How you measure project success determines if your projects deliver successfully in business terms

Performance measures determine what you focus on. If you are measured by being 'on time and on budget' then that is what you'll focus on. But, in the case of projects and programs, are these measures approporiate? 

Standish apparently has added "Customer satisfaction" to its list of project success measures. While at first glance this makes sense, the problem with this measure is that it is fluid, The measures of satisfaction can change as the project progresses.

For example, a major paper manufacturer saw its SAP implementation as "moving it into the 21st century". But, after a disastrous implementation process the primary measure of success became, "That it never again appears on the front pages of the financial press." Hardly the measure of success to inspire great results. 

Other 'new' measures of project success include, "Did the project team learn and grow?" Nice, but hardly the reason you invest in projects. 

What are your organization's measures of success for projects and programs? Does the 'Iron Triangle' of on time, budget and to specification still reign supreme?

Use the comments section below to tell us how your projects are measured as successful.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Topics: Project Success

Further Reading



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Revision History

First published: Simms, J. (Sept 2015) as "What Are Your Measures Of Project Success?"

Updated: Chapman, A. (March 2020), Revisions and Corrections