Success can’t be measured if it is not defined.
The definition of “success” is sort of like the definition of “feasible.” I once did feasibility studies for clients who were considering opening new facilities. For most, a project would be deemed feasible if it provided a certain return on investment. For example, one client might not consider a project to be feasible unless it had at least a 25 percent return on investment, while another might be happy with a 10 percent return on investment. In other words, the client determined feasibility.
Success is similar in that it is the organization that defines it. If that is the case, then the organization needs to make sure that it communicates its definition of success. If success was defined by the economic development organization as seeing 100 new jobs in the community during the next six months, it may be surprised if someone else, such as an elected body, expected to see 400 new jobs.
I like Earl Nightingale’s definition of success when he said, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” Therefore, one way to get to that definition is to set specific, measurable and achievable goals.
The first step in measuring success is to define success.