In yesterday’s blog entry, I outlined some of the advantages of pilot projects—starting small to test a ministry idea. Let’s say you do that. How do you know if it’s working? Here are a few ways to evaluate the success of your pilot project.

  1. Goal achievement. That sounds simple, but it’s essential. Is this pilot project producing the results you were aiming for? (Note: this presupposes that you set clear, measurable goals ahead of time.)
  2. Motivated team members. How easy is it for you to find—and keep—team members?
  3. Alignment with values and mission statement. If the pilot project is straying too far from values and mission, it’s time to reevaluate.
  4. Reasonable obstacles. If you have no obstacles, you haven’t set the bar high enough. If you have insurmountable obstacles, you may not be realistic in your targets.
  5. Replication. Are others taking notice and beginning to copy parts or all of what you’re doing?

After you’ve considered these five categories, you have some choices. #1: The project was a resounding success, proceed as planned. #2: The project failed; chalk it up to a learning experience. #3: Mixed results, don’t abandon but rethink and make some changes.