International Project Management Day




Project Scorecard


Quick Summary
Screenshot This one-page worksheet, designed by Kimberly Wiefling of Wiefling Consulting, helps your team define the project finish line in clear, measurable terms. The format encourages measurable goals, go/no-go criteria, long-term progress reports, and active risk mitigation. The end result is a high-level project dashboard that helps you understand not only where the project is, but how to get where it should be.


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What this is

This is a one-page shared definition of project team success, the "finish line" for the entire team regardless of functional area or responsibilities of any individual. The process of creating the scorecard forces all stakeholders to clarify the meaning and measures of "success," and track status and progress against these shared definitions throughout the project.


Why it's useful

Project teams benefit from having shared goals and shared metrics of success. They need to all have the same understanding of where the finish line is in the project race. Success in individual functional areas does not always correlate with overall project success. Project status reports may state where a project is with respect to its deadlines, but they often overlook the more critical aspect: where is the project in relationship to its goals -- the reasons for doing the project in the first place?

This overall project scorecard provides a high-level view of the project's status in relation to overall project or product development success criteria, both during development and after final release. It includes a prioritized list of the metrics of success, minimum "Go/NoGo" criteria for the project to be worth doing, and a "Red/Yellow/Green" status indication that enables at-a-glance status reviews throughout the project. In addition, it encourages a long-term perspective on the definition of success by encouraging the team to think about when the various metrics of success will be measurable and/or measured.


How to use it

  1. Review the scorecard example worksheet. The example illustrates what a completed scorecard might look like for a project partway through its development phase, but before the status has been updated. Once you've oriented yourself to what good and bad projects would look like, use the Blank Scorecard on the last worksheet to build a scorecard for your own project.
  2. Describe your development success criteria or high-level project goals. Your categories may be different than the ones listed here, so edit as needed. Expect resistance from people who don't feel comfortable guessing or discussing metrics! It's important to remember that the conversations about exactly what success is and the measures of that success are more valuable than the actual finished scorecard.
  3. List the Target and Minimum Acceptance Limit for each goal area. You should have a clear and measurable goal (target) for each major area listed, and each listed success criteria should have buy-in from team members as well as from the project sponsor and concerned executives. Goals that aren't supported won't be met. Remember, the minimums you set in this column mean that you are willing to CANCEL the project if your team cannot achieve at least the minimum. This is your Go/No-Go criteria.

Instructions are continued in the first worksheet of the Excel file.

About the Author

Kimberly Wiefling is a globally recognized author and business leadership consultant specializing in helping people achieve what seems impossible, but is merely difficult. She is the author of one of the top project management books in the US, Scrappy Project Management -- The 12 Predictable and Avoidable Pitfalls Every Project Faces, growing in popularity around the world, and published in Japanese by Nikkei Business Press. The founder of Wiefling Consulting, LLC, she consults to global business leaders. She spends about half of her time working with high-potential leaders in Japanese companies, facilitating leadership, innovation and execution excellence workshops to enable Japanese companies to solve global problems profitably.


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