Project was Successful or Not?

Since there is no hard and fast rule to define a successful project because of the various reasons like different project standards used in the different projects and different acceptance criteria being used in different projects or the different client expectations etc.. etc..

Still, I have tried my level best to give you some guidelines so as to decide whether a project was or is successful or not?.

Well, again, some of the conditions might be partially met. Then, in that case, you can award points for each question on a scale of 1-10 and decide whether the output or the outcome of a project was satisfactory or not !!!.

  1. First and the most important is whether or not the Project has delivered all the promised deliverables ?.
  2. Whether the Project completed within the timeframe of the project schedule or not?
  3. The project cost was within the approved budget Project?
  4. Whether the project products met the Quality specs agreed or promised?.
  5. Whether all the expectations of the key Stakeholders were met, and they accepted the project outputs?.

Who is Responsible for Sucess or Failures?

Well, whenever we speak of project success, we always put the blame on project managers for the failure of the Project.


do you seriously feel the project manager alone is responsible for the success or failure of the Project?

I don’t think the same, and as a matter of fact, it can never be right. While we are talking of a project, we are talking of the team effort right from top to bottom. It is not an individual who can decide the fate of the Project alone, though the level of influence on the Project can be different. Only one man can not be blamed for the project failure, I mean ..the scapegoat. We always look for the scapegoats, and the poor project manager is the one who is always supposed to bear the burnt. Yeah !! the easy target is always the project manager, but we need to understand that the projects do consistently well if the organizations have a very high level of competency at several levels and not just the excellent project managers which are actually not the case in most of the cases. Lack of which has resulted in higher project failure rates like 70-80%.

Let us sample a few key areas where the organizations should have a high level of competency….

  1. The Executive should play its role well and should develop a clear strategic framework within which the project manager(s) and project team members are supposed to operate. If there is no proper framework then there will always be some room for scope creep leading to higher rates of project failure and a poor rate of project success..
  2. The Senior Managers should set the project priorities right and there should be proper resources allocation according to these priorities.
  3. The management should ensure that the feasibility study is not done by the team which is going to do the Project otherwise the team involved can be biased in that case. The organizations should treat the feasibility study as a separate project and should be carried out by a different team.
  4. The project target dates/finish dates are supposed to be practical and should not be impossible to achieve.

To me, if the organizations want to achieve a higher rate of project success consistently then they need to get these basic steps right. Once this system is in place, we can then expect the higher rate of success from the project manager and the project team.

Readers are invited to comment on the post as usual…..

One Small Request:

Being a Project Management guy, I know how little time we have to play around on the internet. But if you have found this information useful then please share it to your colleague so that more people can get benefit from it. If you have any question then comment below and I am glad to take it.

Further Reads: Project Manager Interview Questions 

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