It can be overwhelming to oversee a major IT project. In fact, only three out of 10 such initiatives are considered successful, according to research from The Standish Group. Of the rest, one-quarter are declared outright failures and are cancelled before completion. The remaining 45 percent finish late, are over-budget, or end up with fewer than the required features and functions. Given this situation, how eager are you to tackle an exciting new IT project? To provide some advice that can make you more confident in the success of the project, we're presenting the following 10 best practices from the recent book, Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers: The People Skills You Need to Achieve Outstanding Results (Amacom/available in June). Note the focus on people skills in the subtitle. Author Anthony Mersino contends that a large number of project failures stem from issues relating to communications, staff management and other soft-skill shortcomings, rather than technical issues. Occasional blowups within a team are inevitable, but as a project leader, it's your job to defuse the situation—and any damage that may result. Mersino is a certified project management professional (PMP), with more than a quarter-century of relevant experience with companies such as IBM, Unisys and Bank of America.