At KasCott Consulting, we ensure success is defined and measured by setting the criteria and measurement with the client at the onset.
- Business Success
- Project Management Success
- Technical Success
Next, we discuss key factors that define the success:
- Stakeholder satisfaction.
- Key Performance Indicators
- The Iron Triangle (Cost + Scope + Time)
- Lessons Learned
The primary measurement of success is Stakeholder satisfaction. The senior management team must be satisfied with the results. No matter the timeline, budget, or quality, the stakeholders must be satisfied with the end result to classify the project a success. We document what the stakeholders deem success and put measures in place to track it.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
KPIs are a great way to measure and track progress. Dashboards can be used to convey progress. We build custom dashboards for each client to capture precisely what the stakeholders want measured. The dashboards will be built for the lowest management teams and rolled-up in accordance with the audience. With one click, these interactive dashboards will summarize and expand details as needed.
The Iron Triangle
This triangle concept demonstrates that time, scope, and cost is interrelated. In other words if one part of the triangle is fixed the other two points have to move to account for adjustments. If time is fixed, scope and/or cost may need to change to facilitate adjustments. KasCott Consulting resources understand the relationships below and are able to quickly adjust to ensure the iron triangle remains balanced.
For analytical purposes, the time required to produce a deliverable is estimated using several techniques. One method is to identify tasks needed to produce the deliverables documented in a work breakdown structure or WBS. The work effort for each task is estimated and those estimates are rolled up into the final deliverable estimate. The tasks are also prioritized, dependencies between tasks are identified, and this information is documented in a project schedule. Time is different from all other resources and cost categories. It must be measured and estimated accurately to ensure a reliable cost calculation.
The overall definition of what the project is supposed to accomplish, and a specific description of what the end result should be or accomplish comprises scope. Project scope is the part of project planning that involves determining and documenting a list of specific project goals, deliverables, tasks, costs and deadlines. The documentation of a project’s scope, which is called a scope statement, or statement of work, explains the boundaries of the project, establishes responsibilities for each team member and sets up procedures for how completed work will be verified and approved. During the project, this documentation helps the project team remain focused and on task. The scope must be explicit, clear and unambiguous. Scope creep occurs because the scope is too general.
A project budget is a detailed, time-phased estimate of all resource costs for the project. A budget is typically developed in stages — from an initial rough estimate to a detailed estimate to a completed, approved project budget. Ideally, the budget should reflect the largest acceptable cost. However, many project’s cost exceed the budget due to scope or time creep. To develop an approximation of a project cost depends on several variables including: resources, work packages such as labor rates and mitigating or controlling influencing factors that create cost variances. At frequent points in the project, calculations should be made to determine how much money has been spent, how much more is needed and what the cost variance is at that point.
The three pillars of the iron triangle impact quality. Quality itself is the ability of a product or service to meet or exceed customer expectations. It begins with the requirements. KasCott Consulting utilizes several tracking tools to ensure requirements are accounted for. Requirements will be listed, ranked and tracked at a low level. Next we will move into the phase of Software Quality Assurance (SQA). SQA consists of building a systematic process of determining whether a product or service meets specified requirements thru testing cycles. The methods by which this is accomplished are many and varied, and may include ensuring conformance to one or more standards, such as ISO 9000 or a model such as CMMI. The common goal is to ensure quality in the end.
The importance of the Lessons Learned exercise is overlooked by many teams. This is an invaluable resource. Team members will list what they think went right and what could be improved. The items needing improvement are ranked by improvement value. The team will pick the top 3-5 items and put a plan in place to achieve them. The team will also decide how the progress towards improvement will be measured. At an agreed upon time, the team will reconvene to evaluate progress towards improvement. This tool helps management show its team members that it is listening and care to make the process run more smoothly.
At the end of the day, the success criteria will not be set-in-stone. Instead, the KasCott Consulting team will propose that the project team to go beyond the success criteria to exceed the expectations of the stakeholders.
How do we do it? Learn more…