This paper is the second of a four-part series in which an attempt has been made to capture the collective wisdom of the leading participants in an extended LinkedIn discussion over the first six months of 2014. The actual original texts have been edited for grammar and spelling to make for easier reading online. The observations quoted are the opinions and property of the contributors as noted.

Published here September 2014.

PART 1 | Introduction | Stan Krupinski - Andrzej Wardaszka | Richard Stubbs
Brian Phillips | Max Wideman Introduces KPIs and KSIs | David Willcox | David Hatch
Larry Moore - Cliona O'Hanrahan | Mounir Ajam | PART 3

Editor's Note:

As we noted in Part 1 of this series, the following extracts are intended to capture and summarize the most valuable ideas presented in the conversation on LinkedIn between February 17 and May 9, 2014. To keep the summary manageable, we have again chosen only a limited number of the participants based on our view of their most perceptive comments. We would remind readers that these people are those practicing experts that we feel most likely to represent the millions of opinions available on the Internet.

In Part 1 of this series, discussion participants focused on what standards publications had to say about Project Success. In this Part 2, the discussion attempted to focus on clarifying the question.

Introduction - Recap

Matthew Weaver, PMP, CSM, ITIL[1] started off the LinkedIn conversation with the question:

"How do you define project success?"

Matthew then followed his own question with this observation:

While I realize this is a recurring topic,[2] I note this morning as I work through the PMBOK[3] 5th edition, that they have added a new section "Project Success" (page 35) that clarifies rather succinctly the definition of project success and the project manager's role in it:

"Success of the project should be measured in terms of completing the project within the constraints of scope, time, cost, quality, resources, and risks as approved between the project managers [sic] and senior management."

Later, the PMBOK authors write:

"Project success should be referred to the last baselines approved by the authorized stakeholders."


1. For more information about Matthew Weaver and his work, visit his web site at You can reach him by Email at, or call toll free (855) 871-9246 (USA)
2. In fact if you do a Google search for "Project Success" you are likely to get over five million responses and if you search with "Defining Project Success" you could get around eleven million responses. These figures suggest that either the subject has been worn to death or there is a lot of room for differences of opinion and hence that the answer to the question is far from precise.
3. PMBOK® stands for the Project Management Institute's A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) Now in its 5th edition, Pennsylvania, 2013.
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