Critical success factors across the project life cycle

definitions and measurement techniques

Although much has been written about the process of managing projects, the field still lacks a full understanding of how critical factors contribute to the different stages of a project's life cycle. This paper examines a study testing the criticality of those success factors long believed to be instrumental to project success. It describes the study's two key findings and the three implications of these findings; it lists ten success factors most critical to project implementation and four critical areas that significantly impact project success. It also outlines the four-phase project life cycle--conceptualization, planning, execution, termination--used to conduct this study, explaining the purpose and function of each phase in relation to project implementation. It then discusses the study, an effort that involved randomly mailing one of three types of questionnaires to more than 600 PMI members. It reports on the response rate and the framework--the project implementation profile (PIP)--used to calculate the results. It lists the six characteristics used to measure project success and details the survey findings in relation to the four-phase project life cycle, identifying the key functions of--and project manager activities for--each phase. It outlines six activities that project managers should perform on all projects to ensure a successful outcome.
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