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Define your Project Success

Updated: Jan 12, 2020

Ever get lost in the delivery of your projects? Define your project success criteria!

In an ever changing project delivery landscape, we see a lot of teams getting lost in determining if certain activities are warranted...but 9 times out of 10 they have already started the delivery phase of a project and haven't defined what success looks like. This is utter chaos and is the epitome of project failure.

Start with the end in mind

We could talk all day about the different methodologies and frameworks that exist; from Design Thinking to Design Co-creation to Lean Design. However, each of the methodologies and frameworks that are taking the world by storm, centre around end users/customers being in the room at concept. What this enables is a holistic view of your delivery objectives, goals and outcomes.

Defining success at the outset provides a continual reminder of what it is everyone is engaged to achieve. It provides the drive for the team, whereby each member can create outputs aligned to the organisation and gives everyone a sense of purpose.

What does success look like?

When you are starting with the end on mind, you want to define how that looks; what will people be doing, how does the product/service interact with the whole delivery eco system, what are the different behaviours you are expecting as a result...if you imagine what it is you are setting out to achieve, you will be given a clear path to how success will look.

A number of tools exist for you to use; such as storyboarding, experience mapping, mind mapping, strategic conversations, etc. All in all, pick a process that you are comfortable with and explore "what could be"!

Measuring success

Now that you have defined what success looks like - track it! There is a wealth of data available to you that will assist in how you measure your success. Let's take a look at where you can start - get the creative juices flowing!

- Map your processes: understanding how the current state will look against the future state will give you invaluable insights as to how you will achieve your goals

- Financial data: understand what financial successes you are trying to achieve and track the change

- Customer experience: know your customers implicitly! Capture data around how you expect them to adopt your new product/service, which also enables you to review how your solution is being adopted; do you need to change tact?

- Policies and procedures: what are you officially stating that you want to achieve; make sure you set the standards for how you expect to behave and interact and reward the right behaviour

- Training: track the adoption of training programs that you have in place to serve your end users/customers; if training 'take up' is poor, review and adapt

- Strategic and Corporate plans: are you aligned to what your company needs to achieve?

- Organisational Structure: do you have the right structure and capability in place to drive success and are you identifying areas for improvement?

Remember, data is your friend and drives you to achieve the right outcomes.

Continually track against your measures

You've got everything in place - don't stop there. You will want to continually track against the measures you have identified, to enable you to pivot or persevere with your delivery efforts. Regularly check in on your progress and course correct where necessary - you'll achieve greater results when you do.

Do you have the right tools to identify, track and measure your success? At Laevo, we have a digital Project Management Office that will build your project delivery capability and take the risk out of missed opportunities. Contact us at, to learn how we can transform your business.

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