Published on August 18, 2020
Updated on August 18, 2020
Read time 8 minutes
How to Define Project Success in 2020
If you have been connected to the field of project management for even a day now, then you probably know that whenever you plan a project, the first thing you do is to understand the value to the company you want to achieve or the output you want to accomplish through the project.
You wanted to understand these things because back in the day, to calculate project success, you needed to make sure that the output is exactly as you wanted and it was achieved without the slightest of deviation from the designated budget and time.
But as we know, the project management world doesn’t live by the same rules for a longer period. It likes to spice things up.
So, for a while now, the project management community doesn’t measure project success on just the output that it provides, rather it demands that companies should engage with their clientele more often than not and find out how their product impacts their lives but also how it impacts the image of the organization and the culture of the company.
Let’s talk about the criteria for project success in today’s project management world.
The Success Criteria
If you want to define what success criterion is then it’s a set of rules or standards set by the upper management or the stakeholders connected to the project, which are used to measure all of the outputs that the project is set to achieve during its life-cycle and after it closes.
All of the elements of the success criteria are not based on resources like time and the budget, instead, they are based on the way the upper management, the stakeholders, and the customers are impacted by the way, the project tends to operate.
The following are the questions you should be asking yourself, regarding the project you are managing. They are:
- Does the Output of the project meet with the goals that have been described in the business case and were the customer’s priorities covered in the project structure?
- Is the service or the product that you are trying to develop, meeting the requirements of the customer? Is it performing the exact way as expected by the client?
- Is your current way of developing the product making the team more positive and efficient, leading them to a higher level of productivity?
- Are the procedures that you are using to develop the new project, going to affect the culture of the company at any stage? Or change the image of the company in front of the people?
- Is the project that you are developing, going to advance the level of technology that is being used in the company?
- Is the project, in any way, going to damage the current projects and processes that are going on in the organization?
- Is there a learning path for all of the customers that are not familiar with the new project or product that you are trying to develop?
What is the Project Management Success Criterion?
When you are constructing the criteria for measuring the performance of the project, you analyze the quality of the project which is itself being managed and not the elements related to it which we discussed earlier.
You track all of the different activities that are happening in the development process of the project through project management software like nTask, which will make sure that everything is on track and you are not deviating from the original course.
The success criteria of the project you are working on will look like this:
- Conduct 1-on-1 tracking meetings with each team lead
- Ensure all milestones attain stakeholder sign-off
- Hold weekly project team update meetings
- Conduct a monthly detailed budget review
What is the Success Criteria for Project Delivery?
In this section, you need to make sure that the output you are producing through the project is up-to-the standards of the company and if it is fulfilling the need and requirement of the stakeholder connected to the project.
Let’s take a dummy project as an example where you are developing a new customer support software.
The priorities that were highlighted in the business case that was presented to you, include a detailed report about the performance of the customer support department and educating the organization about a new customer-centric culture.
What are the success factors that you can extract from that example? Let’s take a look at some of the ideas that you can analyze if you are building the project in May 2020.
- You need to deliver a training seminar to the entire organization about the new software by October 30th
- You need to make sure that all of the communication and change management plans are approved by August 15th
- One other thing you need to make sure that all of the customer satisfaction metrics are increased by 10 points, within the next three months otherwise the project will be considered a dud in the first quarter
How to Measure and Document the Success you Achieved?
When you reach this section, you have successfully established an impeccable success criterion that you need to make sure to keep track of and measure. To do that you need to construct a document that will have all of the details regarding the success criterion you are using.
You need to construct a spreadsheet that will contain all of the details about the project. You can use your project management tool like nTask to round up all of that information. These informational chunks are as follows:
1. Measurement Method
In this method, you need to make sure that the processes that are designed to keep track of all of the processes taking place in the development process of the project are being properly documented. These processes can be scrum meetings, budget meetings, or even a quality management seminar.
One thing you need to remember is that the duration of these meetings or interactions is also important to be recorded in the documentation that you are constructing. These durations can be monthly, weekly, or daily budget reviews.
