Success Factors in Project Management and Their Relevance for Corporate Development

Research Paper (undergraduate), 2010

54 Pages, Grade: 1,3


Table of contents


Table of contents

List of figures

List of tables

List of abbreviations

1. Abstract

2. Introduction
2.1 Problem statement
2.2 Objective
2.3 Procedure
2.4 Definitions of terms

3. Basics of project management
3.1 Definition "Project"
3.2 Types
3.3 Tasks and goals of project management
3.3.1 Project efficiency
3.3.2 Project effectiveness
3.4 Project organization types
3.4.1 Influence project organization
3.4.2 Pure project organization
3.4.3 Matrix organization
3.4.4 Selection of the appropriate organizational model
3.5 Process models
3.5.1 Waterfall
3.5.2 V-Model
3.5.3 Prototyping approach
3.5.4 Agile project management
3.6 Project management skills
3.6.1 Expertise
3.6.2 Methodological competence
3.6.3 Organizational competence
3.6.4 Social competence

4. Management of projects
4.1 Project start
4.1.1 Formulation/creation of the project order
4.1.2 Project environment analysis/stakeholder analysis
4.1.3 Planning/adaptation of the project management system
4.1.4 Kick-Off Meeting
4.2 Project objectives
4.3 Project risks and opportunities
4.3.1 Risk definition
4.3.2 Classification of project risks and opportunities
4.3.3 Risk management phases
4.3.4 Acceptance of risk and opportunity management
4.4 Project planning
4.4.1 Tasks and processes of project planning
4.4.2 Work breakdown structure
4.4.3 Schedule
4.4.4 Project resource Plan
4.4.5 Project cost plan
4.5 Project implementation – managing the project
4.5.1 Project information management
4.5.2 Change and configuration management
4.5.3 Contract and receivables management
4.6 Project controlling and -reporting
4.7 Completion
4.8 Accompanying processes in project management
4.8.1 Quality management
4.8.2 Risk management
4.9 Soft skills in project management
4.10 Tailoring – Project management for small projects
4.11 Support from top management

5. Multi-project management – management through projects
5.1 Program management and multi-project management
5.2 Corporate development through projects – selection and strategy
5.3 Operational multi-project management

6. Final consideration and appreciation




Projects and project management have played a not inconsiderable role in some stages of my professional career.

Therefore, I have taken up this topic with particular interest, as it correlates with my previous professional experience, mainly in the field of technology, as a graduate engineer and GPM-certified project manager in the fields of development, technical planning and product management and thus this elaboration combines the newly acquired business knowledge with the already existing technical knowledge.

Munich, 11.03.2010 Anton Deiring

List of figures

fig. 1: Significance of the start of the project for the further course of the project

fig. 2: Magic triangle of project management

fig. 3: Standard strategies for risk provisioning

fig. 4: Milestone Trend Analysis (MTA)

fig. 5: Relationship corporate strategy, strategic and operational project management

List of tables

Tab. 1: Advanced stakeholder analysis

Tab. 2: Risk and opportunity groups in projects

Tab. 3: Risk/opportunity assessment table

List of abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1. Abstract

The aim of this study paper is to show how – from a scientific point of view – projects should be planned and implemented so that the failures that often occur in practice can be avoided. The company's success can thus be increased by significantly increasing the number of successful projects. In addition, by promoting the project culture in the company and by designing the corporate strategy accordingly, the company's development can be further improved.

First, it is explained what is understood as a project in modern economic life – both from a business and a technical point of view – and what the tasks of project management are. It is already clear which projects are not a project and should therefore be rejected from a project management point of view in order to avoid project failures right from the start.

After these requirements have been clarified, the comprehensive and correct implementation of project management for a project in all important facets is shown. All essential steps of a correct project implementation in the correct time sequence are presented. By comparing this approach with failed projects, the reason for the failure can often be easily and quickly identified. The "doing the things right", i.e. the correct management of projects, is shown. It also deals with differences in the internationally distributed project management methods.

