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.
- 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.)
- Motivated team members. How easy is it for you to find—and keep—team members?
- Alignment with values and mission statement. If the pilot project is straying too far from values and mission, it’s time to reevaluate.
- 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.
- 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.