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Project Success Metrics & Criteria Examples

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What do you think, what are the foremost project success criteria to demonstrate that the project is or was truly successful? The volume of invested forces, amount of time, and money? Or the level of end-user satisfaction, the achievement/excess of a certain level of profit or maybe all these indicators combined?

One thing is for sure – you cannot simply guess with such business-crucial aspects. So let’s dive a bit deeper into the topic and consider five essential project success metrics as well as seven more metrics for the team performance assessment.

5 Project Success Metrics – Keeping Projects on Time & on Budget

The following project success criteria examples are well-tried-and-tested by numerous companies, proving to be truly worth the attention.


“Scope” is the anticipated set of tasks to be completed for the overall successful project implementation. All in all, the crucial question that you should ask yourself is: “What does the SUCCESSFUL completion of the project mean to our team as a whole?”

It so happens that some entrepreneurs don’t fully understand what their project should lead to in the long run. In particular, this applies to modern IT teams that work according to the Agile scheme and can change product requirements from stage to stage. In this case, task trackers like Zoho Projects will come in handy, which can be adapted to any workflow format.

If you are working on a simpler-scale product, some software implementation of the Gant chart, a calendar, and a task scheduler will be perfect.


This here criterion determines the deadline of the project completion (which is, usually, the release of the finished product) as well as marks timelines that define intermediate tasks on the way to launch.

When you calculate the final date of project completion initially, it’s difficult to take into account overtime costs and other unexpected moments. That’s why many teams involve outsourcing specialists to keep the workflow running at a constant pace and keep up with the deadline.


It’s a total drag when the initially calculated budget exceeds the numbers you see eventually. In order to prevent this from happening, you must take into account all of the “cost channels” – employee salaries, outsourced specialists compensations, consumables, testing expenses, and possible forfeits.

We strongly discourage the use of spreadsheets to plan the project budget, because they are very inconvenient, especially when expenses are carried out simultaneously on several project sides.

Achievement of Business Goals

Formally, this metric can be compared to the implementation of your specific business case – did you get the right amount of profit, did you meet the specified time and budget, etc. As a rule, it becomes relevant when you have several projects in line at once, and you need to understand which one is worth completing first. For that, clarify the following questions:

  • “How unique is the project to its Target Audience?”
  • “How urgent is it to complete?”
  • “What are the possible expenditures involved with it (financial, reputation, time, etc.)?”

Customer Satisfaction

“Customer Satisfaction” displays a group of such attributes as the level of service, the quality of the product itself, the coordination of interactions between intermediaries in the implementation of supply chains, etc.

In order to understand how much your target audience remains satisfied with your product, create small questionnaires on social networks or create focus groups to get a more detailed reaction from real users.

Improve Performance with These 7 Project Management Metrics

But what about those entrepreneurs whose project is still in development or preparation? Here are seven super-useful metrics, which, in essence, are also seven keys to success in project management, since they will help you optimize the performance of your team without much effort.


This is the most trivial indicator that shows whether you are spending your resources rationally at all. For its actual calculation, the following formula will come in useful:

Gross Profit Margin

This margin shows how much net profit your company earned on every dollar of revenue. You can calculate it the following way:


The Return on Investment indicator will show you how much invested funds you managed to return in the course of the project. To calculate it, however, you will need to accurately track the budget throughout the project. All the aspects can be efficiently calculated based on the following formula:

Cost Variance

This metric will help you understand how your budget forecasts diverge from reality. It is pretty simple to calculate:

Schedule Variance

This is one is identical to the previous metric, but it determines the difference between the number of planned and implemented tasks. Its calculation is absolutely identical:

Actual Cost

With this metric in hand, you can find out how much money has already been spent on the project during a certain time period. It is calculated as follows:

Earned Value

This metric will help you understand the current financial situation of your business. That is, it displays the ratio of the made profit value to the materials and time spent up to the current date. Here’s a formula for this metric:


These IT project success metrics should help you figure out how successful your project as a whole as well as the performance of your team is in the long run. There is always a safer and easier option, however – to entrust the work on your project and assessment of all details to real professionals. 

Namely, to Axisbits – we will help you achieve the highest rates in all of the above project management success metrics!

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