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Top Tips for Successful Projects

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Building the right team - top tip in the Delivery or Development phase:

Forge the project team across organizational and commercial boundaries and reinforce team behaviour - avoid them not pulling together.

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Building the right team - top tip in the Initiation or Definition phase:

Share the vision and build a team culture aiming for success.

The 4 basic principles we have found from 25 years experience in managing successful projects are:

  1. Do the right project
  2. Build the right team
  3. Do the project right
  4. Use it right (to get the benefits)


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Building the right team  - top tip in the Post-Project or Benefits phase:

Maintain the right standard of staff to use and maintain the solution - only too often complacency results in deteriorating standards of personnel.

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Using it right - top tip in the Post-Project or Benefits phase:

Check with operational staff that no unforeseen issues are occurring.

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Doing the project right - top tip in the Post-Project or Benefits phase:

Actively track the benefits delivery is on plan, and if not, find out why and fix it!

Project Lifecycle - explore to pop up tips then click through to more detail

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Doing the right project - top tip in the Initiation or Definition phase:

Create a realistic business case - not a fantasy. Ask critical questions about risks and benefits. Be honest about timescales and budget. Be clear about how success will be measured!

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Using it right - top tip in the Final Delivery or Handover & Closure phase:

Prepare and deliver all the training materials and communications to stakeholders in plenty of time.

Doing the right project - top tip in the pre-project or concept phase:

Be strategic and think ahead - make sure that you are solving tomorrow's problem today, not yesterday's problem tomorrow. Critically assess what this project will do for you, don't just copy your competitors.

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We recommend the APM’s guides for further reading.

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Doing the project right - top tip in the Delivery or Development phase:

Focus on quality right from the start.

Don't focus on budget or schedule too early - get the quality right first - a failed project is sunk cost. Hitting deadlines is good only if the solution works!

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Doing the right project - top tip in the Final Delivery or Handover & Closure phase:

Confirm that go-live is the right thing to do - all contingency planning successfully completed, & back-out proven.

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Doing the right project - top tip in the Delivery or Development phase:

Business risk is inherent in all project activities - the business sponsor owns that risk, not the PM, so needs to stay closely engaged.

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Building the right team - top tip in the Final Delivery or Handover & Closure phase:

Plan for the human aspects of go-live!

Doing the project right - top tip in the Final Delivery or Handover & Closure phase:

Don't guess or assume it will work - test, test, test.  End-to-end testing and “monkey testing” - doing the unexpected to see if it can be broken.

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