Can you keep a promise?

By Alison Smith, Project Agency

Last Thursday, the people of London where Project Agency are based, voted in the Mayoral elections.  This year is a key election year as Boris Johnson, who was elected on Thursday will make his mark in history as the Mayor of London during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, and also for the London 2012 Olympics

There were various candidates reflecting a kaleidoscope of views appealing to people from all walks of life and over the last 4 weeks of campaigning all the candidates have been making final and definitive promises of what they would do to make London a better place. Boris Johnson  knows that he will be expected to make good on the promises made during all campaigning.

Photo courtesy of Telegraph on line

But what about the promises we make in projects? In business whatever type of task or project you are about to start, you have to have a business plan that is realistic, achievable, and has some fore thought or planning built in. Of course as a politician you are at this point selling a dream of what you want to achieve.

But what are the promises that are made in the project management world based on? Are they realistic or pipe dreams? At Project Agency, we believe that unless you have a credible business case then you simply don’t have a project. Without a business case, you could well be wasting valuable time and resources including money delivering something that does not fit with the overall agenda for your company.

The business case is a key document in the project management process. It is owned by the project sponsor and this is the document that the sponsor should always be referring back to check if the ‘promises’ and business benefits are being kept and the project is on track and within budget.

There are many people who have been on our project management courses who are quite open about people’s reputation “…..he/she is really reliable, they really deliver” or “the finance department are always late with the figures and they cannot be relied on.”

We get a reputation. Your reputation needs to be a positive one; always promising; always delivering.

There are many views of politicians – as many people who vote! The underlying feeling at the moment which comes across about politicians is mistrust. The public simply do not trust politicians.

If you fail to deliver in your projects then you may well suffer the same fate and lose the trust of you colleagues or sponsor – just like a politician. So, what do you need to do to get the trust of your stakeholders, sponsor and people in your company?

Can you keep your promises?

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