What do you measure your project’s success on? Just how successful is it if you’ve just followed a list of basic steps to create and launch it? The answer to these questions is yes, no, and maybe. No matter what kind of project or venture, most people want some sort of quantifiable measure so they can gauge the success of their endeavor. Today we’re going to go over five ways that are tried-and-true for evaluating project success.
1) Business metrics: Businesses try different concepts to find out which ones work best and then make decisions based on those metrics once they have enough data. These types of metrics are useful in project management because they give project leaders a sense of how well their projects are doing.
2) Customer satisfaction metrics: You can take the same data on your business metrics and look at what your customers are saying about your product. Here, you’re looking at both business and customer satisfaction metrics.
Customer satisfaction is important to businesses, but it can be measured more effectively through customer surveys and focus groups than by tracking online purchases. They get many different results, but they help to expose trends that may have otherwise been missed by only analyzing business metrics. If a new software program you’re making for your customers causes a lot of problems or has a lot of glitches, then the customer being unhappy with you might be a better indicator of something bad happening than just seeing orders coming in and out the door.
3) Employee engagement metrics. Businesses often measure the success of their strategies on specific metrics, but they also want to know how their employees feel about the company’s direction and a project in particular. This kind of feedback is often considered very important in gauging the success or failure of a project.
4) Financial metrics. Since businesses are so tied up in money, it makes sense for them to measure their success based on the bottom line and determine if they made a profit or lost money. You might be able to use this type of measuring stick for one of your projects, but this is going to be less effective when applied for other categories like non-profits where there isn’t necessarily a bottom line and just trying to get a project done is important. For example, if you’re dealing with a volunteer group like Habitat for Humanity, you may use money as your measure of success, but it’s important to remember that there’s also a need to look at other things like whether or not people are volunteering and whether or not they’re getting their work done.
5) Project progress metrics. You have to keep track of what’s going on with each project and how the team is doing in accomplishing the goals. This is going to be broken down into different categories, but they will all be based on measurable factors like time and money spent, as well as team member attendance or performance.
These are just five ways that businesses measure their projects’ success, but there are many others as well. If a project is failing financially but making it up in terms of other metrics, then it’s still a failure so long as the business sees that they aren’t turning a profit.