Research Project Management, part 4: Assessing and Evaluating Project Outcomes

This is the last article in a series of four articles about postgraduate project management.

Published on 29 July 2022

Research Project Management, part 4: Assessing and Evaluating Project Outcomes

According to Wingate (2015), postgraduate research projects generally involve activities that help to define the research purpose, outline the project scope, choose the management methods, conduct the risk assessment, choose the right resources, collect and analyse the data, and define the expected deliverables.

In other words, planning and scheduling tasks, and allocating time and resources to complete them in order to achieve desired outcomes. In the postgraduate research project, the outcome could be personal development, completion, and submission of the thesis. In terms of a sentiment analysis project, the outcome could be data collection and analysis, reports, or an infographic that demonstrates the results of the analysis. However, how do you determine whether the project was successful or not, and how to measure success?

Defining Success

The first priority is to define success. According to Bannerman (2008) and Wingate (2015), the achievement of the final goal of the project can be regarded as a completion of the project. However, there are certain criteria that must be met to consider the project successful. Traditionally, a successful project can be described as a project that delivered all deliverables on time and within the budget (Bannerman, 2008). Moreover, a successful project meets or even exceeds the requirements and stakeholders’ predefined expectations. According to Bannerman (2008), if the project is “completed on time, within budget, and to specification,” then it can be regarded as a successful project.

Therefore, in my postgraduate project, the indicator of success will be the completion of the thesis, including a successful delivery of all expected deliverables, such as literature review, data analysis, reports and infographics, and submission of all the work on time.

Measuring Success

According to Wingate (2015), the most common method of measurement is the project’s progress against the project baseline. Moreover, according to Bannerman (2008), the performance of the project can be measured against project parameters. The parameters relevant in my postgraduate research project is schedule, scope, and quality. For example, ensuring that the project stays within the schedule and budget can be an indicator of a progression towards successful completion of the project. This can be regarded as project performance (Bannerman, 2008). Additionally, effective management and control of risks and changes that occurred during the project, could be another indicator of a successful project (Wingate, 2015).

In a sentiment analysis research project, the success will be measured in terms of collected data and efficiency and quality of work carried out to extract sentiment from the data. Completion of activities such as data collection and pre-processing can be regarded as a success. Completion of data analysis and evaluation can also be regarded as a success. Therefore, the timely achievement of each milestone will be an indicator of a successful project. However, it is important to avoid compromising quality in order to achieve those milestones and the final deadline.


In summary, when measuring success, it is important to look back at the project scope and requirements. Keeping a track of all activities and ensuring that the risk and change are managed is likely to contribute to the overall success of the project. In my opinion, the hallmark of a successful project is the ability of a manager to deliver a high-quality project that exceeds the requirements and is completed on time.


Bannerman, P.L. (2008). Defining project success. A Multilevel Framework. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Jul. 2022].

Wingate, L.M. (2015). Project Management for Research and Development, Guiding Innovation for Positive R&D Outcomes. CRC Press.

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