Gauging the success of a project can be challenging.
What constitutes success? How do you measure it? What does it look like?
Part of measuring success is managing project expectations. It’s important to be realistic. If your expectations are unrealistically high, you many never feel your project is truly successful. That kind of outlook often leads to frustration, confusion, and even failure. This problem is never more apparent than when a newly-formed team takes on a new project. Teams face more challenges than individuals when completing a project – more cooks…more ingredients…more opinions…bigger kitchen…more knives. Yikes!
The diagram above, by Demitri Martin, illustrates what constitutes a realistic view of success for most people and most teams. Success is not a straight shot to the moon, without interruptions or obstacles, without rest-stops for refueling and rechecking the map. Success is often a tumultuous journey on a windy and treacherous path fraught with differing personalities, group disagreements, and competing priorities, and with plenty of need for course-correction and recalculating. But do not be discouraged. The windy path is normal!
If you’re expecting your project to be an overnight moon shot, you may need to think again. Fight off unrealistic expectations and curb frustrations. Success takes time and patience. Stay the course.