Monday, December 15, 2014

The Most Important Project Success Factor

The CHAOS Manifesto from StandishGroup is summarizing research findings based on a database of 50 000 projects. Not surprisingly, the research shows that small projects are more likely to succeed than large projects, and maybe a bit less obvious, that more projects have overrun on time versus overrun on cost.

One of the most interesting sections of the CHAOS Manifesto is the rating of success factors for projects. The result is not surprising as it is in line with other research done on success of projects:

The most important success factor in a project is the involvement of the Executive role. A person with true authority in the organization must be held accountable for the ultimate success project and take active ownership. The CHAOS Manifesto’s top 5 success factors are:

  1. Executive management support
  2. User Involvement
  3. Optimization (to small projects with small labor content and fast delivery)
  4. Skilled Resources
  5. Project management expertise

In PRINCE2, the Project Executive is ultimately responsible for the project and for decisions in directing the work, supported by Senior User and Senior Supplier. The Project Executive’s role is to ensure that the project is focused throughout its life on achieving its objectives and delivering a product that will achieve the forecast benefits, balancing demands from various stakeholders. Throughout the project, the Project Executive is responsible for the Business Case. The PRINCE2 Organization page is describing the Project Board and the roles in more detail.

Image courtesy of  Idea at
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