Measuring Project Success – Client Happiness

February 26, 2016 - Author: Greg Larson, Project Manager

Categorized in:

facility project management

When I ask people how they determine if a project was successful the first response I usually get is a financial analysis. If the project made money, then it was successful. The more money it makes, the more successful the project. I can certainly understand this perspective. You can’t run a company for long if your projects aren’t profitable. However, this is only part of the picture. True project success is more than just the bottom line.

There are three criteria I use to measure my success in delivering a project:

  1. Was the client satisfied?
  2. Will the client use us again or provide a referral?
  3. Was the project profitable?

Please notice that the first two questions aren’t about money at all. To me, client satisfaction is the most important measure of success. The best way I have found to achieve this is to imagine myself in the client’s shoes and ask if I would be happy with how the project is going. If at any point I can’t answer Yes, then I need to take steps to address any issues. I also will ask clients directly how they feel at several points throughout the project. Knowing that they are being listened to goes a long way.

Why is this so important to me? If I can answer Question 1 with Yes, that makes the answer to Question 2 more likely to be a Yes as well. And if you can answer question 2 with a Yes, that means less effort trying to acquiring new clients to meet your sales goals. Likewise, by being truly focused on client satisfaction, you will be proactive in effectively managing the project, increasing the likelihood of a profitable project. Then everyone is happy.

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