Based on this, a next step will be to describe how multi-project management should be carried out sensibly with a large number of parallel projects in a company and integrated into the corporate strategy. In this way, the company's development can be shaped by projects via management.

2. Introduction

Projects play a major role in today's corporate landscape – both private and public. The number of projects, at least colloquially called "projects", also seems to be constantly increasing. It is no coincidence that one speaks of "projectitis", in which many projects are redefined into projects indiscriminately (Schelle et al. 2005, page 422).

Despite this apparently so important role of projects and thus of project management, a large number of projects are not successful. In the annual CHAOS Summary Report of the Standish Group, it was determined for the year 2009 that only 32% of the IT projects examined were successfully completed. 44% of the projects partially missed the project targets either because of significant delays or cost overruns or because the agreed range of functions could not be met. The remaining 24% of these projects were complete failures, either not completed or delivered to the customer, but not deployed there. The unalying figures of previous years were thus still undershot (see Annex 0). But not only in the IT sector, but also in many other areas, projects with poor results can often be observed. Examples include public construction projects in Bremerhafen (Klimahaus), Munich (new construction of the small Olympic Hall) or Augsburg (underpass at the main station) with cost overruns of 45% to 80% (Bund der Steuerzahler, 2009, S44 ff).

2.1 Problem statement

The project evaluations listed here exemplify the problem:

- in the realization of projects, mistakes are often made
- the project results do not meet expectations.

The topic of project management is by no means new. It has been treated scientifically for a long time and there are many studies and corresponding literature on this field. Nevertheless, the expected improvements are not observed in general (see above).

2.2 Objective

In this study paper, the following will be presented:

- According to the current scientific point of view, what makes a meaningful project management?
- What are important factors to consider for successful project management?
- From a scientific point of view, where are the sources of error?
- Where are possible reasons for failures and which strategies are effective?

Furthermore, the current developments in the field of project management, its increasing importance in the modern corporate landscape and its embedding in the entire corporate structure will be presented.

2.3 Procedure

In a first step, the terms project and project management are defined from a current scientific point of view and their characteristics are worked out. Afterwards, the different process models and their areas of application are presented.

Based on this, the management of projects, i.e. operational project management, is dealt with. The basic approach to project management of a single project is presented with the appropriate steps. Reference is made to sensible variants, but also to possible sources of error.

Based on this management of projects, the management is presented through projects, i.e. multi-project management and its integration into the corporate landscape.

2.4 Definitions of terms

In addition to the universities, project management is promoted and promoted internationally by three main organisations, GPM/IPMA, PMI and PRINCE2. All three organizations also carry out their own certifications as project managers at different levels with corresponding examinations. In addition to many similarities, there are differences in the focal points and also in the terminology. In accordance with the importance of the Gesellschaft für Projektmanagement (GPM) in Germany, the national German representation of IPMA, the procedure and terms of the GPM are preferred in this student thesis.

3. Basics of project management

In order to create a solid basis for the topic of project management, to exclude possible misunderstandings or misinterpretations and thus to create an equal understanding of the project management topics, it is important to clarify or describe the basic concepts clearly.

3.1 Definition "Project"

The term "project" is used in today's world for many projects and activities. However, much of it has no relevance to the topic of project management. Therefore, the definition of the term "project" in connection with project management is of great importance. This is also proven by the many approaches in the literature, which, however, do not come to a clear conclusion.

The Latin origin of the word proiectum (translated "the thrown forward") already shows some basic features of projects such as target setting, uniqueness or time limit.

Wöhe sees this topic as "... complex tasks (= projects), which are essentially characterized by novelty, uniqueness and importance for the entire company." (Wöhe 2008, p.128). However, this does not yet cover all the characteristics of a project. Further is the characterization of the IPMA in the basic document ICB (IPMA Competence Baseline), which is valid for the certifications. Here, projects with the characteristics uniqueness, complexity, exceptionality, novelty and interdisciplinarity of the task are described (Caupin et al. 1999, p. 3).

