Today, project management success is as much about the process and procedures followed during execution as it is about the project managers themselves. Definition, justification, specifications, proposal development, etc., are all important aspects of a successful project, as are the skill, experience and intangible assets of the PM. True success, however, sometimes comes from areas unrelated to one person. From a pure procedural perspective, the Project Management Institute (PMI) specializes in defining the processes for managing efforts in general, but a successful automation effort requires a tailored approach to managing a project.
The most successful automation companies develop specific project execution methodologies they use to manage their project portfolios, usually by blending in best practices from various industry experts like ISO, ISA and GAMP. By merging these best practices with custom project methodologies, these companies are able to guide their execution teams from initiation through closeout.
This approach provides consistent standards for meeting critical project objectives and ensures that areas most critical to quality are accounted for. It also ensures that all work is performed within the established scope, schedule and budget as defined in the proposal or relative specification. The projects can vary greatly with completely unique requirements, but the execution process should be consistent and uniform in approach.
The real key to a successful automation project is the application of a well developed project execution methodology. To ensure you get the most out of your automation investment, whether you perform them internally or not, seek out those automation companies with a time-tested, customer-audited, third-party certified methodology.