Project success: five things to get right

A five-step formula for project success was revealed at the APM Project Management Conference today.

Research by APM into the Conditions for Project Success highlighted that nearly 80% of projects fail to meet their planned objectives as a result of gaps in good practice. Most alarmingly, only 4% rated project planning and review as excellent; while 14% said it was either poor or absent from their last project.

In response APM is targeting senior project executives and influencers with five critical success factors:
1.    Project planning and review
2.    Effective governance
3.    Goals and objectives
4.    Competent project teams
5.    Commitment to project success

The five factors form part of APM’s project success framework, which was endorsed and enhanced by more than 850 project professionals, academics and thoughts leaders who took part in the original study.

In each case over 85% of survey respondents rated the five factors as either ‘critical or very important’ to the success of a project.

Commenting on the findings Daniel Nicholls, APM research manager, said: “The 12 success factors were overwhelmingly endorsed by respondents. However, when asked how successful their last completed project had been and the status of each of the success factors in that same project, the findings revealed gaps between accepted good practice and the application.

“The five key factors for success – or those factors with the strongest and most consistent relationship with the traditional measures of project success: time, cost and quality – can be viewed as a formula for success; get this right and the rest should follow.”

The Conditions for Project Success report  reveals that the cost of ongoing failure could have a catastrophic effect on the economy, environment, and society. It concludes the environment in which the projects, programmes and portfolios operate, the conditions for project success, are at the heart of improving project outcomes.

  • Download the full report for free 
  • Senior business leaders will discuss the price of project failure at an APM breakfast meeting on April 15. The findings will be published online and in June’s issue of Project.

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