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Project Management Top Ten Tips

phil-palmerOur guest blogger this month is Philip Palmer who is Head of IS Project & Program Office at Boehringer Ingelheim.  He is  a Prince2 Practitioner and Accredited Trainer, MSP Advanced Practitioner, OBASHI Accredited Trainer and Prince2 Professional.  He is the author of the Useful Guide to Prince 2 more details below. Phil lives in Germany is married with three grown up daughters.

Here are his top tips for managing a complex project.

1. Define at the start of the project what it is that the project is to create involving key stakeholders so that there is a broad acceptance of the project within the organisation.

2. Produce Plans for the whole project or relevant stages with increasing levels of detail nearer to the time when the activities take place then use them actively for monitoring and control purposes.

3. Develop a Business Case and only start or carry on with the project if the Business Case confirms that the project is viable. Identify tangible financial benefits for the Business Case where possible.

4. Check that the work is acceptable to the Project’s customer along the way by testing the individual deliverables as they are created and obtaining approval records so that there are no surprises when it is time to hand over the project product at the end of the project.

5. Identify and communicate with relevant stakeholders effectively at the start of and for the remainder of the project.

6. To prevent scope creep/unauthorised changes and unexpected surprises, manage issues and risks (formally/informally as defined by the project) as they are raised through the use of a relevant procedure known to all members of the project management team for the whole project.

7. Develop a project method that works for your organisation (or use an “off the peg” method and adapt it) and make sure it is used consistently by all project management teams to generate a higher percentage of successful projects.

8. Recruit the right people for the project management team, brief them thoroughly on their roles and responsibilities, and give them training and development opportunities in both hard and soft project management skills so that a high performing team is created.

9. Obtain buy in from the wider corporate organisation for the project management method used because projects are trying to deliver change that supports the organisation’s strategic goals and this will make success more likely.

10.Develop a centre of excellence for the project community so that lessons are captured and learned, project success increases, and project management in the organisation becomes more mature.

Philip is the author of the Useful Guide to Prince 2 and has also created an iphone app on Prince 2.

This Useful Guide is based on the Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 best practice guidance but has been summarised in an easy to follow format.

Being successful in project management requires more than just knowledge of PRINCE2 but the method does provide an excellent foundation upon which the project manager can develop other necessary skills. Signposts are given throughout the Useful Guide on the major skills required.

What the Useful Guide includes …


Starting up a Project; Initiating a Project; Controlling a Stage; Managing Product Delivery; Managing a Stage Boundary; Closing a Project; Directing a Project.

Themes Business Case;  Organisation; Quality; Plans; Risk; Change; Progress Controls

It also contains 20 document templates to help you create the appropriate documents to support your project management.


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