Every project is taken up to achieve certain goals and benefits. Each of these projects has to be carried out under certain constraints and limitations. At the simplest, a project can be termed as successful when the expected benefits are realized by completing the project within the constraints. There may be additional points which need to be taken care of in a project such as stakeholder expectation, degree of improvement from current condition, expected use of the product, strategic alignment with organizational goals, political goodwill etc. While these may sound simple, but defining project success criteria may be filled with generalizations and ambiguity at the best.
It is very important to define project success criteria unambiguously such that it can be measured and demonstrated clearly. Project success criteria can be very specific to each project. We can understand and define success criteria by analysing stakeholder expectations thoroughly. A project success criteria document can be prepared after thorough stakeholder analysis is done. There is no standard format for creating a success criteria document. But what is most important is to have such a document.
Clear project success criteria must be identified and documented during the project initiation stage of the project itself. Stakeholders may have very specific expectations in each project. Success criteria should be identified in collaboration with the customer and stakeholders. Well analysed and well documented success criteria in turn will guide the project manager to plan and drive the project accordingly.
The three key factors that can define project success include the following.
The project success criteria have to be agreed upon between the project manager and the key stakeholders. The project success criteria document should also address the below aspects:
The project goals, objectives and success criteria once formulated need to be clearly communicated to the entire team. The project manager needs to maintain a balance between realized benefits, stakeholder satisfaction and performance of project against the triple constraints. Project success criteria will drive proper project planning to fulfil or exceed all such criteria. Well documented success criteria provide clear direction to the team as to what they need to achieve. This in turn will improve the chances of project success.
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Clear and understandable notes
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