"Project Success Factors" - PM 360 Consulting
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“Project Success Factors”

“Project Success Factors”

Project Management



Traditional project management success factors were based on the iron triangle of time, cost and quality and this develop out of the delivery of US military, engineering and construction projects in the nineteen fifties and sixties.Similarly success factors were further expanded by Rockart throughout nineteen sixties and seventies,his research defined critical success factors (CSFs) as the limited number of areas in which results, if they are satisfactory will ensure successful competitive performance for the organization. Further expansion on the critical success factors (CSFs) has  been carried out by  main academic authors who have researched and written extensively on the subject for the last forty years: Pinto and Slevin (1987, 1989,1996), Pinto and Mantel  (1990),  Belassi and Tukel (1996), Hartman (1996), Liu and Walker (1998), Lim and Mohamed (1999), Cooke-Davies (2002), Chan (2002), Turner (2009,2014),Muller and Turner (2003,2007,2009), Westerveld (2001,2002,2003), Crawford (2005,2011), Standish Group (1994,2006,2011,2015) and  Kerzner (2009,2015).

In addition, the most cited article in relation to project success factors is by Pinto and Slevin (1988) from the nineteen eighties and this list is still most relevant and most applied in projects across different industry sectors in 2020.

Pinto and Slevin List of Success Factors (1988)

Success Factors – Description

Project Mission – Clearly defined goals and objectives

Top Management Support – Resources, authority and power for implementation

Schedule and Plans – Detailed specification and implementation process

Client Consultation – Communication and consultations of all stakeholders

Personnel – Recruitment selection and training of competent personnel

Technical Tasks – Ability of the required technology and expertise

Client Acceptance – Selling of the final product to the end users

Monitoring and Feedback – Timely and comprehensive control

Communication – Provision of timely data to key players

Troubleshooting – Ability to handle unexpected problems

Research studies (Johnson, 2006, www.pmi.org) on project success have identified the following project success factors:

  1. User involvement
  2. Executive support
  3. Clear business objectives
  4. Scope optimization
  5. Agile processes
  6. Project management expertise
  7. Financial management
  8. Skilled resources
  9. Formal methodology
  10. Tools and infrastructure

“Top Project Management Techniques to Avoid Project Failure”

  • Adopt the Proactive Approach. …
  • Plan Project’s Strategy and Project’s Implementation. …
  • Manage the Project Goals. …
  • Avoid Unrealistic Expectations. …
  • Track Project’s Progress. …
  • Identify Risk Factors. …
  • Propose the Solutions. …
  • Use Correct Methodology.


PM360 Consulting Project Success Factors – Ten Steps (2021)

Step 1. Establish the Goal

Step 2. Estimation – Why and How

Step 3. There Must be One Leader

Step 4. Supply and Demand – Availability of Resources

Step 5. Contingency and Risk Management

Setting Stakeholders Expectations

Probability of Success Indicator

Step 6. Appropriate Leadership Style

Step 7. Tracking the Project Progress

Step 8. Light Status Reporting

Step 9. The Project Managers Daily Routine

Step 10. Project Audit

(© 2021 PM360 Consulting – Fergus O Connell All Reserved)




Friel, P.G. (2017) “Project Manager Perceptions of the Value of Organizational Project Management” Dissertation National College of Ireland Dublin Ireland.