Detailing the project completion criteria is very difficult and is probably the most overlooked and under-documented detail written into the project definition. The results if not completed prior to starting the project can have disastrous results and create a never-ending project. In this case, the customer or the service provider seldom wins.
The question now becomes how do you know when your project deliverable has come to an end? How do you define when the project is complete? Where is the defined definition stored and most importantly what should it contain?
It may sound onerous to the project service team, project sponsor, and even the executives but the following below needs to be documented in fine detail. The project manager will require a good understanding of the project-specific requirements and can negotiate with customers, team members, and management. They will also require having the ability and foresight needed to identify possible pitfalls and risks. Does this sound like a tall glass of water? Well… because it is. That is why project managers need to be highly skilled individuals and compensated accordingly. Being a project manager is not for the faint-hearted.
Project success criteria – (Critical)
This is the definition that sets the stage for project closure. Without this, all parties including project managers, the project team, and the customer will more than likely have a mitt full of assumptions and varied definitions as to when the project is complete. Have you ever been faced with a never-ending project? If you have then you will know first-hand how defeating it can become.
This section should be short concise sentences in bullet point format. Review this data with the ALL of the project stakeholders for buy-in. The project team will feel more inclusive and motivated. Once this is complete move on to the next section (the one I feel can be most important) called out of scope.
A well-documented out-of-scope definition can eliminate most if not all assumptions and is key to finalizing the project success criteria. It’s perfectly normal to fill out the out-of-scope items while you are capturing the in-scope definition. In fact, this is more often the case. The in-scope definition process often reveals many of the out-of-scope items so document them in tandem.
There are many other areas within the project charter and project task planning that help to define the project definition in detail, but the items listed above are paramount to ensure a successful and satisfying project completion milestone. This is the most important milestone of all. The point I’m trying to drive home is you can have a perfect task Gantt chart plan, all milestones laid out, project team fully engaged and still be faced with a huge failure at the end, when you can’t seem to agree on the end.
Sample Charter Scope and Project Completion Criteria
This sample is an actual project that included creating a B2B web commerce store for the purposes of ordering fine chemical compounds from a chemical supplier. Their customers are compounding dispensaries. The dispensaries will use the website B2B store to place orders with the chemical supplier.
|IN SCOPE||OUT OF SCOPE|
|Design a new background look and feel||Re-scanning photographs of devices or create a new logo|
|Re-design and implement a new navigation bar||Will not support older browser versions prior to the 2021 release|
|Correlate a button beside the chemical that will display the MSDS according to that chemical||Access data from a thumb drive only (98% of MSDS info)|
|Enable shopping basket-style commerce for the general and professional compounder clients||Will not facilitate online credit approval through the merchant system|
|Create a log-in environment at a tiered permissions level. The general customer has access to the brochure, pricing, and ordering for chemicals. Professional compounder has access to a wider range of device products||Maintain HTML catalogue updates|
|Communicate orders as they are received to the Pilot email address||Send back a response to Pilot’s customer. Pilot will have several canned responses for several situations. Pilot will respond to the customer|
|Host the service on an approved hosting center server at Queens Ave||Dedicate one server completely to Pilot|
|Provide a location for the pdf file for the catalogue||Create and maintain pdf file updates|
|Create an environment where current browsers can operate the Pilot site including Mac||Solve or support Pilot customer PC-related issues including browser settings, ISP issues etc.|
|Create and publish a frequently asked questions page (FAQ)
Project Completion Criteria
This project will be considered complete and Pilot will accept the implementation when:
- The e-commerce website is deployed, available, and functional via approved browsers
- Pilot can update product and pricing database via approved browsers
- Pilot can update HTML content via the internet securely
- Pilot customers will have the ability to access a secure web session (SSL 128 bit) and place an order shopping basket style
- Pilot customers can communicate with Pilot via the web portal page sending an email alert.
Your customers may display visible signals that they are becoming more at ease as you go through the project charter documentation process. A strong, well-defined project definition process can make an intangible service delivery appear to be tangible. Your customers will feel more in control and have a deep understanding of the deliverables and the duties that are required of them for success. You can also effectively use this process during the sales cycle to improve your close rate.
Contact our consulting team at Entry Software if you would like to see the TeamHeadquarters project charter process and project management system in action or get a comprehensive TeamHeadquarters demo.