Project Success Criteria


As a project manager, the main objective of the project manager is to deliver the project within the time stated and on budget defined. However, that’s not all when it comes to project success criteria.

In addition to above conditions, the project manager needs to work closely with the customer and should ensure the project deliverables have met the customer expectations.

There are many parameters in a project success criterion.

Key Performance Indicators

The first project success criterion is to deliver projects bearing in mind the business drivers. Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) is a method used to measure the benefits gained from undertaking the project.

These provide an insight to the scope of the project. The performance indicators are:

·        Established by the clients at the start of the project and are listed on a priority basis.

·        Aligned with the business objectives.

·        Able to make critical decisions based on KPI’s for the project.

·        Prove to be a stance for products to be accepted by the clients.

·        It’s a quantitative method and it’s measurable.

To create a project success, criteria based on KPI is not enough and targets need to be set. These set targets need to be realistic and achievable at the end.

The Project Manager’s Verdict for Project Success Criteria

A project success criterion begins with the initiatives taken by the project manager to the project in question. This will increase the chances of the project becoming successful as well as meeting customer’s expectations.

The project manager, who wants his/her project successful will definitely ask the customers for feedback.

This approach will prove to be successful and will be a learning curve if any mistakes had been done. KPI need to go hand in hand with the business objectives for a project to be considered successful.

Meeting the Customer’s Expectations

Going the extra mile is not restricted to only customer services, it’s also a magic word for project management. A top most important factor for a project success criterion is to exceed customer’s expectations by completing the project within the stated deadline, budget and quality.

However, project manager needs to bear in mind that this could be misinterpreted and could lead to unnecessary cost. Ideas to make a better product than sticking to the original idea could be done with the approval of the customer. For this to be successful, proper implementation needs to be in place.

Success Factors

Success factors are contributions made by the management towards a successful project. These can be classified broadly into five groups as follows:

·        The project manager – The person needs to have an array of skills under his arm to use during the project.

·        Project team – The team needs to consist of variety of skills and experience. Collectively as a team, success is easy to achieve with proper guidance.

·        Project – The scope and timeline of the project is crucial.

·        Organization – The organization needs to provide support to both the project manager and the project team.

·        External environment – External constraints should not affect the project. Back-up plans need to be in place in case daily tasks cannot be carried by the team.

The project’s quality should not be compromised under any circumstances as this will drive away potential customers.

Further Project Success Criteria

The criteria for a successful project are not restricted to only above. However, following are some of other supporting factors that need to be considered when it comes to a successful project management and execution:

·        Negotiations

·        Proper and conducive project plan

·        Assigning tasks to the team members

·        Developing a plan to achieve common tasks

·        Reviewing and doing a rework when needed

·        Managing project risks efficiently

·        Allocating time for process improvement

·        Learn from the learning curve

·        Proper estimation of project in terms of not only quantitatively but also qualitatively


A project to be considered successful requires proper planning and the help from the management. Exceeding customer requirements will bring about success to the project.

Understanding the business drivers and ensuring that the project meets the objectives of the business will also contribute to success.

Aligning the key performance indicator to that of the business objective will not only help project managers to keep track but also measure and improve performance.

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