1. Requirements. Make sure that your customer defines their requirements in depth. You need to know exactly what must be delivered. Be specific, write them formally, and get them approved. This document will become one of the baselines upon which to measure your success.
2. Scope. Define scope well. Get your sponsor approval for scope changes, making sure the sponsor understands any schedule, budget or other impact to the project.
3. Stakeholders. Involve your stakeholders throughout the project. Get them involved in the analysis and planning, as well as execution. Gain their approval when needed and keep them informed when needed. The more you involve them, the greater their level of buy-in and the better you will manage their expectations.
4. Duration. Keep your delivery timeframes short and realistic. It is easier to be successful if your deadlines are shorter rather than longer. Split large projects into "mini-projects" if possible. Keep each mini-project to less than six months if possible. This keeps everyone motivated and focused.
5. Communication. Make sure you keep everyone informed by providing the right information at the right time. Produce status reports and run regular team meetings.
6. Quality. Understand the expectations of your customer in terms of quality and put a plan in place to meet their expectations.
7. Issues. Jump on issues as soon as they are identified. Prioritize and resolve them before they impact on your project. Take pride in keeping issues to a minimum.
8. Risks. Risk management is a great proactive way to solve potential problems before they occur. Identify risks early in the project and continue to manage risks throughout the project.
9. Deliverables. As each deliverable is complete, hand it formally over to your customer. Ask them to verify acceptance to make sure it meets their expectations. Only then can you consider each deliverable as 100% complete.
10. Your team. Be a great people manager. Show them the project vision and how they can make it happen. Motivate them. Trust and believe in them. Make them feel valued. They will work wonders.Over the coming months I will discuss each factor and seek to put in into a more professional context.