Harvey A. Levine has 43 years of service to the project management industry
and is the leading consultant to the project management software business. He is recognized
as the leading expert in tools for project management. He has been Adjunct Professor
of Project Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Boston University. He
has conducted project management public seminars for ASCE, AMA, IBM, and PMI. He is
the author of books, articles and videos on Project Management, including his previous
book Practical Project Management: Tips, Tactics, and Tools,
Mr. Levine is past president of the Project Management Institute, a recipient of PMI's
1989 Distinguished Contribution to Project Management award, and has been elected
a Fellow of the Institute. He has offices in Saratoga Springs, NY and San Diego, CA.
His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
web site: http://home.earthlink.net/~halevine/
Do traditional measures of project success miss the true business objectives? Are the elements of scope, time, cost and quality only components of the objective, rather than independent measures of success? I raised these questions back in June 2000, going against conventional wisdom - at a time when PPM was just emerging as a body of thought. Project Management was finally getting its well-deserved recognition, and everyone was focusing on spreading the gospel of bringing projects in on time, within budget and meeting scope and quality objectives. Well, almost everyone.
Why would anyone want to shoot holes in the acceptance of project management? No one is suggesting that project management is wrong. However, limiting our focus to the critical measures of project success confuses the means to an end with the end itself.
Almost anything that we read about measurements of project success dwells on the four pillars of success: scope, time, cost and quality. We are taught to identify the goals for success in each of these areas and then to create plans that balance these objectives. Then we implement practices and utilize computer-based tools to measure how well we are accomplishing these objectives. When we meet these objectives, and we satisfy the project stakeholders, we consider the project to have been successful.
1. Available from
John Wiley & Sons, 2002