Insights for Procure-to-Pay and Finance Leaders

How people and communication improve your project success rate by 28 %

How people and communication improve your project success rate by 28 %

Kristian Fischer is Delivery Manager at Tradeshift and a new author on the blog. He has 10 years of experience with delivering projects, has published a Danish project management book and reviews management books for Danish business newspaper Børsen.

“No need to bother anyone – this project basically runs itself”. Ever heard this or similar sentences before?

Fortunately this over-optimistic ignorant statement – and similar – seem to decrease in numbers as many companies have begun to take business-oriented IT-projects seriously and apply best-practice methodologies and sound project management.

That’s good news.

However, when it comes to the more technology oriented IT-projects (where business has less – or even nothing – to say), all the noble intentions are totally ignored.

That’s the bad news.

People & Communication will secure your project success

At a recent Manchester-based conference in England on project quality assurance, I presented a case about how a large Danish pension scheme succeeded in implementing a technical IT-project.

Thinking that it was given success, the project raced forward giving stakeholders and change management little attention. After all, this was a technical IT-project, right!

However, it quickly became obvious that without focus on stakeholder management and clear, consistent and consequent communication, the project would end as at least 28 % of all projects do. Buried deep, deep in the e-trashcan.

A quick analysis among key stakeholders gave this illustrative picture: The project had communicated A, but meant B. Stakeholders understood C, but did D. And all along it should have been E.

Lesson was learned.

Promptly the project initiated stakeholder management, change management as well as a communication plan and set up these six communication guidelines:

  1. Have a one-minute vision in hand
  2. Don’t be afraid to repeat
  3. Don’t be afraid to repeat
  4. Let the people know
  5. Get to the point
  6. Listen actively.

Combined with a well-defined strategy, agreed processes and an agile development approach, the project turned around and delivered to expectations.

And the project made sure also to communicate that message as the project strongly believed in celebrating successes.

People & Communication will also secure your e-invoicing project success

At Tradeshift we also believe in celebrating the successes. A Tradeshift mentor and former Skype investor commented: “To maintain a winner culture, you have to keep winning”.

And one of the ways we keep winning at Tradeshift is by delivering successful e-invoicing projects with industry-high supplier adoption rates.

We approach e-invoicing projects using the same principles as I mentioned above. On-boarding close to 100 % of a large company’s suppliers requires a solid technical set-up and proven support tool. No doubt about that. This is why we have used many man-hours developing a kick-ass supplier engagement tool.

But it also requires focus on stakeholder and change management. And not to forget the all-important communication to the thousands of suppliers who will be going from paper to electronic invoices. We want to make this transition as easy for them and their buyer as possible.

People, communication and supporting tools are key to improving your success rate.

We at Tradeshift never forget that – do you?