Thursday, September 29, 2011

Projects and customer involvement

How to make a success of your project? When looking for the answer on this question and using the keywords “project management success factors” in Google’s search engine I have found a lot solutions. Most of the found blogs, articles and other descriptions were written by solution providers (IT infrastructure and software) and aimed on using a specific project management method, for instance Prince2, to ensure project success.

But does this project success also result in a happy customer?

A few weeks ago I have read a story on managing projects from the customer side. It was a real eye-opener. Why do we do projects for our customers? Just to make a lot of money by serving our customers solutions without considering if it is value for the business or is it because we do want to implement a solution that delivers added value to business. Is it quantity (lots of worked hours) or quality (a happy customer).

It is clear that we have to deliver a solution to fulfill the customer’s need, but we have to ensure and keep ensuring that we have customer involvement in our projects. Research by the Standish group has shown that the customer is most influential on project success. The customer (executive, sponsor and user) is for 34,5% the success factor for successful projects, while the project team of project management are less influential. 

The greatest challenge in making projects successful is answering the question how to put the customer first and involved in the realization of the product or solution.

To enable/ensure customer involvement our specialists work a few days on the Floor. While working among the end users or business representatives during design, development or testing/acceptance communication lines are kept short.

Our BI projects cannot be successful if we do not have an involved customer. BI projects are something you have to do with your customers, because this something you do for them. For us this is the key success factor in our projects and that is something we would like to share.

In the near future we will subject more of these Project Management and Customer Quality topics in this blog.

Hermann-Otto Israël

BI Architects specialist

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