Use Surveys – and One More Thing – to Quantify Project Stakeholder Satisfaction

Surveys can be very helpful in quantifying project accomplishments. However, this is only effective if you keep one thing in mind.

You are at the beginning of your project, and beginning to work on the plan. You are meeting the stakeholders, getting acquainted with the objectives of the project, and trying to get your hands around the scope.

But someday, you will be asked, "What did this project accomplish? Did it accomplish what we wanted?"

The guest post below talks about using surveys to do this...but to be effective, there is ONE THING that is necessary. You must tie any surveys, any project metrics, any monitored results, and any accomplishments back to the original objectives of the project. Usually the key to the whole project is embedded in some statement early in the project charter.

So, that ONE THING you must keep in mind for quantifying project accomplishments is what you originally set out to do...and hopefully this has been a driving force guiding the team's actions from day 1 of the project! Make it easy by making the project objectives clear from the beginning, and the common thread throughout the project, making the final assessment of accomplishments very easy.

You can find related templates that will help you think ahead, anticipating the day at the end of the project when you will need to identify and quantify the project accomplishments. You can learn more about these valuable and effective templates at

Here's the TenStep guest blog post. It provides insight into Project Stakeholder Satisfaction, providing metrics for project accomplishments.

At the end of a project, many project managers want to collect data that points out how successful the project was. Some of this information, like budget information, should not be so hard to gather. Many project teams also want to gather stakeholder feedback on how the project team performed. You could ask questions regarding how professional the team was, how responsive, how the team communicated, and much more.

You could go around and ask everyone verbally. However, this approach cannot be measured. The best you can end up with is a collection of quotes.

A better way to collect customer satisfaction information is through a simple survey. Surveys are by their nature qualitative; that is, they reflect the opinion of the person being surveyed. Many surveys ask for a combination of ratings feedback and written feedback. The numerical answers are used to drive the metrics, while the written feedback provides additional perspective that can be used in the overall analysis. There are a number of advantages to a well-worded survey.

  • When you are trying to determine how people interact with each other, perhaps the best way to gather feedback is to ask the affected people themselves. Surveys allow you to gather people from any and all stakeholders that were impacted by the project.
  • Surveys are a relatively inexpensive way to gain feedback from many stakeholders. The more stakeholders you want to query, the more it makes sense to use a simple survey.
  • The ratings feedback can be interpreted mathematically for precision and ease-of-use. One great advantage of surveys is that you can gather feedback from a tremendous number of people, and yet synthesize the results using simple math.
  • You can get "shades of gray" from the rating feedback. A survey allows you to receive answers based on a continuum or a range of possible results. In other words, the answers are not "yes" or "no" but allow feedback on a continuum such as a 1 - 5 scale.

Of course, there are also a number of weaknesses with a survey approach. These include generally not receiving feedback from a high percentage of people. It is also my perception that many (most?) surveys are not well written. For example, surveys may ask how satisfied a stakeholder was with the quality and frequency of communication. The stakeholder may have different opinions as to the "quality" and the "frequency" which makes this difficult to answer with one response.

When you are determining the success of a project you want to use data to compare actual values with targets. This is not hard with schedule and budget. Surveys help you convert opinions and perceptions to data values as well.

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