Success factors in project management

Mona Rudloff

As so often in life, there is no guarantee for success in project management. Nevertheless, experience shows that some factors correlate directly with a successful project completion. In this article we will show you how to steer your project in the right direction.

Erfolgsfaktoren Projektmanagement

What is a project success?
A project is considered a success when all the requirements of the services agreed in the contract have been met in full. The aim here is to satisfy the stakeholders of the project with regard to implementation and results, so that they classify the project as positive and successful.

Definition of goals

Goals should be clearly defined! Right from the start, the entire team must be clear about project goals and target agreements. The number of goals per project depends on its scope. Basically, several sub-goals should always lead to one overall goal. A defined process for goal agreements of the project members can be helpful here. Coordinate project requirements between project manager and management and always communicate them to the project team. Target control through a consistent change request process is recommended.

Objective fulfills three main functions:

  • Orientation function: With the help of goals it is easier to align activities with the project result.
  • Coordination function: The overall objective is divided into several sub-objectives, which facilitates the coordination of necessary activities.
  • Selection function: Goals facilitate the selection process for different solution alternatives.

The use of the SMART formula is recommended when defining objectives. According to this formula, goals should be specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and scheduled.

Management of all participants

Ask yourself right at the beginning who will be involved in the project. In addition to the project team, this could include management, employees, external partners, customers, suppliers, other companies or the public. Each of these parties has its own ideas and goals for the project. It is extremely important to identify and actively manage all the people involved so that the project does not get completely out of hand. Factors that could disrupt or jeopardize the project should be identified and neutralized at an early stage. Projects often fail because not all participants have been properly involved. Therefore the management plays an important role for the success of the project.


Even the greatest project will fail if the team is not right. When putting together your team, always make sure that your selection is both professionally competent and socially compatible. The size of the team depends on the size of the project. Keep your team as small as possible and only as large as necessary. This enables much better communication, speeds up all decision making processes and reduces potential conflicts. Once the team is up and running, roles and tasks should be clearly defined and communicated.


According to a study by GPM, 60% of all project failures can be traced back to a lack of or inadequate communication. This can be avoided with the help of a communication plan in which regular reports are planned to the management level! All progress, current challenges, possible problems, difficulties and solutions are summarized in a report. A clear, structured communication between all project participants improves their chances of success enormously.

Project management

Everyone deserves a chance. This is true so far as the choice of the project manager is concerned. Project management is very complex and requires methodology, expertise and leadership experience as well as time and focus on the goal. If you don't have a suitable project manager, think about an Iterim Manager rather than choosing the wrong one out of desperation.
The tasks of a project manager include

  • Coordinating goals with management and internal and external customers
  • Define the timetable, cost framework, scope and quality of the tasks to be performed.
  • Leadership of the project team
  • Responsible for stakeholder management, risk and conflict management within the team and externally

Successful project managers are compared to less successful colleagues:

  • Less able to work in a team
  • risk taker
  • Extroverted and
  • Emotionally more resilient

The support of the management level is an important factor for the success of the project. Accordingly, the project management should always inform the management level about the project status and include it from the beginning.

Conflict management

The more people are involved in a project, the more complex the tasks become and thus the pressure to perform increases. This in turn harbours a high potential for conflict. Personal tensions and competitive thinking can occur, for example, frictions can arise due to inadequate or incorrect communication, or intercultural differences can stand in the way of the project. Therefore an active risk management is required! Leadership, creativity and communication skills are basic prerequisites to avoid such problems.

Risk management

There are many reasons why projects can fail. Internal or external opponents can, for example, sabotage the project, two projects within the same company can compete with each other, or project goals can conflict with each other. It is precisely for these reasons that effective risk management is so crucial to project success. The aim is to identify potential risks and to limit or completely circumvent them.

Implementing projects with Falcon

Falcon is a project management software, which was developed especially for demanding strategy projects. With intelligent tools and smart functions, the software intuitively facilitates project planning, progress control and reporting. This saves all participants valuable time and allows them to concentrate on their tasks. Falcon creates clear responsibilities and, especially for complex projects with large teams, a simple overview of the overall project, goals and progress.

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