Barnes’ Iron Triangle was one of the first attempts to evaluate project success based on time, cost and performance, which were portrayed as interdependent dimensions. Over time, these criteria were expanded and especially criteria taking the satisfaction of stakeholder groups into account are becoming more and more popular. The purpose of this paper is to find out whether specific patterns for the selection of project success criteria across various fields of applications emerged which has not been regarded in literature before. Furthermore, the authors seek to identify of additional key factors influencing project success assessment next to the choice of project success criteria.
The paper uses a review of recent literature published in academic journals, in standard references and in widespread project management frameworks (Organisational Competence Baseline, PRINCE2 and PMBoK Guide).
The findings show that Barnes’ ideas are an integral part of all approaches investigated in the study. Additionally, the relevance of the so-called “soft criteria” related to the satisfaction of stakeholder groups, could be substantiated. However, the authors found no indications that patterns for the selection of project success criteria have emerged across various fields of applications. Factors influencing project success assessment are not taken into account in the examined articles in a systematic manner. This motivates for further research in this field.
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For appropriate project assessment the sound and well-rounded selection of hard and soft criteria and the consideration that not the field of application, but influencing factors yet to be analysed influence the selection of project success criteria are crucial. Project management professionals should choose the criteria suitable for their projects individually on a project-by-project basis.
This paper reveals that no patterns have so far been developed to assess project success in various fields of application. Furthermore, factors influencing project success assessment are not considered in a systematic manner.
Albert, M., Balve, P. and Spang, K. (2017), "Evaluation of project success: a structured literature review", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 796-821. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMPB-01-2017-0004Download as .RIS
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