Here are the Six Steps to Create a Project Scorecard

Sunday, December 18, 2016, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Project teams should know if they were successful or not. Often the only objective criteria that exists are whether you hit schedule and budget expectations. However, there is much more to a successful project than this.

After the project is over there can be a disagreement between the project team and the sponsor on whether the project was fully successful. This can happen is there are subjective, and often unspoken, criteria for success.

A better approach is to create a tactical project scorecard that lays out the metrics that validate project success. Then the discussion can become fact-based and not opinion.

The six steps to create the project scorecard are as follows:

Project ScoreCard

  1. Identify criteria for success

    This is the most important step. The project team and sponsor first need to agree on the success criteria. You can review the objectives and deliverables in the Project Charter, as well as any other existing information that is relevant to the project.

    You will probably have schedule and budget criteria for sure, but what else? Maybe delivering the entire scope of work. Maybe delivering to acceptable quality? Maybe hitting profit margins? Maybe having no safety-related problems.

  2. Assign potential metrics

    Once you have the success criteria, brainstorm potential metrics for that provide an indication of whether you meet the criteria. These can be direct, quantifiable metrics – like your spending versus your budget.

    The metrics can also be indirect, such as a customer survey that gives an indication of quality.

  3. Look for a balance

    The potential list of metrics should be placed into categories to make sure that they provide a balanced view of the project.

    For instance, you do not want to end up with only a set of financial metrics, even though they might be easiest to obtain.

    In general, look for metrics that provide information in the areas such as:

    • Cost

    • Duration

    • Quality of deliverables

    • Client satisfaction with the deliverables produced

    • Performance excellence

    • Safety

  4. Prioritize the balanced list of metrics

    Depending on how many metrics you have identified, prioritize the list to include only those that have the least cost to collect and provide the most value to the project.

    A good scorecard may have 5-8 overall metrics. (Some metrics, such as a customer satisfaction survey may be the roll-up of a number of questions.

  5. Set targets

    The raw metric may be of some interest, but the measure of success comes from comparing your actuals against a predefined target. The target provides the context to know if the current measurement value is good, bad or moving in the right direction.

  6. Add schedule detail

    For each metric that remains, determine the specific activities necessary to collect and analyze the information. These activities are then added to the project schedule.

    This information needs to include:

    • What specific data is needed for the metrics?

    • Who is responsible for collecting the metric?

    • When will the metric be collected and reported?

    • How will the metrics be reported (status reports, quarterly meetings, metrics reports)?

The project scorecard is updated throughout the project so the team knows how they are tracking against their success criteria. When the project is done you can have a fact-based discussion on project success instead of a discussion based on perception.

Courtesy of…

This column is © copyright to and originally appeared in their weekly project management tip newsletter.

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