How to measure the true success of a project | #eBizInsights | Karen le Roux

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As a Project owner you put your head on a block when driving an initiative, owning the opportunities and risks related to the outcome, and taking overall accountability that the project delivers the agreed business benefits within budget.

The successful delivery of the project does not however mean that this risk is mitigated. Only once the product or service is utilised as intended does the business consider it a success and view you as successful in realising value.

A project can be delivered successfully but not deliver the value intended due to two of the following reasons:

  • Incorrect project requirements identified at the start of the project;
  • Unsuccessful adoption

In this article, I will focus on the second case where there is a lack of adoption in the organisation.

Traditionally a project is considered successful when specific project objectives have been met. These typically relate to achieving the desired outcome, executing the project on schedule and within the agreed budget, while meeting the predefined quality requirements. The project management team has therefore delivered without requiring any additional time or budget and checked all the “boxes” in terms of documented requirements.

This might be the accepted definition of a successful project in the traditional sense for most organisations however this has evolved to become the absolute minimum measurement of a successful project. The success of a project should ultimately be measured on the adoption of the deliverables within an organisations and quantifiable return on investment.

When a project is delivered to the above, there is no measurement defined and tracked in the adoption of the deliverables. These adoption metrics should ultimately determine if a project is successful or not. The original vision or strategy that motivated the organisation to embark on the project must be achieved to justify the time and resources spent on implementing the project.

Projects regularly do not live up  to their full potential, unfortunately.
This typically happens when clients either ignore this step altogether or take on change management but with a very shallow understanding of the processes and methodologies needed to successfully manage change.  We have found that in order to ensure adoption, it is necessary to have “change management” methodologies in place with skilled resources delivering and executing on those methodologies, principles and processes. This helps to minimise possible negative outcomes and increase positive results. Change itself is a process – leading it, managing it and achieving it is also a process and one that should not be viewed and managed with a one-size fits all approach. Approaches and actions should be customised to fit your unique organisational requirements.

At Decision Inc., we now identify change management as an integral part of our approach to project delivery. We encourage all project stakeholders to invest in the understanding of change management as it will greatly influence your personal success as well as that of your project initiatives.

Change management creates a very different perspective on the Project eco-system and in this series we will unpack its elements so that stakeholders will have a greater understanding of change management and the importance of it.

About Decision Inc.

Decision Inc. is a global leader in information-driven transformation with a core focus on data, digital and performance intelligence. Our expertise in technology and industry specialisations have enabled us to help companies around the world make better decisions faster. Our emphasis on local excellence and global scale enables us to bring clients best of breed technology solutions that enable significant improvement whilst leveraging our Global Research and Innovation teams to accelerate the time to insight. Our local consulting teams are experts in the implementation, support and execution of these solutions and work with our clients to deliver real results and improvement.

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eBizRadio

eBizRadio is a live multi- platformed social media service providing an online forum to the business community for holding conversations on the key issues related to specific businesses as well as availing a space for cross-business collaboration in response to key issues affecting the world of business. The place to go if you want to know about business and lifestyle

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