The importance of best practice project management can never be underestimated in developing sustainable strategic business plans.

It must be obvious that if all project objectives are to be achieved, the key stakeholders, communications and identified resources must be properly organised.

An effective plan will ensure that there are clearly understood lines of authority, and that every member of the project team what their individual responsibilities are. This is vital for success. This is part of the project management communication framework, essential for making all members accountable for specific individual and team outcomes.

Part of the communications framework is the provision of effective feedback through and across the organisation. This then allows progress to be monitored against KPI’s, roadblocks to be speedily reported to the executive management. This also opens up access to specialist advise on technical and/or commercial problems with prompt resolution.

I have always found that to run successful projects, the role of project manager is vitally important. To me, the essential element of this important position is the ability to motivate people, by whatever means. By being inclusive and by reading the differing responses of the individuals who make up the team/s.

The project manager must be seen to possess competence, give clear instructions, delegates well, listens to and accepts sound advice, is enthusiastic and confident, and generally commands respect by leading by example thus showing the qualities of leadership.

Generally, the principal identifying characteristics of a project is its uniqueness. For many of the team it will be a step into the unknown, have associated risks and uncertainties.

There are no two (2) projects exactly alike, and even a repeated project will differ in one or more commercial, administrative, or physical aspects from its predecessor.

This is why project managers and their teams need to be innovative thinkers, be aware of proven products and processes and be not satisfied with the status quo.

The team needs to have an ethos of inclusion including an overriding quality of consensus opinion.

Projects need to be measured as closely as cash flow, with milestone dates and costs measured daily.