Don’t Even Think of Passing ‘GO’ on Your Project Until You’ve Ticked The Box on These 2 Things

Don’t Even Think of Passing ‘GO’ on Your Project Until You’ve Ticked The Box on These 2 Things

1 Happy Stakeholders


What’s a successful project? Hits the deadline? Comes in within the budget? Meets the requirements of the stakeholders? All of the above? These and more?

At Fast Projects, we reckon that a successful project can be summed up in two words – ‘happy stakeholders’.

For the avoidance of any doubt, the stakeholders are the people who have a stake in the project. More precisely they’re either individuals or groups of people who are affected by the project in some way, either positive or negative.

Each stakeholder has what we can think of ‘win-conditions’; in other words, what would that stakeholder regard as the best possible outcome to the project.

To deliver a successful project, you must deliver the win-conditions of the stakeholders.

So the first steps towards happy stakeholders are to:

  1. Identify who they all are: and
  2. Find out what’s going to make them happy; and
  3. Don’t assume that you know; and
  4. Don’t assume it’s the same for everybody;
  5. Get it in writing.

So what should you do?

Make a list of all of your stakeholders and for each stakeholder, write down their win-conditions. Get the stakeholders to sign this off.



2 How Will We Know When We’re Done?

Every successful project ends. There are some last jobs and then there’s a very last job.

Think of when a new bridge or tunnel or highway is opened. Some senior government figure comes out and cuts a ribbon to open this new piece of infrastructure – and this cutting of the ribbon is a symbolic last job on the project. It says that now that the ribbon has been cut, the project to build the infrastructure is over; it’s finished.

Similarly, when a shop is launched. Typically, a woman breaks a bottle of champagne on the bow of the ship; the ship slides down the slipway and goes into the water. Hopefully it floats, and again this breaking of the bottle of champagne is a symbolic last job. It tells us that now that the bottle of champagne has been broken, the project to build the ship is over.

Many projects get into trouble because we don’t have a clear view of what constitutes finishing. The result is that, for example, the team believes itself to have finished, but the customer has a different view and other stakeholders may have other views again.

By agreeing with the stakeholders what the last job in the project is, we do away with all of this possible uncertainty and doubt.

We often use the expression ‘get it over the line’. Knowing the last job in our project and agreeing that with all of the stakeholders means that we know exactly where that line is. Once that last job is carried out, the project is over – clearly, objectively, no longer a matter of opinion or interpretation.

So what should you do?

Figure out – in conjunction with your stakeholders – what the last job in your project is. Get the stakeholders to sign that off too.


Ok, now you’re ready to get your project on the road. Off you go and good luck.

Oh – and if there are other people who’d find this useful, perhaps you’d pass it on to them.  Thanks