Project success criteria

One of the topics in the project management plan are the project success criteria. These are the most important attributes and objectives which must be met to enable the project to be termed a success.

It is always possible that during the life of the project, problems arise which demand that certain changes have to be made which may involve compromises and trade-offs to keep the project either on programme or within the cost boundaries. The extent to which these compromises are acceptable or permissible depends on their scope and nature and require the approval of the project manager and possibly also the sponsor and client. However, where such an envisaged change will affect one of the project success criteria, a compromise of the affected success criterion may not be acceptable under any circumstance.

For example if one of the project success criteria is that the project finishes by or before a certain date, then there can be no compromise of the date, but the cost may increase or quality may be sacrificed.

Success criteria can of course be subjective and depend often on the point of view of the observer. Judged by the conventional criteria of a well managed project, i.e. cost, time and performance, the Sydney Opera House failed in all three, as it was vastly over budget, very late in completion and is considered to be too small for grand opera. Despite this, most people consider it to be a great piece of architecture and a wonderful landmark for the city of Sydney.

While it is not difficult to set the success criteria, they can only be achieved if a number of success factors are met. The most important of these are given below:

• Clear objectives and project brief agreed with client

• Good project definition

• Good planning and scheduling methods

• Accurate time control and feedback system

• Rigorous performance monitoring and control systems

• Rigorous change control (variations) procedures

• Adequate resource availability (finance, labour, plant, materials)

• Full top management and sponsor support

• Competent project management

• Tight financial control

• Comprehensive quality control procedures

• Motivated and well integrated team

• Competent design

• Good contractual documentation

• Good internal and external communications

• Good client relationship

• Well designed reporting system to management and client

• Political stability.

This list is not exhaustive but if only one of the functions or systems listed is not performed adequately, the project may well end in failure.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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