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Managing Project Success

Understanding Failure to Ensure Success

Course Description

Success and failure are often highly subjective terms, especially for projects and in project management. The question of success is dependent on the perspective of the stakeholders. It is common that one stakeholder might perceive a project a success while another consider it a failure. Then how can we remove some, or most, of the subjectivity from deciding if a project is successful or not?

In this workshop, we start with discussing life cycles (Product, Project …) in order to define the various stakeholders’ perspectives on failures and success.  Then we explain failures and the four major categories of project failures. Once we understand the root cause of failure we outline the four dimensions of project success. We emphasize the need for establishing criteria for project success early in the project life, which is a must for measuring success. We also introduce the participants to project and project management metrics (key performance indicators).

The key aspects that we stress throughout the workshop are: (a) we view projects from a strategic organizational perspective, and (b) focus on driving project management maturity to a higher level.

Finally, we use case studies extensively to demonstrate the above points, success and failures. Many of the case studies are from our Principal Consultant professional experience earned during a rich and diversified project management career in locations around the globe.

Learning Objectives/Outcomes

Who should Attend

Course Outline

Day 1

  1. Fundamentals
    • Product life cycle
    • Project life cycle (span)
    • Project life cycle perspectives
    • Life cycle costs
    • PM processes


  1. Organizational project management
    • Project management maturity
    • The seven elements of project management maturity


  1. Project failures
    • Categories of project failures
    • Mitigating project failures
      1. Risk Management
      2. PM Maturity
  2. Day 1 open discussions


Day 2

  1. Project success
    • Illusion of success
    • Stakeholders alignment on perspective
    • Strategic perspective


  1. The four dimensions
    • Explaining the dimensions
    • Establishing criteria (timing)
    • Justifications
    • Open debate on the necessity of the four dimensions
    • Metrics (Key Performance Indicators – KPI)


  1. Day 2 open discussions
  2. Workshop closure & feedback