Best Practice: Five Crucial Project Conversations

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Best Practice: Five Crucial Project Conversations
The success or failure of major projects can be predicted by examining the quality of 5 crucial conversations that must take place, yet which are often neglected:
1. Are we planning around facts? (or are milestones unrealistic or predetermined)
2. Is the project sponsor providing support?
3. Are stakeholders faithful to the process?
4. Are the progress and risks honestly assessed?
5. Are all team members contributing?

There are also 5 supporting best practices to foster a culture of candor and rapidly improve project execution:
1. Make the case for the 5 issues;
2. Measure project performance;
3. Make it easy to discuss,
4. Make it safe to discuss;
5. Influence by teaching (train soft skills).
Source: MIT Sloan Management Review Summer 2007, David Maxfield, Joseph Grenny and Andrew Shimberg.

Project Execution Best Practices
This is dead on. Basic questions that are often the cause of failure.

Additional (6th) Crucial Project Conversation
Erwin Schauvliege, Member
I agree with David's list of things to discuss / assess when dealing with projects, although I miss one essential item: 6. Does the project have clear, transparant, business oriented project goals?

Project Management Process
Ebwongu Michael
Start always with very good plan, reviewed regularly for effectiveness.

Program and Project Management, Success / Failure Predictibility
Erwin Schauvliege, Member
A couple of good points from David, UK. I would personally add the following questions:
- Are resources secured?
- Have we taken enough time in a proper feasibility study?
- Have we invested enough in clear goal setting?
- Were stakeholders properly involved from the very beginning?


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