators;
  • Have management or the Board of Directors validate these performance targets;
  • Develop the project taking the indicators into account.

3. Determine the risks and restrictions

From the get-go, picture possible obstacles in order to minimize their impacts, for all aspects of the project:

  • The required timelines before completing the project;
  • The level of resources required to define and implement the project;
  • Foreseeable impacts on the organization;
  • Human resources;
  • Changes in the market;
  • The necessary technologies;
  • Etc.

4. Plan the project

Each step is important and must be carried out in the right order. Before starting, you must plan for each step. Don’t leave anything to chance. Take an overall look at the required items, then determine their level of importance and what needs to be prioritized. Take the time to:

  • Detail all activities needed to carry out the project;
  • Determine the human, financial and technological resources that will be required;
  • Highlight the “critical path”, the activities essential to the success of the project and the timetable;
  • Choose how the project will be carried out (project manager, level of involvement and consultation with the team, etc.);
  • Take a step back when developing the project (to avoid hasty projects);
  • Analyze the possible organizational impacts of the project (minor or major) within the organization as well as its ability to undertake it.

5. Select what assistance is available, based on your needs

You need to assess which resources are available, internal or external, that you could obtain to support you during the completion of the project:

  • Which organizations or professionals could provide support during the project?
  • Which financial assistance programs could apply to the project?
  • Define, as needed, a canvassing or network plan to make it easier to complete the project.

6. Validate the eligibility to financial assistance programs

Financial assistance is not obtained automatically. You must take into account the terms and conditions, assess whether your business respects the eligibility criteria, and, as applicable, get help from professionals during your application to ensure that you meet all of the conditions and adequately highlight your project and returns for your business. Make sure to:

  • Take the following criteria into account: eligible clients, appreciation criteria, priority criteria;
  • Prepare a structure request that stands out;
  • Call on the services of professionals or experts in the field for major projects.

7. Carry out the project

Don’t ease up on your vigilance once the project has begun. Each step is important and you must pay attention to all details while completing it. You must, in particular:

  • Ensure the organization’s level of commitment at project start-up (change management is a must);
  • Be thorough and disciplined to meet the expected deadline and performance targets;
  • Keep the momentum going when carrying out the project through regular and adequate communications;
  • Plan an evaluation activity once the project is finished in order to determine the highlights and lowlights, and get back on track if needed for other steps or for the next project.

Nothing can be left to chance when setting up projects. The more prepared and organized you are, the higher the chances of success for your business.

For support throughout the process, don’t hesitate to contact a team of competent professionals.

This article was written with Serge Plourde.

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