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Measure More than Just the End

At the end of a project, there is often a deep sigh of relief. It is time to celebrate the culmination of hard work, extra hours on the job and (hopefully) great successes. While there is time to enjoy the completion of a project, this can also be a time that yields much more than a singular project victory. 

Historically, and by definition, a project is considered successful if it finished on time and within budget. This simplified approach to defining a project’s success does not take into account the success of the next projects and the advancement of an organization. There is an important opportunity to expand the definition of success, taking time to measure of the performance of the project itself.

Control Points

It should be common practice at the end of a project to check in on how well its control points were achieved. Control points are set before a project starts, defining what is critical to be achieved for the benefit of the project as well as the company’s bottom line. Efficiency, timing, and resources are often key anchors to a project’s list of control points. Once analyzed and with a clear picture of performance, it is important to report on these findings. This step presents a different perspective on project success, illustrating growth that is multi-dimensional. Consistently reporting on these control points is one of the most beneficial steps a company can take, ensuring the challenges and organizational potential are recognized and understood by the broader organization.  


While control points highlight opportunities, reaping the benefits requires leadership that is willing to take action. It is crucial for leadership to bring the team to the table to review the numbers, encourage shared accountability and work to lead the discussions that change the behavior and performance of the organization. It is leadership’s responsibility to help team members reflect on the project and honestly assess challenges, failures and successes. Only then, will measurement of a project lead to change and growth for future efforts. 

Change takes time. It takes honesty, and it takes reflection. Most importantly, a consistent practice of measuring control points with productive discussions will set an organization up for future success. It will help an organization’s leaders and team members view each project’s end as steps to a new beginning.


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