This post has been on my list of things to do since late last year... but alas it just kept getting pushed. I want to share a project management tool I recently learnt about called the Success Slider.
The idea is that, during project initiation, stakeholders get together and determine the relative importance of different success factors. Each slider dimension can be fully on (number 5), fully off (number 1) or somewhere in between.
Why do this? Well, it helps communicate the nuances of what stakeholders think are really important. The sliders above for example note that there is some flexibility on time, but not much on budget. It also notes that it is more important to provide added value to the business than rigidly follow objectives. Each project is different and I think that having a conversation up-front to define success is a good thing. This is a way to prompt that conversation.
The inclination of course is to push all the sliders across to fully on, and that is certainly an option. What this does though is raise the pressure, along with the risk that the project will fail. It signals the project is much harder. Project managers will usually aspire to hit 100% success (all factors fully on) in their projects, but if it is known that there is some leeway (or more importantly, none) I think it is better to know this up-front.
This slider was introduced to me in a presentation called the 7 habits of highly effective IT projects by Eduard Liebenberger during last year's Agile BarCamp. He gives a brief intro to each area of success:
- Stakeholder satisfaction: How important is it that all stakeholders are completely satisfied.
- Objectives: Do all objectives have to be met?
- Budget: Is there room for movement under the right conditions?
- Time: How rigid are the timelines?
- Added value: Typically not all objectives add equal value to the business (e.g. compliance requirements)
- Quality: Does the system have to be bullet-proof? Or is there room for defects in lesser used parts of the system?
- Team satisfaction: How important is it to keep the team happy (disgruntled team members might leave)?