Aaron J. Shenhar, Institute Professor of Management, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ and R. Max Wideman

The original of this paper first published on the PMForum web site, September, 2000. (Updated presentation, April, 2002.) Presented here as the fifth in a series linking project type through management style to project success.

Published here April, 2002.

Introduction | Project Management | Success | Nature | Content
Project Work | Style | Types of Leader | All Together | Conclusions


The purpose of this paper is to bring together the findings of the previous papers in this series to show a connecting thread that, if followed, leads to a better understanding of the project management process, and hence to higher levels of project success. This thread is summarized as follows

  • The meaning of project success
  • The nature of fundamentally different types of project
  • Their technological content
  • Their scope and degree of complexity
  • The nature of project work
  • Project leader personality traits and consequent management styles, and
  • Selection of most appropriate project leader for best chance of project success.

But what is "project success", and how might such success be influenced by the particular type of project and how it is managed?

Any serious discussion of the concepts of project management require that the terms to be used are clearly defined. While there is a general understanding of what a project is and what project management is about, there is no consensus amongst practitioners as to precise definitions of either of these terms. So we must start our journey by establishing what we mean by the terms we use for the purposes of this paper.

For examples of different definitions in common use in each case, visit the PM Glossary and look up each term!


Home | Issacons | PM Glossary | Papers & Books | Max's Musings
Guest Articles | Contact Info | Top of Page