Critical success factors in projects: Pinto, Slevin, and Prescott - the elucidation of project success
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Purpose – Few scholars have been cited as frequently as Pinto, Slevin, and Prescott for their contributions to project success and related critical success factors (CSF) in the 1980s. Studies since then built on their articles to broaden and refine our understanding of the topic. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the reasons for the impact of these seminal contributions and how the topic of project success continues to evolve. Design/methodology/approach – The paper analyses the popularity of Pinto and his colleagues’ contributions to project success and reviews the development of this field of research since then. Findings – Project success remains a vibrant school of thought as do the earlier definitions, measurement scales and dimensions, and assessment techniques that Pinto and his colleagues developed. The authors view success more broadly and think of it strategically because they consider longer-term business objectives. Some research is now based on managerial or organizational theories and reflects the multi-dimensional and networked nature of project success. Practical implications – Practically, the classic contributions in project success continue to be valid. The authors see diversity in how success is defined and measured. The CSFs vary by project types, life cycle phases, industries, nationalities, individuals, and organizations. Originality/value – The paper relates earlier understandings of project success to subsequent research in the field and underscores the significant findings by Pinto, Slevin, and Prescott.
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