Desired by many, attained by few? Not necessarily. As with many multi-faceted topics, project success is measured by many different criteria:
- Some Project Managers define success as being all about the money…did the project come in under budget?
- Others define it by time…did the project finish by a certain date?
- At UNAPEN, it’s also very much about the quality of the output – was the product (ClientLogix) or service (UNAPEN consulting) delivered in accordance with the specifications?
For many, the strength of the client relationship is the most important factor; solid client partnerships lead to the possibility of additional business and/or referrals to prospects. Many times, it is a combination of all these criteria that set the stage for evaluating whether or not a project was successful. Because these criteria are malleable and ever-evolving, their order of importance is often dictated by the project sponsor.
For example, project sponsors may agree that forgoing certain requirements is essential for coming under budget. In this case, budget would be the most important element to determining project success.
Prepared and Proactive
It has been my experience that the success of a project isn’t defined as a project that has had no issues. I recognize that may sound alarming, but the truth is, issues will always arise! By anticipating these issues and approaching them like speed bumps—methodically and with caution – they soon become but minor blips in the project timeline. That’s not to say that a Project Manager shouldn’t strive to have as smooth and risk-free a project as possible, only that being prepared in the event that issues arise can help provide a more proactive approach toward resolving these unforeseen complications.
No matter how success is defined or measured, there are several characteristics of a project that definitely help ensure smoother execution. If you’re a Project Manager, what I am considering the number one characteristic will come as no surprise. If you’re new to the field, it will make sense to you immediately. Look for the next blog to find out.
Alicia Gonzalez is a Project Manager at UNAPEN (What’s a UNAPEN?)