Determining whether a project is a success or a failure can be trickier than you might think. While you can target certain measurable such as budget accuracy or time of delivery, it is harder to track other goals such as customer satisfaction, overall efficiency, and risk management. If you have trouble telling whether your project is a success or a failure, use the tips below to help serve as your guide.
Set a Detailed Schedule
Every project needs a schedule with important deadlines and the expected end date. However, you can help yourself by creating a more robust schedule with an array of important milestones. If you can achieve these milestones on time, you have reason to believe that your project is going successfully. This could include the completion of small tasks that lead to a larger goal, or it could simply be a matter of percentages. If you break your project into quarters, for example, you can mark where you should be at the 25% mark, where you should be at the 50% mark, and so on. You won’t necessarily meet all the deadlines on your schedule, but adding some detail here can let you know where you stand as a whole.
Solicit Customer Feedback
One of the most important measures of success in a project is the satisfaction level of your customers and stakeholders. However, it is very difficult to determine just how satisfied they are with your product. Most people who are happy with something don’t often go out of their way to voice that happiness. To find out where you stand, make sure to solicit feedback as often as possible. While specific comments are helpful, many customers will respond well if they can give you a rating on a 1 to 5 or a 1 to 10 scale. A high average on this numerical scale is one sign that your project is proceeding successfully.
Track Change Requests
No project is going to make it through to the end without changing in some way. Your budget might shift, your deadlines might change, or your project goals might need tweaks here and there. These changes are to be expected, but they are also signs that your original outline had some inaccuracies or incorrect assumptions. Keep track of the changes to your plan as they come up. If you only have a few changes, it’s a sign that things are proceeding normally. On the other hand, many changes throughout the project’s life indicate that your original plan isn’t meeting the actual expectations that are needed. In this case, it might be a good idea to step back and revise your plan.
Manage Risks Appropriately
Sometimes, a project can seem like a success but actually include several damaging procedures that happened not to hurt your team this time around. If left unchecked, this false success can wind up destroying another project of yours down the road. To help avoid this pitfall, you should seek out collaborative project management software that has robust risk management and reporting features. A risk register allows you to determine what your risks are and what their impact might be. If you engaged in high-risk methods that just happened to pay off this time, you were more lucky than good. By knowing the risks and managing them well, you can earn true success for your projects.
By effectively tracking your project schedule, listening to customer feedback, tracking changes to your timeline and budget, and making sure you effectively manage risks, you can determine how successful your project really is especially with the use of project management software. This gives you a leg up on the competition and provides important notes that you can use for future projects.