Project management is usually defined as the application of tools, skills, knowledge, and techniques to facilitate the effectiveness of project activities required to meet project goals. Project management is used to prevent delays in projects and ensure that all goals with regard to quality, costs, and functions of the end product or service are fulfilled. The primary difference between project management and operations management is that project management is tied to one unique, time-bound set of activities, whereas operations management applies to continuous activities that businesses perform to increase profits. Measuring project success is a critical concern for project managers because, depending on the nature of a project, there are different approaches that could be applied with regard to evaluation. The traditional approach to measuring project success is by assessing actual results, such as financial expenses, schedule compliance, and the quality of the end product. However, other types of projects may also apply the traditional method to assess performance objectively.
An essential benefit of the traditional approach is that it allows monitoring success at each stage of the project and correcting or adjusting the performance when needed. For example, project managers could compare compliance with the planned schedule on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis, thus evaluating performance over short time periods. If there are any delays, project managers could use this information to adjust the plan, hire more workers, or improve controls to finish the project on time. Hence, the traditional approach to measuring project success is beneficial because it can help to ensure that the project adheres to the plan with regard to quality, expenditures, or schedule.
Another possible way to assess project success is by using subjective measures, such as stakeholder satisfaction and the fulfillment of the clients’ needs and requirements. Indeed, it is essential for project management to take into account the stakeholders’ expectations with regards to the final product, which is why evaluating project success using these methods can be beneficial. For example, project managers could use surveys to gather the opinions of key stakeholders and clients on the outcomes of a project. Alternatively, they can involve the owners or managers when working for corporate clients to identify whether or not the project aligns with the strategy and meets the needs of the business. While these methods can provide valuable insight into project success, there are some limitations. For instance, various stakeholder groups often have different needs, and it is almost impossible for the project to achieve total satisfaction. It is also challenging and time-consuming to monitor project success at every stage using these methods. By applying a combination of objective and subjective measures, managers can obtain a comprehensive view of their project’s success.