EducationDefining Value at the End of the Project

Defining Value at the End of the Project


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Once, determining whether a project was successful or not was a relatively simple thing that required you only ensure you remained within the scope and budget set forth, and that the specified goals were achieved. However, things have been changing for some time now, and those metrics are no longer sufficient to really determine whether a project has actually been successful. For instance, you can remain within budget and reach specified goals, but if the value delivered by those goals is insufficient, your project can be deemed a failure. What do you need to do to determine value and success at the end of a project?
Define Success at the Start
The most important thing to do is to ensure that not only does your project have clearly defined end goals, but clearly defined end value as well. The specific metrics that define “success” must be laid out with no ambiguity at all. For instance, you might have a goal of adding 1,000 new confirmed customers. You might have a goal of increasing productivity within manufacturing by 80%. You might have a goal of 70% construction completion within 3 months. Your goals might be anything at all, but the actual value that your company or client requires from those goals must also be clearly defined.
Value Reducers
There are other things involved with determining a project’s ultimate value when everything is said and done. For instance, every project will have value reducers that affect goals and the value derived from them. As an example, let’s say one your project goals was to bring in a specific number of new clients who were expected to spend a specific amount of money. Now, your project brought in the required number of new customers, but they did not spend as much as was forecasted. Therefore, the value at the end of the project did not equal what was projected, and the project was not 100% successful even though you technically reached your goals.
Each project will have specific value reducers. You might find that suppliers are charging more than you forecasted. You might find that construction materials have gone up in cost. It might be determined that the target audience for your marketing message was incorrectly defined – the possibilities are as vast as the number and type of projects out there. The important thing is that your project must account for these reducers and build in additional value to compensate.
The Key to Success
While there is no surefire way to guarantee that your project will offer exactly the value required at the end, there are things that you can do as the project manager to help increase the likelihood of success. It really all begins during the planning and initiation stages. By clearly determining exactly what it expected in terms of value, you can work backwards from that point in order to determine what you need to do to secure success for your project.

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