Section G Achieving Success

In defining success, one has to distinguish between success of the project and success of the project management function.

In any company with an established project management culture, the success of the project management process will be measured by beating or meeting the project objectives of safety, quality, time and cost (with a happy client). “If you can get safety, quality and schedule right, then cost (and reputation) is largely taken care of.”18 Success of the project will focus on meeting the financial returns and benefits. In other words, does the project perform as expected? From a contractor's perspective, they will want to have made a profit and, in the longer term, have established a good relationship with the client for repeat work. You are most likely to achieve this if you start the job right and do the job right. Nevertheless, owing to the diversity of the views of stakeholders, one is unlikely to satisfy all the people involved.

Project success will be measured differently, depending on the project phase. In the early phases, there will be strong external pressures (see Figure I.G.1), and success will be judged on financial and cost issues. As the project moves into the execution phases (the most sensitive to failure issues), the project and project manager will be judged on meeting time deadlines. Finally at the end of the project, commissioning and setting to work, it will be all about quality. At start up, it either works ...

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