From Critical Success Factors to Critical Success Processes

Ofer Zwikael*, Shlomo Globerson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


After myriad studies into the main causes of project failure, almost every project manager can list the main factors that distinguish between project failure and project success. These factors are usually called Critical Success Factors (CSF). However, despite the fact that CSF are well-known, the rate of failed projects still remains very high. This may be due to the fact that current CSF are too general and do not contain specific enough know-how to better support project managers decision-making. This paper analyses the impact of 16 specific planning processes on project success and identifies Critical Success Processes (CSP) to which project success is most vulnerable. Results are based on a field study that involved 282 project managers. It was found that the most critical planning processes, which have the greatest impact on project success, are "definition of activities to be performed in the project", "schedule development", "organizational planning", "staff acquisition", "communications planning" and "developing a project plan". It was also found that project managers usually do not divide their time effectively among the different processes, following their influence on project success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3433-3449
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number17
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2006


  • Critical Success Processes
  • Project management
  • Project planning
  • Project success


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