4 Criteria to Demonstrate the Success of Your Projects

By: Shubham Gupta on February 20, 2023
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Completing a project doesn't necessarily mean it was successful. Too often, business owners and project managers measure success by only looking at its timely completion. But in order to actually measure success, they must look at the other critical elements of the project, such as customer satisfaction, costs incurred, and quality of work. If you're a business owner, project manager, or team leader trying to assess the success of a project, you need to look beyond just the completion of it.

Elizabeth Harrin [1], a project management practitioner and mentor with over two decades of experience and the founder of Rebel's Guide To Project Management, recommends that the most accurate way to gauge the success of a project is by delving deeper into its scope. It relates to four criteria—meeting the project requirements, satisfying the budget, ensuring effective collaboration, and determining the quality measurements.

In fact, a Software Advice survey* also states that about 55% of project managers consider meeting the scope of their projects as an essential element in evaluating their performance. To better comprehend Elizabeth's four success criteria for a project, let's uncover what factors determine the project scope.

"Success is not the measure of a project's completion, but rather the measure of its ability to achieve its goals."

Elizabeth Harrin

Founder of Rebel's Guide To Project Management

#1 Evaluate your project requirements

Project requirements are basically the project's parameters, which include goals and objectives, deadlines, resources available, as well as the allocated budget. These are integral parts of a project because they define the output expected from the end product.

You need to ensure that all the set parameters are met in order to demonstrate the success of your project. This can be achieved with a thorough evaluation of the requirements (such as a quality assurance audit) and their respective outcomes.

Key metrics and important questions to ask:

Goals and objectives:

  1. How well were the goals and objectives achieved?

  2. Were the outcomes as expected?

  3. Did the project stay within its scope?


  1. How long did it take for the project to complete?

  2. Did it meet the set timeline?

  3. Was the time allocated sufficient?


  1. How well were the resources utilized?

  2. Were the right people assigned to it?

  3. Did you face any resource constraints?

Tool tip

Use requirements management software to gather, track, and analyze project requirements to ensure that all the criteria for success have been met. It will allow you to easily visualize data, which can be used as a source of evidence to showcase the success of your project.

#2 Analyze the project budget

Budget plays a key role in driving a project's success. As per our Software Advice survey**, 75% of project managers say that along with their professional duties, they are also responsible for overseeing the budget. If you fail to allocate sufficient funds for your project, it will likely affect the quality of the results. On the other hand, if you overspend on a project, it can be difficult to balance your financials.

You must analyze the budget with diligence and ensure that all expenses are justified and that the budget was managed well throughout the duration of the project. Also, consider any unforeseen expenses that may have come up during the project and whether they could have been avoided so that you can plan better for future projects. This way, you will be able to show that the project was a success and that it was managed successfully from start to finish.

Key metrics and important questions to ask:

Total expenses:

  1. Were the expenses in line with the budget?

  2. Were there any hidden or unexpected costs?

  3. Did the expenses match the project deliverables?

Cost efficiency:

  1. Was the cost of labor efficient?

  2. Was the cost of materials efficient?

  3. Did you make wise decisions about the use of resources?

Budget tracking:

  1. Were expenses tracked accurately?

  2. Was the budget managed effectively?

  3. Was the budget reviewed regularly?

Tool tip

Leverage budget and forecasting software to get an in-depth view of how much money is being spent and how it’s been allocated. They provide a clear overview of the budget which will help you uncover any discrepancies or areas where the budget could have been managed better.

#3 Ensure effective collaboration during the project run

Projects are most successful when teams work together, openly communicate, and share ideas. To get a better understanding of how well everyone (including the stakeholders) worked together, evaluate the collaboration through surveys, interviews, or group discussions. 

This will help you identify areas where there was effective communication and collaboration and any opportunities to further improve the team's collaboration. It’s also important to capture how each team member contributed and the impact their roles had on the project.

Key metrics and important questions to ask:

Team dynamics:

  1. How did the team work together?

  2. What was the communication like?

  3. Were there any clashes or disagreements?


  1. What was each team member's role and contribution?

  2. Did everyone have an equal say in decision-making?

  3. Were their individual contributions valued?

Feedback and ideas:

  1. What feedback or ideas were shared during the project?

  2. How did these contribute to the outcome of the project?

  3. Could more have been done to encourage feedback and ideas?

Tool tip

Use collaboration tools to help teams work together better. They provide a centralized platform for communication and collaboration which can be used to share feedback, ideas, and files. They also help foster better collaboration among team members, which can significantly improve the outcome of any project.

#4 Determine quality measurements

Quality is key to any project's success and ensuring that all deliverables meet the predetermined standards is essential. With quality measurements, you can evaluate if the project produced the desired results and if it met the required standards.

To measure quality, compare the results of the project against the initially set goals and objectives. Besides, look into customer feedback and reviews, as well as compare the results against industry benchmarks.

Key metrics and important questions to ask:

Accuracy and adherence to standards:

  1. Did the project meet the desired results?

  2. Was there discipline in adhering to the set standards?

  3. What was the customer feedback and reviews?

Compliance with industry benchmarks:

  1. Were the results consistent with industry benchmarks?

  2. How did the results compare against similar projects?

  3. Were there any areas where improvement could be made?

Tool tip

Leverage project tracking software to monitor quality measures. These tools provide a centralized platform for tracking quality metrics, allowing you to identify any issues and address them quickly. This helps ensure that the end product meets user requirements and customer expectations.

Learn three easy ways to measure the success of your projects. From setting clear goals and metrics, to tracking progress and gathering feedback, these tips will help ensure your projects are on the right track. Watch now!

A successful project requires close monitoring and management

Project success requires continuous monitoring and management of the key metrics discussed here from the very beginning of the project lifecycle to the end. By emphasizing the four easy criteria outlined in this blog, you can effectively communicate the value and impact of your work to stakeholders and decision-makers. Whether it's through evaluating project requirements, analyzing the budget, or collaborating effectively, these techniques will help you demonstrate the value of your projects and pave the way for continued success.

Survey methodology

* Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace 2021 Survey Results

Software Advice conducted the Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace Survey in December 2021 of 528 U.S-based professionals who manage projects at their small to midsize business. Respondents were screened for employment status (full-time), size of business (2 - 500 employees), and involvement in project management (extremely involved).

** Technical Project Management Skills and Digital Disruption Survey Data

Software Advice conducted the Technical Project Management Skills and Digital Disruption Survey in June 2022 of 319 U.S. project managers who've managed an IT software development/implementation project to understand how often and why software is getting replaced, the technical knowledge of PMs, and the tools/approaches they use to help their companies choose and implement the right tech. Respondents were screened for their involvement with project management at their company (very to extremely involved) and that they use a formal PM methodology.