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The Relationship Between Project Success And Project Efficiency

Project Success And Project Efficiency


Project success has been measured in a number of ways. Different writers have presented different theories and ways that how it could be measured that either the project was a success or not. A viewpoint about the project success says that it varies from time to time after the completion of the project. Once the project is completed it does not matter whether the project goals were met or not, but the most important thing that is considered is the customer satisfaction.

There is also a difference between the project success and the project management success. However, the difference is gone while we come to know that the project management success is measured on the basis of three basic goals that are time, budget and objectives. It shows either the project management was successful or not. It turns out to be that the measure of these three aspects is basically the measure of project efficiency.

This article is all about finding the relationship between the project success and the project efficiency. There has to be a link between both of them as project efficiency is also a part of project success once the project is completed and handed over to clients (Marly Monteiro de Carvalho, 2015). It is also defined that when a project is considered to be ended or completed, most of the literature regarding this viewpoints highlights, that once the project is handed over to the client, or once the project manager moves to the other project after completing the recent one.

Another important thing that is considered in this article is the impact of the project on business. The project success factor that is not mostly included in project success measure literature is customer satisfaction. The article conversa survey conducted in order to find out the relationship between project efficiency and project success. The survey included questionnaire from people related to project management across the world. The findings of the survey will show either there is a relationship between the project efficiency and project success or not.

Main Themes

This article has highlighted some of the important factors that are mostly ignored while measuring the project success. However there is no hard and fast rule that is used to measure the project success, but the article has presented the differences between the project efficiency and project success. It has drawn a clear distinction that what is project success and project efficiency.

Mostly three basic dimensions are considered to calculate project efficiency that are; time, budget and achieving scope and objectives of the project. The scope has a major role in the measurement of project efficiency as it has a great impact on the satisfaction of customers. On the other hand, there are four factors that contribute to the success of the project that are; meeting planned goals, end-user benefits, contractor benefits and overall project success. These factors seem to provide a framework that can help to measure the efficiency of project or success of a project. However, it is not true all the time. Considering all the information mentioned earlier, it seems that project efficiency and project success are related to each other means if project efficiency is good and up to the mark, it means it replicates the success of the project as well. It does not happen all the times in the actual world.

There are times when the project efficiency is accurate but actually they are not enough to fulfill the requirements of the customers. On the other hand, there are times when three success constraints of project efficiency are not met but they perform quite well according to the expectation of customers. These findings go totally opposite to the topic that is the relationship between project efficiency and project success. On the other hand, it can be generalized that two important factors can be included to measure success and efficiency of the project; technical performance and customer satisfaction.

Project Management Bodies of Knowledge (PMBoK) in its 5th edition has added some more constraints for measuring project success that includes scope, quality, schedule, budget, resources, risks and customer satisfaction. By considering the addition of new constraints to measure project success, it can be defined as meeting the all the business and enterprise goals that are set by the stakeholders of the company. It is important to note that project efficiency is necessary to measure the success of the project, but is inadequate to rely totally on it. It is because if project efficiency constraints time and budget cross their limits, they will be a hurdle in project success (Michael Cowen, 2015).

Findings in Survey

To find out the relationship between project success and project efficiency, a survey was conducted with the help of questionnaire containing questions divided into different categories. Overall project success, success perceived by project stakeholders and progress with relation to project efficiency.  The data were collected in 12 weeks with 865 participants, only 859 were the ones who completed the first stage of the survey. The responses were gathered from 160 countries around the world with the USA at the top. As the questionnaire was divided into different categories of question, the same methodology was adopted to measure the results in relevant categories. Cronbach alpha analysis was conducted on the results.

The results that were obtained from the survey were also analyzed in subgroup where the results were compared within the industry and by their geographical locations. However, the results that were compared on the basis of geography had a no different impact on the results obtained.

The results obtained after all the analysis revealed some results that showed new findings irrelevant to the theories discussed earlier. It showed that the relationship between the project success and project efficiency was higher in healthcare, professional services, and utility industries. It means that relationship between them does not apply in all the industries when it comes to project management. On the other hand, the relationship between project efficiency and project success was least in high technology and government departments (Liu Jun, 2011).

Critical Evaluation

This article has presented a lot of new different ideas related to project management, some of them are a clear distinction between project efficiency, project success and project management success. There seems to be interrelated to each other but not in all fields of industries. It describes in clear simple language highlighting the constraints that can be used to measure efficiency and success of a project regardless of already discussed constraints.

It is true that efficiency and success of project go side by side and none of them can be considered solely the success factor. It depends mostly on the satisfaction of clients. There are number examples where project efficiency is not well but the client is happy with the output. It seems that main thing in project management is final product or output that customer or client is looking for. However, it can be considered to the concluding argument about project management while deciding which one is more important either project efficiency or project success.

Another good thing about this article is that is has presented the clear results of the survey and how the questionnaire was designed so that to provide a clear picture while looking at results of the survey. It clearly depicts that as the success factors are to be decided considering different factors divided into different categories, so their relevant questions must be divided in the same way. It was the most appropriate way to show the relationship between efficiency and success of the project.

Articles, however, lacks some explanation that was quite relevant and should be covered and well explained. I am pointing towards saying of Shenhar, Levy, and Divr, that assessing success is dependent on time. If it was dependent on time after completion of the project, then how time can be a constraint in measuring the efficiency of the project.


I always thought that project success can be measured with the help of project efficiency constraints that were time, budget and scope of the project. This article helped in understanding that it is not true always that project efficiency is related to project success. There are very rare industries where the relationship between them is very low, but in most of the industries their relationship is very high and that was evident from the survey conducted by the writers of the article. Now it is clear that project success cannot be totally measured by the aforementioned constraints because it is much wider than project efficiency. The results show that 60% of project efficiency is related to the project success. However, it may be reduced to 51% if the scope is not a constraint for measuring project efficiency. It shows that project efficiency is very important to project success.


Liu Jun, W. Q. (2011). The effects of project uncertainty and risk management on IS development. International Journal of Project Management 29, 923-933.

Marly Monteiro de Carvalho ⁎, L. A. (2015). Project management and its effects on project success: Cross-country and cross-industry comparisons. International Journal of Project Management, 1509-1522.

Michael Cowen, D. H. (2015). Damaged identities: Examining identity regulation and identity work of Gulf project managers. International Journal of Project Management, 1523-1533.



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