Can the quality of knowledge be measured

Measure project success - you need to know that

Goals are one of the most important prerequisites for successful project management. In order to measure the project success data-driven, we can use the achievement of the goals and thereby distance ourselves from opinions and feelings. We have collected the following tips for you from practice.

The most important points in the overview:

  • Exactly defined goals in the schedule and for financial effects serve as benchmarks for measuring the success of the project
  • Breaking down goals into individual project parts makes localization easier for us
  • Measuring success as a degree of achievement helps to take individual project parts into account, especially in complex project structures
  • Visualizing the access guard as a traffic light gives us a quick overview of the status

We explain the individual points in this article.

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Successful projects

Success is assessed subjectively by all people. This creates the problem that project results are a success for one person, while another person sees them as the exact opposite. However, we can avoid this problem by defining objective measures of success that can be measured quantitatively. Provided with quantitative goals, a project is successful when the defined goals have been achieved or exceeded.

Benchmarking as a means of measuring success

The goals of a project can be broken down into a time and a financial side. A fixed period of time should be defined for each project area in which certain activities are to be carried out. The schedule defined in this way serves as a benchmark for the work of the project participants. Deviations from the plan can be precisely traced.

On the other hand, effects should be measured as goals for each project. The effects can be of a financial nature, such as savings or costs, or they can measure other quantitative parameters. In the latter case, one often speaks of key performance indicators (so-called KPIs) of the project. Ultimately, it is only important that the goals are quantifiable. As with the schedule, the goals defined here serve as a benchmark and are compared with the actual values ‚Äč‚Äčthat result in the course of the project.

Problems measuring effects

While most consultants, project leaders and managers should be familiar with the term effects, it is still unknown in many companies. Whether familiar or not - even experienced project managers and consultants often find it difficult to plan and measure effects correctly. Common problems are:

  • unclear cause-effect relationship
  • difficult measurability
  • poor data quality
  • high manual effort

"Effects are easy to plan if the steps necessary to achieve them require little interpretation. This is often the case, for example, with reduced effort At first glance, the feasibility of measures is subject to the same logic. However, it also depends not only on the will, but above all on the understanding of the measures of all stakeholders. (Nordantech 2019)

Further information on measurement problems and helpful tips on effects can be found in our study Transformation Effects.

Achievement level instead of "1 or 0 success"

With all goals, it makes sense to refrain from a simple evaluation of the achievement in scheme one or zero. Rather, the degree of achievement should be viewed in percent in order to get a more precise picture. The limits from when a degree of achievement is successful can then be defined. In practice, achievement of less than 70% is usually seen as a failure and more than 90% as a success.

Visualization of the status with traffic lights

In order to get a quick picture of the project status, there is a visualization as a traffic light. The degree of achievement can be translated into the three traffic light colors with thresholds that match the project. You can find out more in our article on Project Status Traffic Lights. Our practical experience has shown that traffic lights are particularly suitable for visualizing the status because everyone understands the logic behind them. That is why we have integrated the traffic light logic for all parts of a project in our PM solution Falcon for you.

Not all traffic lights are green in a good project

The yellow traffic lights are particularly interesting in a project. According to the limits mentioned above, this is the degree of achievement between 70 and 90%. We cannot speak of success or failure here. Delays in the schedule that are communicated in good time can still be governed. In addition, yellow traffic lights in the schedule or in the effects show that the goals were ambitious and the team has to stretch to achieve them.