However, these characteristics still do not define projects sufficiently. The criterion of measurability alone is not given for all these properties and other properties are missing.

Furthermore, engineers have defined the project concept within the framework of the DIN standards. Accordingly, a project is understood to mean "a project which is in the Essentially characterized by the uniqueness of the conditions in their entirety, such as e.B.

- Target
- time, financial, personnel and other limits,
- demarcation from other projects,
- project-specific organization." (DIN 69901:2009-01).

From a business perspective, scientific publications often mention features such as uniqueness, complexity, novelty, specific organization, target and time limit (e.g. Beck 1996, p.42ff.).

Summing up these views, a project can be described by the following characteristics:

- Defined goal (at the start of the project)
- Defined duration (start and end fixed)
- Limited resources
- interdisciplinary
- Defined responsibility for results
- Complex project
- Novel/innovative
- uniqueness

The boundary conditions could also be the existence of a project-specific organization and the differentiation from day-to-day business.

These features define the magic triangle of project management, consisting of:

- Scope
- time
- budget

In addition, the sub-points of the scope can be added:

- Quality and consequently
- customer satisfaction

3.2 Types

While in former times project management was mainly seen from a technical point of view, today the world of projects has become very diverse. One possibility for classification would be e.B. the classification according to project content, ratio of client to contractor and tasks of projects (Bea et al. 2008, p. 33). With the subdivision of these classes into subgroups, projects can be very finely divided, but this division does not necessarily support project management and management in practice.

Therefore, in the ICB, the IPMA, in addition to the distinction between internal and external client, is used to deal with the objects that are to be created in the respective project. This results in the following subdivision:


(Construction, procurement or commissioning of large tangible assets, such as.B buildings, power plants or production lines)

Organizational projects

(Creation or modification of structure or process organization structures, e.B. to improve performance, to merge previously independent units or to introduce new IT systems)

R&D Projects

(Development of new knowledge and skills or product designs with improved properties such as.B higher performance, optimized cost-effectiveness or more modern design) (Schelle et al. 2007, p.36 f)

R&D projects and organizational projects differ from investment projects in terms of project management in that project progress in investment projects can usually be easily measured (see also 4.6).

As a more common feature of organizational projects, it can be noted that not only the group of people who act in the project can be affected, but also other parts of the company (e.B. rationalized work steps and tasks through changed or optimized workflows). Since the parts of the company affected by the project result fear actual or individually perceived disadvantages, there can often be clear resistance to the project team in such organizational projects.

Within the class of R&D projects, software projects have other special features. First of all, the frequently occurring difficulty in measuring the achievement of the goal (e.B. user interface and/or user-friendliness) and especially the control of the project progress should be mentioned (see also 4.6). In addition, as the name implies, software products are highly malleable, which can lead to relatively frequent changes during the development process. This in turn requires significantly stronger requirements for change and configuration management (see also 4.5.2).

3.3 Tasks and goals of project management

Starting from the historical development of project management – starting with the ancient large-scale projects (e.B. Colosseum in Rome) through the industrial revolution to the current development and production projects – project management can initially be understood as an essentially unique processing and control methodology.

Due to current economic developments such as globalization, increasing mechanization combined with rapid change, project management is increasingly gaining strategic character. For this reason, it is lt. Bea necessary to interpret project management in the context of corporate management and to consider it as a leadership concept. This means, also in view of the ever-increasing proportions of turnover that are handled by projects, that tasks, methods and goals of project management must be linked to the strategic development of the company (Bea et al. 2008, p. 5 ff.). The focus on the handling of a single project is therefore no longer sufficient, a more comprehensive management approach is necessary. This is all the more true the greater the share of projects in the company's turnover. This also makes it clear that the traditionally strong engineering approach of project management, which remains valid, must be extended by a business management approach.

In this context, the goals of project management are also to consider and distinguish between the terms effectiveness and efficiency.

