Defining IT project success

Defining IT project success

Summary: It's time to define IT project success in clear, operational terms.


Defining IT project success

It's time to define IT project success in clear, operational terms. Building on this post, here are four criteria for defining a successful IT project:

  1. The finished software meets planned scope and specifications, with a reasonable level of quality
  2. The project is completed more or less on time and within budget
  3. The software solves the business problem for which it was intended
  4. Users adopt the software according to plan

These criteria capture dimensions related to project management, business fit, and usability. Notice that technology is not included as a factor, since this definition assumes technology is the support vehicle for delivering the all-important business benefits.

Please leave lots of comments with your opinions on this definition of IT project success. I suspect this set of criteria will be controversial, but we need a starting point.

Topics: Software, CXO, IT Employment

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Who measures this?

    See my small cartoon:

  • RE: Defining IT project success

    1. Resulting software met or did better than its original business case, evaluated based on regulatory compliance, cost savings, or revenue increases (or their non-profit equivalents) relative to implementation cost.

    2. Team isn't burned out and is still together; prior knowledge and new knowledge gained on this project is is retained by the organization.

    If you're a project contractor, add #3...we made a profit.

    Tracking to original plan, whether schedule, budget, or features, is an additional (and more restrictive) constraint.