Chapter 7: Dont ask what makes projects successful, but under what circumstances they work: recalibrating project success factors
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Project management and business case failures are common. Thus, the quest for critical success factors remains of interest to practitioners and researchers. Concomitantly, our perceptions and definitions of project success have been in flux for decades. Yet, a scan of much of the project management literature demonstrates this acknowledgement is slow to take place. This chapter updates, further “complexifies,” and recalibrates the most significant literature on critical success factors. Notably, it highlights the importance of a variety of internal and external critical success factors and identifies five gaps in the critical success factor literature. The chapter concludes with a call for a switch from a narrow focus on success factors to a broader emphasis on success conditions in the face of complexity and uncertainty, and we present an agenda highlighting future research to move our understanding of critical success factors forward.

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