Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Project success

Williams, Terry M.



Knut Samset

Gro Holst Volden


This chapter looks at the academic background to this question, dividing the idea of success into strategic and tactical success. It looks at the various paradoxes that accompany major public projects as criteria for success are developed. The combination of disparate measures calculated in terms of finance raises a number of issues, such as the accounting conventions used, interest rates, how to evaluate through-the-life impact of a project and so on. However, the emphasis on the strategic aims of the project often dissipates once funding has been granted and eyes external to the department have been taken off the project. At the highest level, in many jurisdictions, projects are undertaken by a separate body to the government department. Public opinion can be fickle, and the mood on particular investments is affected by media reporting. At the most basic level, the people have distinguished between tactical project management efficiency success and strategic project output effectiveness success.


Williams, T. M. (2022). Project success. In T. M. Williams, K. Samset, & G. Holst Volden (Eds.), The Front-end of Large Public Projects: Paradoxes and Ways Ahead (10-42). London: Taylor & Francis (Routledge).

Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Nov 28, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 9, 2022
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Pages 10-42
Book Title The Front-end of Large Public Projects: Paradoxes and Ways Ahead
Chapter Number 2
ISBN 9781000609547; 9781032189727
Public URL


Published chapter (484 Kb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
© 2022 selection and editorial matter, Terry M. Williams, Knut<br /> Samset and Gro Holst Volden; individual chapters, the contributors.<br /> <br /> The right of Terry M. Williams, Knut Samset and Gro Holst Volden to<br /> be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors<br /> for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with<br /> sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations