Identifying success criteria for your project

The project methodology includes a step that requires identifying success criteria, but how do you actually do that? First, it’s important to understand what the success criteria are. These statements describe what “good” looks like and how you will know when you have achieved your goal. They serve as measures that can be used at the end of a project to demonstrate to stakeholders that all objectives have been met, and the project can be closed.

To identify success criteria, you need to consider the project’s objectives and goals. What are you trying to achieve, and how will you measure success? Success criteria should be specific, measurable, and realistic, and they should align with the project’s overall objectives. They should also be agreed upon by all stakeholders to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

One useful approach to identifying success criteria is to use the SMART framework, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. By applying this framework, you can ensure that your success criteria are clear and achievable, and that they align with the project’s goals and objectives.

Where to look for success criteria
Success criteria in a project will comprise both delivering project deliverables to defined scope and delivering them appropriately. For instance, the software is compatible with IE 11, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox (relating to project deliverables) and ensuring the project cost does not exceed 10% of the original budget (relating to the project process).

Personally, I prioritize success criteria around project deliverables, which are easily identified from the requirements and hold greater significance for project stakeholders. As a professional project manager, it is expected that On Time, On Budget, and On Scope measurements should serve as success criteria, and one should not need a list of criteria to perform the job. However, in environments where these factors are not taken for granted, it may be beneficial to make a list of project process success criteria too. Interestingly, completing a project on budget was the top success criterion in a University of Colorado study, and many project sponsors may use it as a basis to evaluate a project.

When to look for success criteria
Documenting success criteria at the start of a project is crucial in order to have a clear direction of what the project team is working towards. Without defined success criteria, it can be difficult to determine if the project is progressing as planned or if it has been completed successfully.

It is best to include success criteria in the Project Initiation Document or Project Charter so that everyone involved in the project is aware of them. This allows the project sponsor to review and approve them, ensuring that everyone is aligned on what defines a successful project outcome.

Having documented success criteria also allows for regular progress checks throughout the project to ensure that the team is on track to meet the defined goals. It is important to revisit and update the success criteria as needed throughout the project to ensure that they remain relevant and achievable.

Success criteria are not benefits
When identifying success criteria, it’s important to differentiate them from benefits. Success criteria demonstrate that a project deliverable meets the business requirements, while benefits justify the investment in the project. For example, increasing the customer base or improving quality by 20% are benefits that a project could deliver.

Success criteria should be defined at the start of the project and documented in the Project Initiation Document or Project Charter. They can be used to define what “good” looks like and how the project’s completion will be measured. Success criteria can be based on both the project process and deliverables.

It’s important to remember that success criteria are not the same as benefits, but both are important for judging the success of a project. By documenting success criteria early, project managers can ensure that they are working towards a clearly defined goal and can measure their success accordingly.

