I am a believer in the power of project management.
As a professional project manager for twenty years, I have witnessed project success drive business results. I have also proven that project management can change lives and help achieve personal transformation. Now I am sharing some practical tips and techniques that you can use to help achieve your own personal goals, live your best life and become a PM Believer.
Measuring Results: Focus On What’s Important, Ignore The Rest
In this week’s PM Believer, I want to connect two previous posts to help you achieve success with your project goals and avoid unnecessary frustration.
In Are We There Yet, I wrote about the importance of measuring progress. If you aren’t tracking progress in your project, you are flying blind, and the probability of success is low.
The good news about projects is that there are tons of ways to measure progress. The measurement options are virtually limitless, from measurements like percent complete to earned value. This means that the bad news about projects is also that there are tons of ways to measure progress.
In Anything Not Everything: An Important Life Hack, I wrote about the importance of prioritization for project managers. Trying to accomplish everything at once is a recipe for disaster because you can’t focus on what’s most important. The classic case of spreading yourself too thin.
These points all connect in a way that can help you or hurt you in your projects. It is critical to measure success in a project, and there are tons of options to do so. But, you cannot possibly measure all of these things at the same time and achieve success. This means that you need to prioritize your performance measurement efforts.
The most effective project managers measure what matters.
The goal is to identify and continually measure a small number of data points, the ones most relevant to your specific project. Do this, and you can effectively track progress but not drive yourself crazy with over-measuring.
How do you decide what to measure? Simply ask yourself two important questions about each potential measurement that you identify:
- Is this measurement relevant to my ultimate goal?
- Is this measurement something I can control?
If the answer to these questions is “yes,” you have found a measurement that matters, and tracking and managing it will help you achieve your goal. If the answer is “no” to these questions, tracking it may be more of a headache than an asset, no matter how interesting the measurement is.
Two examples of the measurements that would pass this test include:
- If your goal is to lose weight, tracking your calorie consumption and your exercise minutes (or calories burnt) would be a relevant measurement.
- If your goal is to become a millionaire, your monthly net income (income minus spending) might be the ideal measurement.
What measurements can you use to help track progress towards your goal?
Are you ready to be a PM Believer?
Are you measuring what matters? Progress measurement is a critical tool for success with your project goals. Choosing the right measurements can make the difference between success and frustration.
Need some help identifying which measurements really matter? Let’s talk!
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