Man­aging (logistics) projects successfully

Successful project management ILM

When is a project suc­cessful and how can you sig­nif­i­cantly influence the success within a project? Regardless of the industry and company size, the way projects are handled and managed in many com­panies today is shaped by their culture and mission statement and is therefore dif­ferent. There are dif­ferent approaches, such as the classic or agile (Scrum, Six Sigma, etc.), project man­agement. Depending on project content and char­ac­ter­istics, the right choice should be care­fully con­sidered. The qual­i­fi­cation of your own employees and the pro­vision of the nec­essary per­sonnel resources for a project is indis­pensable. Expe­rience shows that a con­flict of interest often arises between project work and daily business. Regardless of the choice of project man­agement method, we believe the fol­lowing factors are crucial for project success: a clear for­mu­lation of objec­tives, gath­ering stake­holder expec­ta­tions, defining project risks and knowing the critical path, com­mu­ni­cating the course of the project on a regular basis, con­tin­u­ously reviewing the choice of a project man­agement tool, tasks, objec­tives and mission.

Project man­agement and quality standards

We have defined our own project man­agement and quality stan­dards within our orga­ni­zation. These include clearly defined project role descrip­tions and a uniform approach of our con­sul­tants and project man­agers in the orga­ni­zation and control of projects. Ulti­mately, our own rules of the game are thus clearly defined. To ensure quality and the achievement of objec­tives within the project, we have imple­mented an internal quality check process con­sisting of various phases. Essen­tially, project para­meters defined before, during and after the project are jointly queried and dis­cussed by the project team.

In addition to a good training of the project man­agers, which should be empha­sized, a clear def­i­n­ition of the project man­agement method before the project starts is essential. Above all, the project client, i.e. the cus­tomer, should def­i­nitely be involved in this decision. In our next series we will discuss which projects lend them­selves to a classic and which to an agile method.

Deter­mining the project man­agement method: classic or agile?

Classic project man­agement methods are often used in con­struction or mod­ern­ization projects. They require a clear project orga­ni­zation and focus on the achievement of objec­tives. The project goals are clearly defined. Devi­a­tions or changes are clas­sified as dis­ruptive, as they are some­times cost-intensive. This approach is strongly plan and process driven and includes many rules and tasks that are mon­i­tored and con­trolled by a higher authority (project control/project man­agement). By the way, the full benefit only emerges at the end.

Agile methods (Scrum, Kanban etc.) come from software/product devel­opment. Espe­cially in dynamic envi­ron­ments, where require­ments are con­stantly changing due to the use of inno­v­ative tech­nologies and where markets are devel­oping rapidly, agile methods have a clear advantage. They are suitable for projects with a short duration, support flex­i­bility in achieving goals and put cus­tomer benefit in the fore­ground. Changes are clas­sified as mean­ingful improve­ments. The project team orga­nizes itself, which often results in a high team moti­vation with high team performance.

Con­clusion: Both models cer­tainly have their jus­ti­fi­cation, advan­tages and appli­cation areas. In many indus­tries or use cases, classic project man­agement must be used because agile processes are not suitable here. In order to arrive at an initial assessment of a project as to which approach is probably the most goal-ori­ented, the Stacey Matrix can also provide a good orientation.

Digital Project Man­agement — Using a PM Tool

Many com­panies still use Excel spread­sheets for project planning and exe­cution. Excel is familiar and easy to use, but espe­cially with complex projects, the overview is quickly lost, espe­cially with multi-project man­agement, which can have fatal con­se­quences. Basi­cally a project should always be handled with high effi­ciency. A good orga­ni­zation as well as com­mu­ni­cation are therefore indispensable.

We handle our projects with our spe­cially developed PM appli­cation i‑ProjectRoom. This enables us to make the nec­essary infor­mation and inputs available to all project par­tic­i­pants at any time and thus to com­mu­nicate directly or indi­rectly. The spectrum of com­mu­ni­cation within the web appli­cation ranges from direct noti­fi­ca­tions, to-dos or appointment polls to the recording of budgets, risks, pro­tocols, appointment cal­endars, mile­stone plans or general doc­u­ments about the project. The project dash­board pro­vides us with all rel­evant project infor­mation (progress, to-dos, budget and risks) at a glance. The project traffic light shows us whether we are on track or whether we need to take action.

Con­clusion: not han­dling projects dig­i­tally or with a PM tool can sig­nif­i­cantly endanger the success of the project. Talk to us. We will be happy to support you in choosing the right PM-Tool.