Sound project management leads to a healthy business. It is a specialised task; a discipline of planning, organising and managing available resources to produce a specific outcome. Projects are temporary of nature with a finish, and have a clearly defined end to meet specific objectives, which bring about positive change or add value. The management of a project is different to the management of the continuous and permanent 'business as usual' work that produces services or products. As such, it requires distinct skills and separate management teams.

One of the biggest reasons for failure is the lack of good old fashioned and thorough planning, and the ability to communicate those plans and actions to all those involved in the project.

So how does one go about planning a project? The processes are quite straightforward really, it just takes time, insight and effort to apply them. But the result of a well-managed project is success, fulfillment and satisfaction. First of all you need to break the bigger programme picture down into smaller bite-sized projects. Projects, by their nature, must remain within the time, budget and resources allocated to them. Then you need to decide on the project's 'deliverables', or the results of the project. These must be well-defined and described.

There are six project phases to reach the deliverables:

Phase 1: Feasibility study
Phase 2: Project planning
Phase 3: Product specifications
Phase 4: Prototype development
Phase 5: Test and implement.
Phase 6: Closure

All of these phases make up the 'project life cycle' and each phase gives the stakeholders and funders the opportunity to assess the success of the phase, review the objectives (deliverables) and either continue or pull the plug to protect investments.

There are three overriding principles that determine a successful project:

Celebrate the successes.
A project must be meaningful and mostly enjoyable for all involved and it is important to maintain a feeling of momentum by recognising the milestones along the way and the achievement of the team in reaching them.
Communicate. Of all the causes of project failure, inefficient communication is the single biggest. In fact, it is vital to devise a communication plan before the project and analyse the communication profile of the stakeholders, beneficiaries and target group, to make sure the message you are communicating is communicated in the appropriate format.
Stellar leadership. Project leadership must meet six criteria for a successful project and these are defined by numerous writers which we've modified at Rory Allardice Environmental.

Truthfulness
Consistency
Completion
Respectability
Determination
Trustworthiness
Authentic

Rory Allardice Environmental brings this to your project planning. We focus on project planning in the 'green' economy with emphasis on biodiversity conservation.
Project Planning and Implementation
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