Project Sucess

Project Sucess

Project Sucess
 Project Sucess

There are few topics in the field of project management that are so frequently discussed and yet so rarely agreed upon as that of the notion of project success.  In the most basic sense, it seems that everyone understands the concept of a successful project and yet, within the project management field, inconsistencies abound.  We are all familiar with any number of projects that came in on time and under budget and were considered failures. 
On the other hand, many examples exist of projects, which finished late and far over budget and were hailed as successes. Project managers can often describe cases of “successful” projects, which have been poorly received by the intended clients and used well below capacity.  

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Still other examples exist of projects which, when first installed, were initially perceived as failures but over time have come to be viewed as major successes.  These and other examples point to the fact that, in general, the concept of Project success has remained ambiguously defined both in the project management literature and, indeed, often within the psyches of project Managers. Because of this ambiguity, many project managers are forced, either through company policy or personal rules of thumb, to ascribe to simplistic formulae in rating project success or failure. Projects are often rated as successful because they have come in on or near budget and schedule and achieved an acceptable level of performance. 

These characteristics may be used because they are the easiest to measure (quantify) and they remain within the realm of the project organization.  Other project organizations have begun to include the client satisfaction variable in their assessment of project success. Client satisfaction, being a more nebulous concept, is often measured by surrogates such as a number of complaints, the supplemental cost of start-up, and cost over-runs during the client take-over phase.  Still, other project organizations point to more sophisticated measurement techniques in evaluating project success, such as carefully constructed surveys to tap client satisfaction.
An important point concerning the ambiguity of project success is that until project management can arrive at a generally agreed upon determinant of success, our attempts to accurately monitor and anticipate project outcomes will be severely restricted. Put more simply, how can we truly assess the outcome of a project when we (in the project management field) cannot fully agree on how project “success” should be determined? Until project managers are in a position of relative agreement concerning what is meant by project success, articles, cases, and other studies of “successful” project management will remain of lesser impact simply because of our inability to fully define a concept which can mean so much to so many different people. 

Most formal project managers knows about the "Triple Constraint": scope + time + cost = quality.  That's how we've been taught to measure a project's success. But are there other ways to evaluate it?  Measuring performance is a critical factor in optimizing performance. Optimal performance is sustainably achieving multiple, often conflicting, objectives under changing conditions. Project performance, on the surface, seems easy to measure; just track time, cost and scope and it's done

How to Measure Project Success
Various measure, numbers, ratios, values and attributes evaluate project success continuously. Project success can be measured before during and after project completion. ... "Achieving project objectives within schedule and within budget, to satisfy the stakeholder and learn from experience"
To Summarize  
1. You must define what success looks like for your project or You won't know if you have achieved it.  
2. Success criteria measure what's important to your Stakeholders.         
3.  Document success criteria and get everyone to agree to     
4. Use continuous measurements where possible.
What are the measures of success?
Measures of success are the criteria that we believe show the impact of our work. The measures may be quantifiable or qualitative, but they are observable in some way. Without data on what is being accomplished by our deliberate actions, we have little or no foundation for decision-making or improvement.  Here are five factors that can also help measure the success of your project.  
1. Schedule  The schedule is one obvious indication of success. Did you achieve the goals of your project at or before the deadline you decided on? Of course, by the time you can make this determination, it might be too late. So, you want to monitor your project schedule with weekly reviews that you can add to your regular task list.  Make sure you're meeting milestones, and if you're falling behind on completing tasks then adjust according to stay on track. Now you're managing and not reacting.
2. Quality  The quality of your project is not something to wait and assess after you're done. Therefore, it's important to set clear benchmarks with your team throughout the project life cycle. That way you can ensure quality controls are being applied through every phase of the project. The point isn’t only to deliver the intended work but also, to exceed expectations. It’s important to track quality and make adjustments where necessary. 
Even after the project is delivered, quality assurance is often an ongoing piece of the project puzzle.  Ultimately, you want to evaluate if the project hit its target and how smooth the delivery was. Were the results implemented quickly and easily? Are the stakeholders, including your team members, satisfied with the results? Project success isn’t all black and white, there are grey areas that are a little more difficult to measure but are definitely worth taking the time to evaluate. The more you can work out the kinks of each project, the more successful each subsequent project will be.

 3. Budget  You've set up an estimated budget, but now you need to compare that figure to the actual cost of the project as you execute it. But tracking costs is just the beginning. Did you manage to deliver your project within budget? Was it over or under? And if so, by how much? I’m sure it comes as no surprise that your ability to deliver your project within budget is usually considered one of the greatest indicators of success  What you need to do is forecast your estimated costs at regular intervals over the life cycle of the project.   
You can do this with your team and project management tools. This is where the most commonly used measures of project performance come in: on time and on the budget. And these are measured at regular milestones throughout the project. But they only make sense if we don’t change the goal posts.  Communicate your forecasts with sponsors and stakeholders, especially if you uncover any variances.

4. Stakeholder Satisfaction
Okay, the first three points are really based on the Triple Constraint, but now we're moving beyond that foundation to other critical areas often overlooked, such as bringing your stakeholders into the equation.  
Stakeholders must find value in the outcome of the project, whether they're internal executives or end users, so their response to the project is an integral part of its success or failure. Support for our project might also be important. Stakeholder perception of value can be measured to monitor this, in part. But a more direct measure of support is the amount of stakeholder participation in project tasks and events.
Two important ones are defined as follows:  
Team satisfaction  
This is more subjective in nature and is often overlooked when evaluating project success. But I beg to say that team satisfaction should be at the top of your success criteria. They’re the ones who were deep in the trenches, and they’ll be the ones by your side on the next project adventure too. They also have deeper insights that even the top stakeholders may not have.

Customer satisfaction
Along with your team, you also want to get the feedback of your clients. Are they content with the results? Were their needs met? Find a way to track client satisfaction through the project life cycle all the way to delivery.  Don't wait until the project is over to communicate to them. Keep them in the loop, get feedback early and often, and make them feel part of the project.

Related Topics:
5. Performance to Business Case
You used a business case to plan the project from the start, defining deliverables and setting clear goals that align to your organizational strategy, now set up calendar reminders to revisit that document.  Are you meeting those performance goals?  The formal review comes when you're done, but informal reviews should be conducted throughout the project to make sure you're hitting all your targets. I can't let you go without emphasizing the importance of using the PMBOK and comply with PMI methodology and also if you have any automated project management tool when measuring the success of your project, or frankly, for every phase of your project, that would be great!
The Author: Ala'a Elbeheri

                                          Ala'a Elbeheri
A versatile and highly accomplished senior certified IT risk management Advisor and Senior IT Lead Auditor with over 20 years of progressive experience in all domains of ICT.  
• Program and portfolio management, complex project management, and service delivery, and client relationship management.
• Capable of providing invaluable information while making key strategic decisions and spearheading customer-centric projects in IT/ICT in diverse sectors.    
• Displays strong business and commercial acumen and delivers cost-effective solutions contributing to financial and operational business growth in international working environments.      
• Fluent in oral and written English, German, and Arabic with an Professional knowledge of French.  
• Energetic and dynamic relishes challenges and demonstrates in-depth analytical and strategic ability to facilitate operational and procedural planning.  
• Fully conversant with industry standards, with a consistent track record in delivering cost-effective strategic solutions.    
• Strong people skills, with proven ability to build successful, cohesive teams and interact well with individuals across all levels of the business. Committed to promoting the ongoing development of IT skills  throughout an organization

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