Efficiency ("doing the projects right") is the criterion for operational actions, i.e. refers to the ratio of current output to current input in the implementation of operational planning. This is the classic field of the project manager. Effectiveness ("doing the right projects") is about the strategic line, i.e. the ratio of current to desired output. This is the task of the company management or the portfolio board or the program management (see also 5.1) (Lomnitz 2001, p.22).

For a holistic project management approach, attention should be paid equally to efficient and effective processing. This can be achieved by using project management as a leadership concept (Bea et al. 2008, p. 658 ff.).

3.3.1 Project efficiency

Project efficiency is a top priority in the operational implementation of a project to ensure economic efficiency. The basis of existence of the project itself is not considered.

From this operational point of view, two main tasks arise:

Execution of target-actual comparisons

The project objectives result in the target variables, which are then incorporated into the project planning. For the implementation of a project, the three target dimensions "cost", "time" and "performance" (expressed in terms of quality and/or quantity factor depending on the project) play an important role. They reflect the expectations of the stakeholders and are closely related to each other. (see 4.2).

Execution of target-will comparisons

In the plan progress control, the (intermediate) goals predicted on the basis of empirical values are compared with the real project results from the beginning of the project in order to initiate corrective measures in good time in the event of deviations (see 4.6) (Bea et al. 2008, p. 7 ff.).

3.3.2 Project effectiveness

Project effectiveness includes the question of whether the current and planned projects contribute to the fulfilment of the planned corporate goals. In relation to the current project, it therefore includes the regular examination of whether this project sufficiently serves to achieve the company's objectives.

The consideration of project effectiveness as a strategic component of project management includes the following tasks (Bea et al. 2008, p.8):

- Selection of projects
- Decisions on the continuation or termination of current projects
- Analysis of completed projects

3.4 Project organization types

Project management, as stated in the definition of project management, requires the existence of its own specific (project) organization.

Thus, it also applies to a project organization that it:

- is a system of rules created by the company,
- to pursue common goals,
- in which order, however, can also arise by itself (Bea et al. 2006, p. 8).

The project organization includes both the organizational structure, in which the tasks and necessary competences are distributed, as well as the process organization, which includes the project phases and the processes behind them.

Wöhe lists the following forms of organization as possible types of project organization:

Collegial solution

(regular meetings of responsible persons to vote on the initiated and responsible project steps)

Staff Unit

(Development of a project plan by a staff unit as project manager; the possible decision on implementation is then carried out by the unit concerned)

Matrix solution on time

(the project manager acts as division head and coordinates the project implementation with the functional area managers)

Independent organisational unit on a temporary site

(the project manager plans the project and is responsible for the realization; the functional area managers delegate suitable employees for the specified project duration to the project manager, who thus also receives authority to issue instructions) (Wöhe 2008, p. 128, fig. 63).

More practical, closer to the project definition and more detailed is the description in the ICB with a division into the following 3 basic forms of organization:

- Influence (= staff) project organization
- Pure (= autonomous) project organization
- Matrix organization (Caupin et al. 1999, p. 44)

3.4.1 Influence project organization

In the influence project organization, the project manager has only one staff function, i.e. no authority to issue instructions, but only coordination powers. Only through his professional authority and appropriate negotiating skills does he exert his influence to drive the project forward in a targeted manner. He cannot make important project decisions, but only acts as an advisory to the decision-makers (in general, the company or divisional management). Thus, he is not responsible for the project result, project date or project costs. This type of organisation is usually chosen for feasibility studies of large projects or for preliminary projects.

3.4.2 Pure project organization

The pure project organization acts as a completely autonomous organization independent of the other line units. The project manager is responsible for achieving the project result as well as for meeting project deadlines and project costs. Usually, this type of organization is chosen for very large or long-term projects. As an extreme form, this form of organization is used in project companies (i.e. project-specific "single-purpose companies"). This form of organization also entails major organizational changes in the line.

