Join Terri Wagner for an in-depth discussion in this video Measuring results, part of Project Management Foundations: Stakeholders.
- We recommended near the beginning of your project, you conduct the stakeholder analysis to gather input from people who have power, interest, and influence over the success of the project. By establishing effective methods of measuring stakeholder satisfaction, project managers can measure how well their stakeholder expectations were addressed during the project as a measure of the project's success. Three methods to consider are surveys, focus groups, and interviews.
Conducting online surveys to gather and measure a stakeholder's satisfaction with project progress, or final outcomes first involves selecting a tool, such as SurveyGizmo, SurveyMonkey, or Zoomerang. Some of these tools are free, some charge a fee to create and execute your online survey and compile the results. To design an effective survey, the project manager should generate a short list of questions, covering relevant areas you wish to measure, regarding project performance.
For example, in our wind energy project, Raj Gupta, the corporate training manager, leads all development of training materials procedure manuals, and quick help guides. Jenna Davis, the operations director, is responsible for all operational activities related to the project. She and her team will work closely to ensure that all environmental and occupational health and safety regulations are met, and that farm operations go smoothly, for the wind energy project implementation.
Raj was tasked to create a training program, that ensured that the entire operation's contractor and vendor staff complied with all environmental and occupational health and safety regulations. While response to the survey can be anonymous, role and responsibilities can still be captured. Then, one of the survey questions might be, during the course of this project, did you complete the environmental and occupational health and safety training program? For those providing a yes response, the survey could direct them to additional inquiry, to determine how class participants felt about the training.
You can build the survey to provide a menu of choices, such as, satisfaction rating scale including the options, completely satisfied, satisfied, no opinion, dissatisfied, and completely dissatisfied, then, the project manager should provide clear instructions on how to complete the survey when open feedback is requested, and how the feedback will be used. This method of measuring stakeholder satisfaction allows project managers to create sophisticated charts of responses, and analyze input to take decisive action.
The number of stakeholders who were supposed to take the training can then be compared to the number who actually did. Then data can be gathered on any job related health and safety issues that occurred on site during the project, for a full analysis and determination of project success, as it relates to environmental and occupational health and safety. Another set of measurements can be gathered by running focus groups, these facilitated discussions can cover topics like the quality of status reports, engagement strategies and project outcomes.
Conducting an effective focus group usually involves comprehensive planning, including setting an agenda, preparing specific questions to ask stakeholders, encouraging collaboration, and calling for action from participants. Project managers should encourage all participants to provide candid input reflecting their perspective. Here, Jenna Davis might be asked detailed questions about her satisfaction with the project's health and safety statistics and training programs following a nominal group technique, that confirmed input from all stakeholders, including her, since this was her area of responsibility.
Results can also be measured by interviewing stakeholders individually, which allows the project manager to gather feedback privately, out of the public domain. That way, if information is sensitive, we're not creating a bigger problem by discussing the sensitive information in a public forum. Top-level stakeholders may also appreciate this method, as their schedules may not allow them to attend other meeting types. Conducting survey meetings and interviews with stakeholders on a regular basis, and at the conclusion of the project, helps increase the likelihood of success by providing opportunities to gather lessons learned and allow you to make any necessary or desired improvements.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.