Reporting Success Stories Alongside Formal Benefits

Ever since I read "Made to Stick" by the Heath Brothers I’ve been a keen collector of success stories about my programme.

As the programme manager I have to report on the progress of my team. Risks, Issues, Budget, Milestones, Financial Benefits, Reach, etc, etc. Lots of numbers and facts. Terribly significant and rather dull.

So, to spice things up, I also report on success stories.

Here’s an example from a couple of months ago:

This month we enabled:

  • Danny Simons to beat PA by 3 minutes
  • Journalists in Beijing, Hong Kong and London working together to confirm the escape of Cheng Guancheng
  • 200 pieces of original journalism filed from across the UK on the Local Elections

These examples might not mean much outside my organisation but they mean an awful lot to the people who manage the journalists. They demonstrate, in a way that the numbers can’t, the benefit of the programme and the product we’re rolling out.

I encourage my entire team to keep on the look out for success stories. Places where our product has made an obvious difference. Where we facilitated collaboration, or enabled efficiencies, or just where somebody said the product was “Wow!”.

And the team oblige with 2 or 3 successes each month. When one gets flagged up I store the success away for latter reuse.

I admit that I was a bit hestitant about using the success stories at first but now they feature on the first page of my monthly programme board pack. The board wants me to demonstrate that the programme is delivering benefit and the success stories do just that.

The board merely nodded when we hit Milestone 2 and when we reached 7,000 internal users but when I mention that “Danny Simons beat PA by 3 minutes” the reaction was “Fantastic!”


Heath, C., & Heath, D. (2007). Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. Random House.