3.4.3 Matrix organization

In a project matrix organization, the project manager has access to the resources allocated to the project from the respective departments. The project manager has the power to decide on the "what", "when" and "where", while the responsibility over the "who", "how" and "with what" remains in the specialist departments. The project manager has responsibility for results as well as deadlines and costs. However, he has no personnel responsibility, as the project staff remain in the line organization. This type of organization is the most common form of project organization and is suitable for both small and large projects. However, the matrix organization requires a high degree of communication and can in practice, in the event of a lack of demarcation and decision-making power of the project management – due to conflicting goals and self-interest between the specialist department and the project management – quickly lead to uncertainty and demotivation among the employees, which may endanger the success of the project (Gemünden/Lechler. 1998, p. 8).

3.4.4 Selection of the appropriate organizational model

There is no such thing as the right form of organisation for everything. According to the "situational approach" of organizational theory (Kieser/Walgenbach 2007, p.215), the current situation determines the organizational model to be recommended. This means that for each project - taking into account the prevailing framework conditions in the realization period - the most promising model for achieving the company's goals should be chosen. The choice and correct design of the project organization, which takes into account the peculiarities of the respective project, must be carried out with care, since the design of the organization of a project according to Madauss is of decisive importance for its success. Many projects fail not because of the lack of professional competence of the project staff, but because of the organizational confusion (Madauss 2000, p.86). Thus, the correct organizational design of the project is one of the important success factors in project management.

3.5 Process models

The project process organization is determined by the predetermined or yet to be determined process model.

A process organization can be defined as the "spatio-temporal structuring of processes" (Bea/Göbel 2008, p. 343). The processes are defined as "contiguous sequence of activities that generate customer benefit" (Bea/Göbel 2008, p. 414).

A process organization is realized in two steps. First, a project phase plan defines a rough phase sequence with the most important work steps. Based on this, the detailed scheduling of the tasks to be completed (usually with a network plan) takes place in the project planning phase (Bea et al. 2008, p. 69).

According to the DIN standard, a phase plan divides the procedure of those involved in the project into individual, as complete as possible logical work steps. Each phase is completed by reaching a milestone. A milestone is according to this DIN standard a "Event of special significance". Milestones are characterized by specific, planned project results and a planned date, but do not have a duration (DIN 69900:2009-01).

In its simplest form, a project can be divided into the 3 phases:

- project triggering
- project planning
- oroject monitoring and control (project controlling) (van Geldern 2000, p.192 ff.)

Another, very general phase model also includes the use of the project result (useful e.B. in organizational projects, commissioning of large-scale technical plants, etc.) and consists of the following phases:

- Conception phase
- Definition phase
- Realization phase
- Use phase (Rinza 1998, p.44)

In addition to these general phase models, there are much more detailed process models in the IT industry. The best-known representatives of these sometimes controversially discussed process models are:

3.5.1 Waterfall

This very common model is based on the principle that the (software) modules are developed in several phases, which are to be run through strictly sequentially. Each phase is accurately documented and tested completed.

3.5.2 V-Model

The V-model is an extension of the waterfall model and was initially developed for the Bundeswehr and the federal authorities.

It consists of the following 4 submodels:

- PM (project management model)
- QA (quality assurance model)
- SE (System Creation Model)
- KM (configuration management model)

According to the current project situation, it can be adapted to the respective requirements ("tailoring").

3.5.3 Prototyping approach

As a criticism of the rigid waterfall model, the prototyping approach was developed. This approach takes into account that, especially in the software sector, on the one hand the exact requirements are not known precisely enough, but on the other hand the most suitable implementation variants are not yet known.


Excerpt out of 54 pages


Success Factors in Project Management and Their Relevance for Corporate Development
Steinbeis University Berlin  (Institut eBusiness & Management)
Business Administration
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
success, factors, project, management, their, relevance, corporate, development
Quote paper
Anton Deiring (Author), 2010, Success Factors in Project Management and Their Relevance for Corporate Development, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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