Criteria for Construction Project Success: A Literature Review

G. A. S. K. Silva, B. N. F. Warnakulasuriya, B. J. H. Arachchige



Execution of construction projects in an efficient and effective way is a core competency of project-based organizations. Evaluation of project success plays a key role in improving project management competency. Project success is an elusive topic and goes beyond project management success and traditional criteria. The lack of an agreed definition and a set of criteria for construction project success have long been the reasons for failing to evaluate success. The main possible causes for such disagreement would be the abstract nature of the concept itself and studies including different industry projects and different participants’ viewpoints with different priorities. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to define construction project success and to develop a framework with a practical set of measurement criteria to evaluate the same.
This study has followed the Systematic Review Approach recommended by Tranfield et al. (2003). The recommended check-list by Saunders et al. (2007) was used to ensure the criticality of the review. A definition for Construction Project Success and ten criteria – subjective and objective have been identified. The criteria are Time, Cost, Quality, Safety, Client’s Satisfaction, Employees’ Satisfaction, Cash-flow Management, Profitability, Environment Performance and Learning and Development. The paper stresses the need for a long-term perspective rather than having a short-term perspective of Construction Project Success. Further, it has disentangled complications in literature over some criteria such as Quality and Satisfaction. Employee Satisfaction and Learning & Development have been completely overlooked as a result of short term perspective. Criteria should facilitate measuring project success during the execution stage as well as at the end of the project. It is recommended that, through the studies of relationships between critical success factors and success criteria a stronger model to ensure project success could be established. Proposed framework will be tested in Sri Lankan context in future and findings would be added to the project management body of knowledge. Proposed framework will be instrumental for filling the existing empirical gaps.

Keywords: Construction Industry, Project Management, Success Criteria, Project Success, Success Measurements

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Faculty of Management Studies & Commerce