Public project success factors


Let’s talk about public projects!


By Stanisław Gasik

Warsaw, Poland


In the previous PM World Journal article (Gasik, 2024), we examined the concept of public project success criteria. When can a project be deemed successful? We differentiated between two sets of criteria: performance-related and parallel. The next question concerning project success is: how do you execute projects to ensure they are successful? What factors impact the attainment of success? Answering this question is equivalent to defining the success factors of a public project. A simple model illustrating the relations between projects, their success factors, and success criteria is depicted in Figure 1.

Figure 1. General project success model

Public projects are conducted within a complex environment involving various stakeholders such as executing companies, institutions overseeing the work, the public, or government entities – to highlight the primary groups. In reality, any stakeholder, by definition, possesses the ability to influence project implementation and thus its success. Furthermore, any well-executed action within a project can contribute to its success, whereas poor execution can lead to problems and ultimately failure.

It’s important to recognize that the success of a project isn’t solely dependent on the actions of its team and the organizational hierarchy above it. Factors beyond the project team’s control, such as fluctuating product prices or weather changes, can significantly impact success. Thus, it’s possible to differentiate between internal and external success factors affecting the project.

All of this underscores the complexity involved in defining (success criteria) and achieving (success factors) project success.


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Editor’s note: This article series is related to the management of public programs and projects, those organized, financed and managed by governments and public officials.  The author, Dr. Stanisław Gasik, is the author of the book “Projects, Government, and Public Policy”, recently published by CRC Press / Taylor and Francis Group.  That book and these articles are based on Dr. Gasik’s research into governmental project management around the world over the last decade.  Stanisław is well-known and respected by PMWJ editors; we welcome and support his efforts to share knowledge that can help governments worldwide achieve their most important initiatives.

How to cite this paper: Gasik, S. (2024). Public project success factors, Let’s talk about public projects, series article, PM World Journal, Volume XIII, Issue III, March. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/pmwj139-Mar2024-Gasik-Public-Projects-Success-Factors.pdf

 About the Author

Stanisław Gasik, PhD, PMP

Warsaw, Poland


Dr. Stanisław Gasik, PMP is a project management expert. He graduated from the University of Warsaw, Poland, with M. Sc. in mathematics and Ph. D. in organization sciences (with a specialty in project management). Stanisław has over 30 years of experience in project management, consulting, teaching, and implementing PM organizational solutions. His professional and research interests include project knowledge management, portfolio management, and project management maturity. He is the author of the only holistic model of project knowledge management spanning from the individual to the global level.

Since 2013, his main professional focus has been on public projects. He was an expert in project management at the Governmental Accountability Office, an institution of the US Congress. He is the author of “Projects, Government, and Public Policy,” a book that systematizes knowledge about government activities in the area of project management.

He was a significant contributor to PMI’s PMBOK® Guide and PMI Standard for Program Management and contributed to other PMI standards. He has lectured at global PMI and IPMA congresses and other international conferences.

His web page is www.gpm3.eu.

To view other works by Dr. Gasik, please visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/stanislaw-gasik-phd-pmp/