How do you measure project success?


project success has 3 main concepts – on-time delivery, on-budget delivery and customer satisfaction

Project success is generally measured in terms of on-time delivery, on-budget delivery and customer satisfaction. However, this can shift, depending on the ever-changing requirements and preferences of your corporate leadership and project customer.

The term “make it profitable” can be used to quantify a success – or delivering on time – or both. On the other hand, many experts place emphasis on customer satisfaction (which naturally combines elements of both) – while others stress that it’s all about quality.

Let’s take a look at the main 3 concepts:

  • On-time delivery

Generally speaking, this is the first “go-to” measure of project success. Are you delivering tasks, deliverables and milestones on time and meeting the schedule expectations of both the project client and management?

  • On-budget delivery

Budget is also a good measurement tool for project success – every project manager must watch the budget closely. All too often, project managers will set a budget, then rarely revisit or assess it unless specifically asked to. This can be a recipe for disaster, for example; if you discover halfway through a project that you are 70 percent over budget, it may be impossible to fix the problem at that point – constant monitoring is vital.

  • Customer satisfaction

As the quote goes: “You’re only as successful as your last customer thinks you are.” Project Managers should use these words as a mantra to achieving ongoing success and bear them in mind every time a client has a request, wants to change something or has an issue/concern.

So, these are generally considered to be the main indicators or “ingredients” for success – but what kind of measurements to you use? How does your organization define project success? Is quality used as a success factor in a quantifiable way? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

If you need help to effectively manage and monitor the success of your projects, Off Peak Training offers a 35 hour online PMP® project management training course – you can get the training that you want, when you want it and learn at your own pace!


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