The inherit problem of many projects, businesses or really anything that can be measure, is that there is not really a measure that is decided upon. Oh yes of course there are measure in place that people imagine they are relying, for example some people will measure a business by how much money it makes, or some may measure the success of a website by how many visitors it receives. But in reality how accurate are these measure in direct relation to actual results.
For there to be a true measure of success there needs to be more then just a single factor taken into account in the measurement of that success. Lets look at one example, say ABC Company makes $15,000 profit per month after all expenses. By many people’s gauge of success this company may appear successful. ABC company however serves 75% new customers each month, the following month many of these customers go elsewhere due to bad service. So yes while this company is financially successful, they are failing big time. Imagine the potential this company could have if they measured other factors beyond financial performance.
The area’s that need to be measured beyond the financial aspect of a business are very often the most important part of the business, in respect to it’s ability to succeed. If customer service at ABC company was measured and subsequently improved based on the measurement, they could turn this number around to even 25% new customers and effectively grow their business many times over.
The primary point that needs to be realized here is that just measuring one superficial definition of success, does not always lead to a true view of success. The idea is to measure the true factor’s that influence your companies success. The biggest problem for most companies is that while they can start measuring many different thing’s knowing the specific factor’s that influence their business is a very different thing. In essence you need to spend time looking at your business and finding what it is that really makes that critical difference between success and failure, and then to measure that in a way that you can improve the result’s.
So remember just because your business is making a profit does not mean that it is actually succeeding. It could be failing miserably, and you are happy because it is making a profit. This I would imagine is not the way that you would like your business to fail.