The Measure of Success

SuccessWhat is success in Project Management?

For most people, they view success in PM through the output that the project caused. On the other hand, some people view success in PM in the process-making of the said project. IThe article entitled Evaluating Project Success, Failure — and Everything in Between shows that “failed” projects could be caused by the standard of success that managers implement in every project. According to Chaos Chronicles, 66% of IT projects are unsuccessful in some measures. Measures that were mentioned are the following:

  • project fails completely
  • exceeds allotted budget
  • does not finish according to schedule
  • launched with fewer features and functions

In order to view the project as succesful or not, project managers must consider the process criteria as well as the outcome criteria.

Process-Related Criteria

  • Time/Schedule: Did the project finished on time?
  • Cost/Price: Did the project come in the set budget?
  • Product/Outcome: Did the project result in a product of acceptable quality and meet other product-related specifications?

Outcome-Related Criteria

  • Use/Purpose: Were the project’s resultant products/services used by its intended constituents?
  • Learning/Evaluation: Did the project increase stakeholder knowledge and better prepare the organization for future challenges?
  • Value: Did the project lead directly to the organization’s improved efficiency or effectiveness?

Thoughts and Insights

Success for me is a subjective term. Though financial gain and other material things could be considered as standards for success, one thing that is more important than financial gain is the knowledge and lessons that one have learned through that experience. Though in project management, the effectiveness could be measured by the outcome of the project, the real success lies on how the team overcame the challenges that they met along the way. As a project manager, one needs to know the criteria suited for the people inside a team as it would be the basis on whether or not the team had achieved its goals.

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