Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness
How do you identify the bull's-eye among your stakeholders? Nothing's worse than finishing a project and missing the mark you didn't know was there. At patterns & practices, one of our effective project practices is to use "tests for success" to help avoid this scenario.
What are Tests for Success "Tests for success" are the prioritized success criteria that the stakeholder's agree to. It's basically a set of test cases, that if the project passes, the project is perceived as a success. They help clarify outcomes and priorities.
Example Tests for Success Here's an example of "tests for success" from one of my projects:
Stakeholders for the project created and prioritized this list, with prompts from the project team. This exercise helped clarify a lot of ambiguity as well as do a level set for the team.
How Can You Use This Whether it's a personal project or a project at work, you can create your own tests for success. I think a small list of the vital few works better than a laundry list. Phrasing the tests as one-liner questions makes them easy to create and use. Here's some prompts to trigger your own tests for success:
When you're in the thick of things, you'll appreciate having a small set of criteria to go back to and help keep you and everyone involved on track.