ORGANIZATIONS AROUND THE WORLD
successfully complete only 64 percent of their
strategic initiatives, according to PMI’s 2015
report Pulse of the Profession®: Capturing the
Value of Project Management. Given all we know
about project management today—the need
for strong executive support, qualified team
members, regular user input and more—why
aren’t success rates significantly higher?
In other words, if the causes of project success
have been identified, why do so many of our
projects still fail?
Perhaps the factors we as project managers
focus on are not the only ones that contribute to
success. To identify another success factor, look
at projects from the customer’s perspective.
The goal of project management should be
customer satisfaction. Scope, time, quality and
cost contribute to customer satisfaction but do
not exclusively determine it. In fact, a client may
be extremely happy with a project that did not
achieve its planned scope, quality or even cost.
WHAT DO CLIENTS EXPECT?
Customer satisfaction is related to expectations.
If the customer’s expectations are met or
exceeded, he or she will be satisfied. This means
project managers must understand the concept of
quality in terms of projects, especially IT ones.
Many people associate projects with the
delivery of products, which can be experienced
before they’re purchased—meaning the customer
knows what to expect. However, projects are
much more similar to services than products.
This has big implications for the way quality
Services can only be evaluated when they are
delivered to the customer. The length of time
between when the customer negotiates the
purchase of the service and when the service
is actually delivered gives rise to expectations
that may be unrealistic. The great challenge of
the service provider—and therefore the project
manager—is to manage customer expectations.
VOICES In the Trenches
Look to the client—not scope, budget or timeline—to determine
if the project succeeded or failed.
By Frederico Cox Jr., PMP
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