Definitions · Effectiveness · Features · New features · Product management

Defining success criteria

Life has been extremely busy lately but I didn’t want to lose my run of weekly blogging so here are a few notes on a topic we’ve been talking about a lot lately.

How do you define success? When you are developing and delivering software solutions how do you know that you got it “right” for your target audience?

This question relates to another I’ve been pondering over the past six months or so, which is the difference between output and outcome. I want to make sure our team is not simply producing features (output) but driving business results (outcome) and in order to do that we have to know both what the outcomes are that we desire and how we can measure the results to determine how closely we hit our target.

In some cases we are looking for adoption rates by our current clients of new features we have developed (for one recent enhancement we are looking for 80% adoption over a six month period); in other cases we are seeking increased revenue from existing clients or success at landing new ones based on features we believe will meet the needs of a new segment of the market.

I want our team to develop impactful solutions for our clients, and that requires us to know upfront what kind of impact we want to have and how we can measure that. Creating specific targets and then communicating those – not just to the business leaders and the sales team but also to the developers – is something we are still working on. Getting this right will hopefully ensure that our efforts are satisfying both to our clients and to us – who wants to spend months building something that no one uses or appreciates. Outlining success criteria that are specific and measurable without being unrealistically challenging is something we are working to achieve. We are seeing good results from our first two big projects this year but time will tell if we are on the right track because in truth it’s not that simple.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s