2. Criteria Name
In this section, you are to clarify the name of the criteria as the formal title of the document. For example, it can be Improved Customer Satisfaction Scores or Increased Productivity Levels.
3. Responsible Party
An important entity related to the project and the processes that the project contains is the person responsible for tracking all of the different tasks and processes that are happening within the project lifecycle.
In the projects of the project management world, this role is interchangeable according to the needs and requirements of the project. Sometimes this role is performed by the project manager and sometimes the role goes to the business analysts.
Regardless of who is performing the role, they need to make sure that they track all of the different scrum meetings and interactions, create reports, and document all of the possible outcomes that can be achieved via the product.
4. Issues and Resolutions
Another thing that you have to track using a project management software like nTask or manually depending on how serious you are about the whole operation, is making sure that all of the issues and scope creeps that are connected to the project are properly documented.
This documentation will help make sure the project is a success and it is not falling short of the target that it was originally designed to achieve.
5. Desired Outcomes
You also need to document the expected and the actual outcomes that are achieved by developing the project or the product that the team was working on.
How to Make Your Project a Definite Success?
If you want to make your project a definite success, so that it will help you bring more value towards the company, then you need to follow these following steps. They are:
1. Establish a Baseline
The baseline is an initial survey of all of the different areas that your project is trying to impact. This baseline will tell you all about those areas, how are they performing, how have they been performing and how will they perform when your product reaches them.
To make this baseline, you would need to compare all of that data from the above conditions and analyze it to make sure that you are making the right decision by making this product. You are going to use the same measurement tools that you used in the upper mentioned measurement method.
So, if you want every single aspect of the product and the customer requirement meets, you need to establish a baseline and find out exactly what you have to do to make that happen.
2. Get the Stakeholder’s Approval
To make any project, product, or service a success, you need to make sure that the stakeholders know about anything and everything related to the project. This can only happen when you keep in the loop of information, every single time you talk about the project with the team.
What that will do is that it will make sure that the stakeholders know everything about what you’re doing in the project development process and what you need to make the whole project a success. You won’t have to ask for anything project related from them ever again and also, they will not make any unreasonable demands that can never be completed in any given timeframe.
When you will have this level of trust with the stakeholders, then you will have no problem while asking about the stakeholder’s buy-in and sign-off on all of the activities regarding the project.
3. Using Recurring Measurements
As you probably know that in a true project management process, improvements take a lot of time to surface and fester every little process and task related to the project.
When this process is bound to take some time to be successful, you need to make sure that your success criteria are flexible enough to incorporate any and every change that comes up.
You can set some realistic targets to be measured from time to time, like increased productivity over the last 3 months or increased sales in the last quarter by 30 percent, etc.
4. Using the Perfect Project Management Software
One of the most important elements in the whole development process is to make sure that you and your team are using the best project management or project development related application. This will help you make sure that all of your tasks and processes are properly looked after and you achieve success.
There are a lot of different options out there in the market nowadays that will help you achieve all of your goals and milestones that you set for yourself, but if you want a tried and tested recommendation, then you should go for nTask.
This application is an amazing solution for all of your issues regarding project management and project development in general. It has a never-ending arsenal of features that allows you to track every element related to your project, making it a definite success.
Let’s take a look at some of the features of nTask that you can use to make your project successful.
- Issue Management
- Percent-Complete Tracking
- Requirements Management
- Status Tracking
- Supports Scrum
- Testing / QA Management
- Issue Scheduling
- Recurring Issues
- Task Management
- Calendar Management
- Document Management
- Issue Tracking
- Action Item Tracking
- Invitation Management
- Post-Meeting Tools
- Budget Management
- Collaboration Tools
- Resource Management
- Resource Management
- Supports Agile
- Task Management
- Time & Expense Tracking
- Escalation Management
- Project Management
- Risk Management
Over to you!
In this article, we have explained how you can define your project success. Use the above tips to nail your next project and get more done in less time.
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