ERP Solution

The importance of conducting project appraisals

In today’s fast-paced and dynamic business environment, organizations face ever-increasing complexities and challenges. To stay competitive, they must undertake various projects that drive innovation, meet customer demands, and achieve strategic objectives.

However, managing these projects effectively is no easy task. That’s where project management comes into play. Project management includes planning, organizing, and controlling resources in order to achieve specific goals within pre-determined constraints. Because of this, each project will include its own set of risks and issues.

55% of digital transformation projects fail

Based on research conducted by the Standish Group, on average 41% of all projects face issues with the budget, schedule, or scope. While on average 23% of all business projects fail. Research conducted by the Project Management Institute shows that 11.4% of all projects were considered to be a failed investment due to poor project performance or adaptation.

These were general studies looking at many different industries. The failure rate of digital transformation projects is even higher. Based on a study conducted in 2017 by Gartner Research, 55% of all digital transformation projects were deemed a failure by the initiators of the project.

Risk without issues

Proper management of risks and issues will have a significant impact on the success of the project. Proper risk and issue management involves identifying, assessing, mitigating, and monitoring risks and issues throughout the project lifecycle. Identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks and issues is something that should be done before a project starts.

A project manager needs to know the likelihood that risk and issies will occur, what their impact will be and there should be a plan in place for detecting and tracking the risks and issues the moment they happen. If a risk is considered to be important enough, a mitigation plan needs to be in place before the project starts.

Involve all stakeholders

As an example, imagine a company that is implementing a ERP software. Previous projects revealed inadequate communication of stakeholder requirements. Employees not directly involved in the implementation were not made aware of project developments before its conclusion, limiting their involvement and feedback. If  this happens during the ERP implementation, it can result in an ERP system that fails to cover all necessary processes. Therefore, the project manager must create a plan to mitigate this risk before the project initiation. Before such a plan can be created, an analysis of why this problem occurred in the past, must be conducted.

Identify the why

Only if the why is known, it becomes possible to create a plan on how to manage this risk in such a way, that the new technology will be properly adopted by employees after the project is concluded. Doing all of this in a proactive and collaborative way will be paramount to a successful project in this example.

Potential threaths

During the course of a project, various other issues might occur that will demand the attention of the project manager:

The project might not be a good fit for the organization’s culture, goals, and targets.
Stakeholders might have unrealistic or conflicting expectations.
Scope creep might occur.

By recognizing and actively addressing these and other potential issues, project managers can increase the chances of project success. To do this, a proactive and holistic approach is required. An approach that encompasses not only technical aspects but also organizational dynamics, stakeholder management, and effective communication.

Project appraisal

Conducting a project appraisal before initiating a project is essential for reducing risks and improving the likelihood of success. This appraisal will evaluate the viability, potential risks, and the expected benefits of the project.

Factors such as the team capabilities, project governance and other factors need to be analyzed for insights as well. These insights are necessary to improve the likelihood of achieving success with a project, by enabling organizations to make informed decisions and mitigate potential challenges.

Analyze, prioritize, implement

Preferably, such an analysis will analyze everything that can go wrong during a project. However, it is not enough to merely analyze the project. After the analysis, solutions need to be created. These solutions need to be prioritized and implemented. If all of this is done properly, the project health should improve.

However, this does not mean that the work stops. Projects are complicated, and it is the responsibility of the entire project governance team to ensure that the the project’s health is appraised regularly once the project has started.

For example, by conducting a mid-project appraisal or by using other means. It is important to avoid biases and political influences while conducting a project appraisal.

Organizations can seek external expertise, such as the Mission.One Advisory Project Assessment Service, to conduct an unbiased evaluation. Such services will analyze the project methodology and the project readiness in order to provide valuable guidance and support in mitigating project issues and risks.
In turn, this will enable a company to achieve success with their projects.

By minimizing setbacks and doing everything in power to achieve project success, an organization can foster innovation, achieve its strategic goals and in turn, grow.