More About Project Success
by George Bridges
What is project success? How can we define it and how can we measure it? Is it realistic to have one definition of project success that all investigators, project managers, and stakeholders can agree upon? Can there be a consensus on what is project success; if so, how can we measure that success?
“The only thing that is certain in project management is that success is an ambiguous, inclusive, and multidimensional concept whose definition is bound to the specific context.”
Most project managers’ takes on a project large or small, simple or complex, short or long, with the ultimate goal of being successful. The project managers seek to be judged as successful by the organization, the sponsor and the customer and other key stakeholders. Given there is more than one stakeholder that has to be pleased, how can the project manager meet or exceed the expectation of all the stakeholders for the project? “Project Managers must manage stakeholder expectations, which can be difficult because the stakeholders often have very different or conflicting objectives.” (PMBOK, 2004, p26) It is possible that some stakeholders will view the project as successful while others may see the project as a failure. The project manager and project team should determine the ultimate stakeholder or stakeholders that will classify the project as successful and meet their expectations.