Project Success – It’s all in the Client Brief

6th December 2012   |   Jamie Barrett   |   Reading Time: 2 minutes

We have all come across the question “What makes a project a success” – and interestingly we will find a plethora of answers – none the same. Many will say delivering the project to budget, time, cost and quality. And of course who could argue – well perhaps the Client.

Clients are ultimately interested in business results. Why should we care as Project Managers? This is not our concern, is it? The answer ultimately depends on what kind of Project Manager you are and whether you are seeking true success.

In the Property and Construction sectors projects can quite often spiral out of control. Many attribute this to clients changing their minds and varying the scope considerably. But is not this because we as project managers have not taken the time to fully understand our clients’ business drivers and instead voyaged on a journey in the wrong direction? And if we had taken the time to understand the business drivers, then would we not be in a better position to manage and influence the right decisions first time – avoiding the need for change?

When managing my clients’ projects I am always striving for excellence and success. What is my approach – defining the project goals and success criteria. This can only truly be achieved by sitting down with the Client and teasing out their business drivers. I refer to this part of the project process as the Client Brief.

Why do I bother with the Client Brief – because before starting out on a project I need to know what success looks like, when the project is completed and what needs to be done to do a great job. By establishing the parameters for success and how these will be measured puts me in position to deliver successful projects for my clients.