Copyright to Thomas Juli, PMP © 2011
First published by on July 20, 2011. Reproduced with permission.
Published here March 2012.

Editor's Note | Introduction | Principle 1: Build Vision 
Principle 2: Nurture Collaboration | Principle 3: Promote Performance
Principle 4: Cultivate Learning | Principle 5: Ensure Results | Dynamic Project Leadership

Thomas Juli, PhD, PMP, CSM, is Managing Director, Thomas Juli Empowerment Partners. His life's passion has always been to empower people and organizations. His company provides training and consulting services bringing to the table extensive experience in leadership and management in various business functions, including project and program management, and business analysis. His latest book is Leadership Principles for Project Success book published by CRC Press, New York, 2010. He may be reached at His web site is

Editor's Note:

It seems to us that the word "success" is frequently bandied about in project management papers, articles and presentations expecting that everyone intuitively knows what it means. Unfortunately, the reality is that most people have different perceptions. For example, is it "On time and within budget" (project management success), or is it "Customer satisfaction" (product outcome success)? And any number of variations in between.

So we asked the author for his definition, in the context of this paper. In reply, he pointed to one of his presentation slides as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: A new definition of project success
Figure 1: A new definition of project success

It seems to us that this still leaves open the question of what is encompassed by "Project Results". We believe that this issue should be crystallized by establishing a set of "Key Success Indicators" (KSIs) to be used as a basis for project management decisions.[1]


1. Key Success Indicators ("KSI") may be defined as:
   Those project management indicators that
   •  are determined at the beginning of the project and listed in order of priority
   •  reflect directly on the key objectives of the project, and
   •  provide the basis for project management trade-off decisions during the course of the project
   And, after completion of the project:
   •  are most likely to result in acceptance of the project and its product by the project's stakeholders as being 'successful' in terms of 'customer' satisfaction, and
   •  can be measured in some way, at some time, on some scale.
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