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What does it take to achieve Project Success?

The road to success takes a journey through the last twenty years of research in Project Management to find how success can be measured and achieved.

Khalid Ahmad Khan

on 12 March 2014

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Transcript of What does it take to achieve Project Success?

What does it take to achieve Project Success?
Dr. Khalid Ahmad Khan, PhD, PE, PMP

Project Success Dimensions
Project Success Factors
Picking the right Success Factors
Predicting Project Success
How to achieve success?
Trying to define what success is not easy.
Success can be a rather
term and it can mean very
different things
different people
What is Success?
Definition of Success:
the accomplishment of an aim or
the correct or
desired result
of an attempt

Success Criteria
The measures by which we
judge the successful outcome
of a project; the
dependent variables
which measure project success.
Success Factors
The elements of a project that can be influenced to
increase the likelihood of success
; the
independent variables
that make success more likely
Success is measured by the degree to which the program satisfies the
for which it was undertaken
Success is measured by product and project
budget compliance
, and degree of
customer satisfaction
Success is measured in terms of the aggregate
investment performance
benefit realization
of the portfolio
Project Success Measure
Time, Cost, Budget, Quality
What is the effect of organization type on Project Success?
What is the effect of project duration on Project Success?
Project Success
Project Manager’s Competence
Control Systems and responsibilities
Monitoring & feedback
Continuing involvement in the project
L. R. Sayles and M.K. Chandler, Managing Large Systems, New York: Harper & Row, 1971
Project Success Factors (1971)
Monitoring and feedback
Adequate channels of communication
Top management support
Project schedule/plan
Project mission
Client consultation
Client acceptance
Personnel issues, including recruitment, selection, and training
Adequate technology to support the project
Adequate trouble-shooting expertise
Project Success Factors (1987)
Pinto, J. K., & Slevin, D. P. (1987). Critical factors in successful project implementation. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Are these project success factors universal?
Success Drivers
Simple Models
Multi dimensional model
Project Success Factors
Growing interest in Project Success Factors and Criteria
Immediate Past President - PMI Lahore, Pakistan Chapter
The Success Paradox
Project success rates are low and not increasing despite the fact that the knowledge associated with project success and failure has been steadily increasing over the years.
(Bloch, Blumberg, & Laartz, 2012; GOA(Government Accountability Office), 2013; The Standish Group, 2010)

Recent PMI research report shows project success rates are decreasing
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
Actions that make success more likely
Competent project manager
Competencies of project management team
Leadership quality of PM
Correct choice of project management methodology/tool
Rapport of PM with contractors
The project leader possessed adequate interpersonal skills
The project leader possessed adequate administrative skills
Top management's enthusiastic support to the PM and project team at site
Project Manager's Technical capability
Good communications/feedback
Clear communication channels
Skilled and suitably qualified project team
Effective monitoring & control
Project Management's Competence
Organizational & managerial environment
Favorable social environment
Sufficient staff
Rapport of PM with sponsor
There was strong local ownership of the project
Fair compensation for employees
Delegation of authority
Equitable administration for personnel
Financial and Technical Control
There was a detailed budget for the project
Budget Management
Formal Procedures
Scope and nature of work was well defined in the tender
Clear organization/job descriptions

Top Management Support
Commitment of all parties to the project
Support of Project champion
Support from stakeholders
Support from senior management
Technical Tasks
Effective change management
Having relevant past experience
Past experience of project management methodology/tool
Deviations from the plan were routinely and clearly dealt with
Training the human resources in the skills demanded by the project
Employee development (training)
Risks were addressed/assessed/managed
The detailed project plans were understood and accepted by all team members
Project Characteristics
Uniqueness of the project activities
Urgency of need
Level of complexity project
The project goals and terms could be changed if conditions made it necessary
Contractor/consultant performance
Good performance by contractors
Good performance by consultants
Competencies of project designers
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