Are the project success factors identified 30 years ago still valid today?
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Organizations are becoming more project based than just a few decades ago and project management can be instrumental in helping organizations execute designated tasks effectively and efficiently. However, the use of project as a tool to achieve the organizational goals does not automatically guarantee project success. Implementing and executing good projects depends on many different factors. This thesis is an effort to investigate if the project success factors identified in the 1980’s, are still valid today. For our thesis, we have elected to focus on Pinto and Slevin’s 14 project success factors that were developed in the mid- 1980’s. This is partly because these success factors are the most cited, and as such, seem to be the ones that have received the most attention. For our survey we decided to use social media platform LinkedIn as the main access to respondents. By using LinkedIn, we had the ability to easily reach out to respondents globally and the opportunity to gather information from many respondents in a relatively short time period. The main conclusion that we can draw is that the success factors that were identified over 30 years ago, are still valid in 2019. Overall, most respondents rated the majority of the 14 factors high, or very high. The exception being the success factor “Environmental Events”. This factor consistently scored lower. Environmental events relate to the likelihood of external organizational or environmental factors impacting on the operations of the project team, either positively or negatively. In addition to confirming that the 14 success factors still seem to matter, some of our respondents pointed to a potential new success factor: Organizational Culture. The critical success factor rated highest amongst all respondents was the success factor “trouble-shooting”. Trouble-shooting relates to the ability and capacity to handle deviations from plans and unexpected events, both negative and positive. This thesis is a contribution in the field and project and strategic management. In addition, our Further Research chapter points to several interesting topics that warrant future studies. The results can be used by practitioners that are interested in improving the efficiency of their projects.
Master's thesis in Strategy and Management