Keys to a Successful Project
Dom holding a phone to his ear, smiling.
Dom Maurice
July 4, 2023

Projects and Success

Personal or professional, projects will always be a part of our lives. They can last a few days or a few years. But managing projects can be tricky, frustrating, and seem too much to handle, which is why it’s a well-paying job on its own. In the last 11 years of my career, all my work has existed in projects, and have been very successful in delivery because I stick to an idea; projects are the paths to success.

Kick off ⚽
Be Visionary

When starting any project, give it a purpose and a vision. Ask questions like:

Why does this have to exist?

What are we going to get out of this?

How far-reaching is this project?

Write a vision, and over-communicate it. Add it to the top of documents, state at the beginning of any meeting, and link every goal and milestone back to it.

Go for Goal

Set goals for the completion of the project, ones that meet the vision and stays on purpose.

All goals need some achievable that you can measure and a deadline. A simple template you can use is:

We need/want to [do something] so that [achieve something related to purpose] by [a date]

Also, don’t forget great goals are S.M.A.R.T.






Define Success

Success is what any project needs. Define the change that will be the result of bringing a project to conclusion. Ask questions like

What does success look like?

What will increase or decrease?

What could you do after the project that you couldn’t do before?

You cannot set yourself up for success unless you define what that is first.

In the flow 🌊

Keep focus and remind on the purpose by creating milestones. Celebrate and give credit when these are meet and treat them like projects on their own. Cascade down from the main vision and goals.

Don’t manage by getting into the weeds, but by directing efforts towards the wins.

Tasks and Time

Make sure the right tasks are being ticked off the list at the right time. Use frameworks such as Lean and Eisenhower to determine priority.

What tasks you get completed and at what time will control the momentum and motivation throughout the project.

Quick wins can turn up momentum

Deep work can instill purpose

Interesting tasks can gain passion

It’s about the results, not how you get there

Stuff + Time = Change

Change is inevitable, no-one can escape it and during the project things will alter. A good vision will stay true through all change.

Over communicating will help in letting go of tasks that may seem fruitful but doesn’t lead to success, i.e. kill your babies!

Pivot goals and tasks to keep the purpose true and stay on route to success

Have strong opinions, weakly held

When unsure, list what you know and what you are assuming, confirm that which you don’t know - assumption = risk

Prove yourself wrong as quickly as possible

Over the line 🏁
No Milestone Left Unturned

Once you have the ending in sight you want to make sure that all prerequisites are met. All tasks and milestones are interconnected and are dependant on each other, so make sure that those dependencies are taken care of.

Pay attention to your critical path, a list of dependant tasks that span the entire project

Make note of big tasks, that are conditional i.e. X needs Y to happen, and have a completion day to confirm or resolve

Make note of the biggest challenges so far, tasks that have these as dependencies will be the hardest to finish

A Big Push

The last 10% of work takes 50% of the effort, everything that will really challenge you will appear here, and there is a risk of tail-off.

Get people together for a final push and prioritise over projects.

Don’t let perfect get in the way of good

Deliver, don’t delay. Anything left for afterwards will not get done

Clear the path for success

Save the Date

All projects must come to an end. Make sure you have a date of when that will happen and make it as visible as possible.

Set expectations with stakeholders and team members, as well as people involved in providing resources.

From answering the question “what can we do after completion” set a task post project as part of your evaluation.

With these keys, you can start to map out and build a strategy for a project.