The article’s focus Is limited to the European Funded projects in Bulgaria and he Authors believe that identifying the critical success factors of project management, significantly helps managers to gear the project focus In order to achieve the project’s main goal within budget, resource and time. The article suggests selected core factors identified through empirical study of project success factors conducted by a sample survey of managers and experts from relevant organizations of projects supported by European programs. According to Mantilla and Allan, the previous researches on Identifying project success factors are traditional.
This is because the researches narrowly focus on the effectiveness of project management tools used by project managers. Though proper utilization of these tools could contribute for the achievement of project goal, there are a wide range of project success factors that can potentially Influence the project success. Mantilla and Allan(2012). Mantilla and Allan postulate that the success of a project depends on the fulfillment of some factors which they call critical. They insist on the existence of major factors that are prerequisite for a project to attain Its goal.
The concepts In the hypothesis sound clear as there are some widely accepted Independent factors that significantly influence (which can later be supported with academic findings in the area) the achievement of a project’s intention. The authors didn’t discuss how the absences of the given potential factors make a project fall. The hypothesis in this article Is also empirical. It Is supported by practical evidences that are found from 132 project managers and project team members. Regarding this point there are some limitations on the types of respondents which I raise later in the evaluation section.
The hypothesis is limited both in geography and the type of project it deals with. The article focuses on projects funded by Operational Programs of the European Commission in Bulgaria. When it comes to the literature, Mantilla and liana have established a literature on identifying critical success factors of project management. The authors explain the absence of unified treatment and definition of the concept In the field though there Is a general agreement on the significance of sarong out critical success factors In the practice of project management.
Mantilla and Allan (2012) provide pretty consolidated detail evidences on what is more important in project management. It’s all about whether project stakeholders are testified by Its results. This is a widely accepted principle but the problem on this regard Is, the authors didn’t specify the types of project as there are different types of projects with various range of goals. For instance, in general terms, the intentions of commercial projects and a relief project are not similar. The same is true to their scholars like, Dry. Rash and Dry.
Mimed (2014) ‘… It is impossible to generate universal checklist for project success criteria suitable for all projects. Success criteria differ from project to project depending on various numbers of issues like size, uniqueness ND complexity… ‘ In addition to this, client satisfaction is very hard to measure Paul and Derek (2008) different stakeholders sense and measure success in different ways with in a single project. Success is different for different stakeholders in a certain project. This is usually based on their contribution and expectation.
Other literature supports are also discussed on the subject in relation to the existence of two major groups of project success factors which are stated as strategic and tactical. The strategic group includes project mission, top management support and project scheduling. The tactical aspect includes client consulting, human resource selection and personnel training. These factors affect project success at different stages of the project life cycle. To identify the critical success factors of project management, the authors conducted a survey where 132 project managers and members of projects have participated.
They were selected as representatives of projects funded by CUE (European Commission). The sample of projects has been selected by a method of purposive sampling. The respondents have filled a questioner designed for the purpose of the study. The questioner was divided in to three main segments, questioner for project success measurement, for project execution and for the importance of critical success factors. The main focus of the article was the findings under the critical success factors. The respondents were given 15 potential factors and they were asked to identify the most critical Success factors based on their level of importance.
The listed potential success factors were Competence of the manger, Support from the agency administering POP, Clarity of project goal, Top management support, Competence of project team members, Motivation of Project team members, effective communication between project stake older, quality of subcontractor service, precision in documenting and achieving of project information effective coordination of project activities, compliance with the rules and procedures established by the POP, Systematic control over the project execution, access to organizational resources, SMART planning, Competence and adequate support from a project consultant According to the authors the above lists were prepared based on literature review. Mantilla and Allan (2012). The final results of this study show the following five factors as the most critical success determinants: 1st Competence of project manager; Over 80% respondents indicated this factor as extremely important. 2nd Compliance with the rules and procedures; almost 80% of the respondents have evaluated this factor as extremely important. 3rd Competence of project team 66. 7% of the respondents have identified this as extremely important. In addition it this was identified as highly important by 30 % of the participants. 4th Quality of services provided by subcontractors 66. % of the representatives indicated this as extremely important 5th Support of the top management ; 64% of the respondents identified this as extremely important. When it comes to the appropriateness of the research technique and obtained result, the study relied on single respondent, project managers and experts. The number of the respondents may be representative, but they are all from one side of the project represents. Instead all duty bearers that contribute for a project success should have been included. For instance we can’t see stakeholders’ views, end users (client) participation, and not even implementers’ Judgment. How can we measure a project success without observing and analyzing its impact on the end users?
The other significant point is we have no idea whether the project managers are successful or not in the projects they have executed so far but they are still making decision on critical factors that make a project successful. Here the point is if in case they have failed to attain the intended goal of the project, how do we trust their Judgment alone on what makes a project successful? When it comes to the list of the given potential factors, they seem limited. Mantilla and Allan, present the above list of success factors to be made based on literature review; but they fail to provide list of adequate sources for that There are also some other factors that should have been considered such as donor’s interest and project environment (political and social).
Timothy, Debbie and Chris (2014) highlight the existence of organized and fundamental success factors donors consider at each stage of the project phase. Sponsors are demanding in all stages. This sponsor’s behavior factors affect the project positively or negatively at planning, implementing, monitoring and closing stage with various degrees depending on sponsor’s interest. In their study on the advantages of best practices in project management, Livid. L, MME. C and loan. N 2010) emphasizes adopting best practices as a main factor that leads to successful project management. Through identifying and best practices, we develop international approach of labor, better process quality and better monitoring and controlling etc.
Mantilla and Allan proved the above five factors to be very critical for a project to be successful, but there is no prove on how the absence of these factors can result in project failure. For instance according to Dry. Rash and Dry. Emends(2014) ,the failure of a management may not always bring about failure to a project and good project management does not always guarantee complete project success. It is possible to achieve a successful project even when management has failed and vice versa. In this review I have discussed Mantilla’s and Lamina’s article on Critical success factors of a project. The article covers several points on the existing approaches to project success.