Project Success Criteria

January 31, 2024


There cannot be a project without its success criteria. However, when we observe discussions on various online forums or conferences, many project professionals focus on schedule, cost, and quality. Numerous publications on project management continue to pivot around the triangle of schedule, cost, and quality. Is this so?

Has the nature of projects not changed over the past fifty-odd years since project management became a discipline?

Consider these projects.

  • Development of a mobile app for the New Year.
  • Drug development for a life-threatening disease.
  • Highway infrastructure project in Amazon.
  • Implementing GDPR on a technology project.
  • Building a school for a charitable trust.

On a close review of the above projects, does one still feel that the success criterion is either schedule, cost, or quality?

The first project would be successful only if delivered before Dec 31st – hence schedule would be the key success criterion. However, the same may not be true about drug development. Of course, the drug is needed at the earliest, but not at the cost of quality. The project in Amazon must not disturb the ecology and, hence the environmental impact is the key here. Implementing GDPR is about data privacy, which is associated with compliance with European laws. Building a school must be within the budget as it is a charitable organization.

It is evident from just five examples that the project success criterion is unique and is contextual.

The key takeaways for leaders and project managers are:

  1. Understand and document the project success criteria.
  2. Educate their team members about the relevance of project success criteria.
  3. Most important – use the project criterion as the lighthouse as they navigate a ship called project!

About ProductDossier

Started in 2006, ProductDossier is a leading project portfolio management solutions company. Its flagship product, TouchBase, is:

  • Out-of-the-box, yet configurable to industry and company-specific needs
  • A comprehensive solution that addresses scheduling, resources, costs, engineering, proposals, business cases, new product development, procurement, risks, issues, meetings, quality, documentation, dossiers (Pharma), and social collaboration.
  • Integrates with SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, AutoCAD, QuickBooks, Tally, Microsoft Office, and Others.
  • Modular and scalable.
  • Hosted On-Premises and On-Cloud
  • Deployed by 50+ clients across 20+ countries.

TouchBase is designed to build a project management culture for your enterprise.

Srikanth PV


Srikanth PV comes with two decades of global corporate and consulting background across industries with diverse roles including Strategy, Leadership, and Management. Currently, Srikanth is Head, PPM Content Management at Kytes focused on content management strategy aimed to empower customers create and enhance value through its flagship digital solution - Kytes PSA. Srikanth is also a former member of the Board of Directors of PMI Bangalore Chapter.