CRM Project Success Criteria

John Eccles, 24 February 2021


At Magnetism, we’re committed to the success of every one of our CRM projects. So we’re keen to verify whether we achieve our goal. But what is success and how do we measure it?

What is project success?

It might be subjective. “All things considered, I think it was OK.”

It might be different for different people. The system users may think it was successful because they got a new system, but the CFO thinks it was a disaster because it went way over budget.

It can be objectively measured with project success criteria.

Project success criteria are a definition in measurable terms of what should be the outcome of the project that is acceptable to the client, stakeholders and end-users.

Guidelines for project success criteria

1. Be aligned with the strategic reason(s) for the project.

2. Include perspectives of key stakeholders including the project team, managers and users.

3. Not too few and not too many. All CRM projects should have multiple success criteria and an overlooked criterion may be negatively impacted. However too many criteria become un-manageable.

4. Precise and measurable.

5. Prioritised to help resolve any conflicts.

Project success criteria examples

1. Project management

· The project did not exceed the budget.

· The project was delivered in the agreed time.

· The project delivered the agreed scope.

· The project team were satisfied.

2. Realised benefits

· Time to enter client data was reduced by at least 20%

· Monthly reports can be generated in less than 10 minutes.

· Old system can be de-commissioned.

· Client satisfaction has improved as measured via NPS.

3. Stakeholder satisfaction

· Licensed users are using the system.

· Users are satisfied with the system.

· Managers are satisfied with the system.

Using project success criteria

The project success criteria and their priorities should be agreed at the outset of the project. The prioritised list will serve as a common goal to focus the project team on the success of the project.

The project success criteria should be documented together with how they will be measured, when they will be measured and who will measure them. For example:

Success Criteria


When measured


The project did not exceed the budget.

Project cost / budget

Project completion

Project manager

Time to enter client data was reduced by at least 20%

Time to enter / baseline time to enter

1 month after go-live

Team leader

Licensed users are using the system.

Number of actual users / Number of licensed users

1 month after go-live and quarterly thereafter

System administrator

The project success criteria include the system success criteria. These criteria relating to system benefits and stakeholder satisfaction, can be used to regularly review the performance of the system to ensure ongoing system value.


Defining success via project success criteria enables the objective evaluation of a project. It contributes to the success of the project by focusing the team on a common goal. It also provides a means of evaluating the ongoing success of the system.