There are some basic principles that you can employ to manage any project successfully. Mercury Training’s 12 Steps to a Successful Project provides a simple foundation of the questions to consider, areas and processes to define, as well as steps to evaluate outcomes and learnings of your project delivery.


  1. Be clear about the purpose or reason for the project
    All projects have a purpose. This should be outlined, placed into context and linked to strategic plans.
  1. State the project objective
    It is necessary to make a clear statement of what will be achieved, by when and within what resource limits.
  1. Describe what the project will create
    Clearly describe the tangible outputs of the project. These are the artefacts that the project creates.
  1. Identify & engage stakeholders
    Key stakeholders should be identified early in the process. Their support is essential and engaging with them as early as possible is essential.
  1. Define the project scope
    This is a detailed description of what the project is responsible for, and what it is not responsible for. It defines the boundaries of the project.
  1. Create the WBS
    This is a breakdown of all the work required to deliver all the requirements outlined in the project scope.
  1. Identify and manage the quality requirements & expectations
    This defines the standards or requirements for the project deliverables and the project management process. Also identify key stakeholder expectations of the project and develop a plan to meet those expectations (if possible), or to adjust those expectations (if not)
  1. Identify and manage the project risks
    Identify what could prevent the project from achieving its outcomes, within the timeframes agreed, within the resource limits agreed and to the standard required.
  1. Monitor and verify the project deliverables
    This is the process of constantly checking that the project is continuing to produce what was agreed, and ONLY what was agreed.
  1. Manage changes to the project scope
    Change is almost inevitable. This is the process for incorporating changes and ensuring that the impacts of changes are analysed and accommodated. This process should also outline change approval processes.
  1. Capture the lessons learned from the project
    Identity what went well in the planning and delivery of the project and suggest ways of repeating this success in future projects. Identify what didn’t go well and suggest improvements/changes for future projects.
  1. Recognise and acknowledge stakeholder contribution & support for the project
    The contribution and support of stakeholders is essential. Recognition of their support and contribution is likely to encourage their involvement in future projects.
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