Measuring the success of a project
While there are key items to consider when tracking project success, there is a final and crucial element that is key when the time comes to close the project and report on the success factors.
1. Budget is an item that is the most important factor for many projects. The team should always have a handle on where the project stands in terms of money spent. Budgets are set based on quotes from vendors for hardware and estimates based on services required to implement the solution. Sticking to the budget, or coming in under budget is a factor to be considered as a measurement of success.
2. Scope defines what needs to get done and within a given timeframe. Scope is what aligns the team, the customer and the project manager; it defines the driving force of the projects.
3. Schedule can be defined as a deadline or as the delivery of the solution that was defined in the scope. Either way, a project should have a schedule in place.
4. Satisfaction of the project team is a component that is often overlooked in project management. This measurement rolls up to the entire team, from the engineer to the end-user. A measurement of success in a project will often relate to the satisfaction of the team.
5. Customer satisfaction is defined as an assurance that the customer is happy with the end product. Ask customers to rate your projects on a scale from 1 to 10 at every status update and analyze and review your findings with the team. Seeking constant feedback can help ensure that the end result is the expected result.
6. Quality of one project can affect the quality of subsequent projects, tracking quality is important and allows the team to make adjustments accordingly. Deliver a high quality project and your customer or stakeholders will tell people about it.
Where is number 7, should it have been defined in the scope? In some cases yes, but in many, it is not defined in the scope. Because scope is often developed with just the project stakeholders, this important element can be missed. This vital element is a “united vision of where you want the project to be at the end” and should be agreed on at the onset of the project. After defining scope and starting the project, always ensure the team and the stakeholder have a unified vision of the final product.