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Program Success

15 Examples of Program Success

Program success is a program that is deemed to have achieved its goals, objectives or target outcomes. It is common to predefine program success criteria as part of program planning. This avoids the common situation where it is claimed that a program is a success when it has in fact exceeded budget, missing deadlines or failed to produce meaningful benefits. The following are illustrative examples of program success.

Budget & Schedule

A program delivery team is primarily responsible for delivering program requirements to budget and schedule. In many cases, the actual end-results of a program are beyond the control of the program team. As such, achieving budget and schedule is a common way to define program success.
Delivered the outreach event according to plan.
Launched the first phase of the business transformation program to budget, schedule and plan.
Launched the afterschool program with a schedule and budget variance of less than 5%.


Objectives are meaningful steps on the path to goals. As programs can be long running, it is common to measure the current success of a program with objectives.
A site for the school was selected and all site surveys and due diligence was successfully completed.
Requirements for the facility were finalized and stakeholder approval was achieved.
The service was fully developed and launched to testing on schedule and budget.


Program goals are targets that are meaningful to your mission.
Launched an enrichment program with an initial enrollment of 800 students.
Successful launched the ____ mission with the first of our next generation of partially reusable crewed spacecraft.
Modernized 17 legacy applications to reduce software license and support costs by $1.4 million per quarter.


Outcomes are real world results created by your program. This term is often used when results are non-financial.
Helped 764 people acquire trade skills achieving a 95% placement rate at an average salary of $57,000 a year.
Decontaminated the Hill Valley industrial site and opened an ice rink at the site that attracts 87,000 visitors a year.
Helped 67 teens who had dropped out of mainstream high schools reenter the education system with an attendance rate of 96%.


Benefits are measurable real world results of programs. These aren't necessarily directly generated by the program itself. For example, a program may develop a technology that is later commercialized to earn revenue.
Patents created by the research program generated $44 million in revenue last year.
The new billing system reduced costs by $400,000 per year and decreased billing errors by 99% or more.
The products designed by the program achieved $55 million in revenue last quarter.
Overview: Program Success
A program that is deemed to have achieved its goals, objectives or target outcomes.
Related Concepts

Program Management

This is the complete list of articles we have written about program management.
Acceptance Criteria
Change Management
Acceptance Testing
Due Diligence
Lessons Learned
Program Controls
Program Efficiency
Program Evaluation
Business Transformation
Program Metrics
Program Planning
Program Risk
Program Success
Project Branding
Project Management
Feasibility Analysis
Risk Management
Impact Evaluation
Risk Identification
Scope Creep
More ...
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