Project Management Institute

A perspective-based understanding of project success

Answering the call for alternative approaches to researching project management, this paper explores the evaluation of project success from a subjectivist perspective. An in-depth, longitudinal case study of information systems development in a large manufacturing company was used to investigate how various project stakeholders subjectively perceived the project outcome and what evaluation criteria they drew on in doing so. A conceptual framework is developed for understanding and analyzing evaluations of project success, both formal and informal. The framework highlights how different stakeholder perspectives influence the perceived outcome(s) of a project, and how project evaluations may differ between stakeholders and across time. The paper concludes by looking at the limitations in the research.
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