The Right Accounting Software for You

Accounting software has been gaining momentum over the past years. Companies which use these software vouch for their efficiency to handle loads of accounting functions but do not add up to the costs unlike hiring a pool of trained and licensed accountants. Basically, an accounting software functions like a true accountant who handles accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll and trial balance. Furthermore, the software can accommodate other functions which are usually handled by a staff. It too serves as an accounting information system. Accounting software is varied because their appropriateness depends on the revenue or specialties of a company.1. Software Categories- Low End
Software from this category perform only general business accounting functions. These are inexpensive application software. Best for starting businesses.- Mid Market
The software classified under this category are capable of serving the needs of multiple national accountancy standards and allow accounting in multiple currencies. The come-ons in these products are actually the integrated or add-on management information systems and maybe oriented towards one or more markets.- High End
Softwares covered by this category are among the most complex and expensive business accounting software. Usually, they are part of an extensive suite of software often known as Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP software.- Vertical Market
Softwares assigned to this are those for specific business types because features needed for an industry is already built in.2. Setup And InstallationIt is very important to undergo a selection process because you have to find the right product, the one that matches your company needs. This may be complicated but you have to bear in mind that installing a new accounting system is very expensive and making the wrong selection may end you broke. Now you have committed the biggest mistake of your life but there is no more room for crying over spilled milk. Think it over in a different light; maybe the purpose of this mishap is to give you a chance to make an overhaul in you business process. You may need to redesign your process. But before you go excited over this whole renovation thing, there are some steps to follow.3. Steps to Follow- Form a technology advisory committee (TAC). This committee will head the entire operation – from selection of the product to implementation. Members of this committee must come from the major divisions of the company so that all facets of the business may be considered. However, members of the group must be limited to seven members. TAC should have a senior manager in the group to provide authority, manager of the accounting department and a representative from the information technology department. As much as possible involved your managers.- Prepare needs analysis. First, ask each division head to prepare an analysis of their department which includes all the things they do and classify it accordingly from the most critical to the mundane tasks. To support this listing, ask them to draw flowcharts to diagram how they perform each task. This will allow full view of how things flow within the organization. This will help you identify if all these duties can be performed by the accounting software of your choice. Much better if samples of every form will be gathered and the reports done by your former software. Include also systems outside your software that do supplemental duties. All these paperworks and analysis will help in the development of a requirements definition – a detailed document that defines what your business needs from an accounting application. As soon as you get these things done, you now have a complete reference guide for your purchasing decision.- Ask the advice of an independent consultant. This person will guide you all the way through the process. But just make sure that he is not somewhat connected to any of the vendors your company considers or else his lines will all be sounding a sales pitch. After getting an outsider to view things objectively, you can now ask say someone who maybe close with the vendor and who have used the software several times.- Talk with your current vendor. Now, this is the time to consult the vendor of your former software except if you are buying a new one. Present the detailed analysis you just made and ask him if an upgrade would be necessary to meet the needs of your company.4. Prepare A Budget- When preparing a budget consider other expenses required for the installation of the software such as the hardware requirements.
- Be aware of how much the company can afford to spend and plan the timing.
- Prepare a spreadsheet matrix listing key features of the product that impress you. Start eliminating obvious poor choices.5. Final Assessment- Prepare a formal request for proposal (RFP) or a less formal request for quote (RFQ) from the vendor.
- Ask for a product demonstration. Do not allow a canned demonstration. You should see the software live in action.
- Ask for a list of references you can call like former and current customers. Be aware of those who cannot answer your questions about the product directly.
- Undergo a prototype testing to know if your systems and data are compatible to the software and identify problem areas.
- Visit the vendor or its agent.
- Review your contract before making a final decision. Ask a counsel to do it. Support the contract or include all agreements discussed, the RFP or RFQ and documented communications.

An Inside Look at the Importance of a Smile in Sales

If you’re in sales, then you’ve probably heard all sorts of advice, from “don’t oversell” to “focus on solving problems.” However, one of the best pieces of advice that many forget is to smile! After all, your smile is one of the first features people notice about you, and it plays an essential role in the first impression you make. Keep reading to learn all about the importance of a smile in sales (as well as how cosmetic dentistry can help!).

Smile: Your Sale Depends on It!

Knowing your product and knowing your audience are key in sales. However, you don’t get far if your client doesn’t trust you or believe you. That’s why it’s so important to make a good first impression! Here are a few ways a smile can help:

• Smiling is more powerful than you might think – One study found that smiling has the same effect on our brain as $25,000 in cash!

• Smiling communicates your state of mind – Smiling is a non-verbal cue that you are happy to be where you are, that you are confident in your product, and that you are ready and willing to help.

• Smiling creates a ripple effect of positivity – Have you ever seen a friend yawn and done the same? Or seen someone take a sip of water and immediately realized you’re thirsty? Thanks to the mirroring neurons in our brains, we naturally mimic the behavior of those around us.

But What If You Don’t Like Your Smile?

If you don’t like your smile, don’t worry – that’s where cosmetic dentistry comes in. Whether you’re struggling with misaligned, misshapen, cracked, or otherwise imperfect teeth, your smile goals aren’t out of reach. The first step? Scheduling an appointment with a skilled cosmetic dentist. For both my father and myself, providing high-quality, personalized, and judgment-free dentistry is a passion. There’s truly nothing better than seeing someone walk out of our office with a dazzling, confident smile! So, don’t wait to make your dream smile a reality – it could make all of the difference when it comes to your personal and professional life!