The time schedule plan was compared with a map in the introduction. A destination needs to be defined, defined very clearly and completely. Only then you can chart a course from here to there. While you can define a destination in a driving map very accurately, quite often it is difficult to define a destination for a project map. Not only you need to reach a destination, it is quite difficult to define how well you have reached the destination. For example, in a product development project, a destination could be the delivery of a engineered prototype. The success criteria though would be how well the feature list of the prototype matches the original wish list defined. Now, this is open to interpretation. That means you should seek and reach an agreement with your reporting authority about the exact success criteria for the project, when you are seeking the approval of the project. To be able to negotiate successfully you need to be clear in your mind, what this set of criteria will be for defining the end of the project. The success criteria, actually, needs to be defined for every outcome of all the tasks in the project. The success criteria also need to be clearly defined for every one of the stake-holders involved in the project. While the success criteria at the end point of the project is important to higher management, success criteria at the end of individual tasks is important to the teams working on these tasks.

Teams/resources working on individual tasks need the success criteria to be clearly defined because the sense of closure or the sense when a task is completed is quite subjective. Second aspect of the same problem is that these time schedules need monitoring for progress. Knowing the realistic progress is clearly the single most need for managing the time schedules. Unless you know how far you are from the destination, it is difficult to judge how far you still need to go and what corrective actions may be required. In fact, the success criteria may tell you what kind of problem you are looking at and the type of remedial actions needed.

This really defines the end mile-post, a point beyond which further work and application of resources as well as sinking of any more cost into it; is not productive. The sense of closure mentioned earlier is also called for defining this sign post. The corporate stakeholders would need to have a clear sense of this end defining success criteria. It is important for the senior managers to understand these mileposts across the organization to manage resources, plan marketing, plan all the other related business activities. As clearly we can mark these points in time, we make the business processes that much smoother.

While defining the success criteria is easier in industry segments like the manufacturing, or the construction sector, it is difficult to define the success criteria like when is the software product ready to ship. It is clearly because it is so much harder to define exactly when a software product is ready to ship!

The time schedule plan was compared with a map in the introduction. A destination needs to be defined, defined very clearly and completely. Only then you can chart a course from here to there. While you can define a destination in a driving map very accurately, quite often it is difficult to define a destination for a project map. Not only you need to reach a destination, it is quite difficult to define how well you have reached the destination. For example, in a product development project, a destination could be the delivery of a engineered prototype. The success criteria though would be how well the feature list of the prototype matches the original wish list defined. Now, this is open to interpretation. That means you should seek and reach an agreement with your reporting authority about the exact success criteria for the project, when you are seeking the approval of the project. To be able to negotiate successfully you need to be clear in your mind, what this set of criteria will be for defining the end of the project. The success criteria, actually, needs to be defined for every outcome of all the tasks in the project. The success criteria also need to be clearly defined for every one of the stake-holders involved in the project. While the success criteria at the end point of the project is important to higher management, success criteria at the end of individual tasks is important to the teams working on these tasks.

Teams/resources working on individual tasks need the success criteria to be clearly defined because the sense of closure or the sense when a task is completed is quite subjective. Second aspect of the same problem is that these time schedules need monitoring for progress. Knowing the realistic progress is clearly the single most need for managing the time schedules. Unless you know how far you are from the destination, it is difficult to judge how far you still need to go and what corrective actions may be required. In fact, the success criteria may tell you what kind of problem you are looking at and the type of remedial actions needed.

This really defines the end mile-post, a point beyond which further work and application of resources as well as sinking of any more cost into it; is not productive. The sense of closure mentioned earlier is also called for defining this sign post. The corporate stakeholders would need to have a clear sense of this end defining success criteria. It is important for the senior managers to understand these mileposts across the organization to manage resources, plan marketing, plan all the other related business activities. As clearly we can mark these points in time, we make the business processes that much smoother.

While defining the success criteria is easier in industry segments like the manufacturing, or the construction sector, it is difficult to define the success criteria like when is the software product ready to ship. It is clearly because it is so much harder to define exactly when a software product is ready to ship!

Begin with the End

July 31, 2009
By

The time schedule plan was compared with a map in the introduction. A destination needs to be defined, defined very clearly and completely. Only then you can chart a course from here to there. While you can define a destination in a driving map very accurately, quite often it is difficult to define a destination for a project map. Not only you need to reach a destination, it is quite difficult to define how well you have reached the destination. For example, in a product development project, a destination could be the delivery of a engineered prototype. The success criteria though would be how well the feature list of the prototype matches the original wish list defined. Now, this is open to interpretation. That means you should seek and reach an agreement with your reporting authority about the exact success criteria for the project, when you are seeking the approval of the project. To be able to negotiate successfully you need to be clear in your mind, what this set of criteria will be for defining the end of the project. The success criteria, actually, needs to be defined for every outcome of all the tasks in the project. The success criteria also need to be clearly defined for every one of the stake-holders involved in the project. While the success criteria at the end point of the project is important to higher management, success criteria at the end of individual tasks is important to the teams working on these tasks.

Teams/resources working on individual tasks need the success criteria to be clearly defined because the sense of closure or the sense when a task is completed is quite subjective. Second aspect of the same problem is that these time schedules need monitoring for progress. Knowing the realistic progress is clearly the single most need for managing the time schedules. Unless you know how far you are from the destination, it is difficult to judge how far you still need to go and what corrective actions may be required. In fact, the success criteria may tell you what kind of problem you are looking at and the type of remedial actions needed.

This really defines the end mile-post, a point beyond which further work and application of resources as well as sinking of any more cost into it; is not productive. The sense of closure mentioned earlier is also called for defining this sign post. The corporate stakeholders would need to have a clear sense of this end defining success criteria. It is important for the senior managers to understand these mileposts across the organization to manage resources, plan marketing, plan all the other related business activities. As clearly we can mark these points in time, we make the business processes that much smoother.

While defining the success criteria is easier in industry segments like the manufacturing, or the construction sector, it is difficult to define the success criteria like when is the software product ready to ship. It is clearly because it is so much harder to define exactly when a software product is ready to ship!

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