Principal Success Drivers

The first study of PSD was based on a large sample of British firms and their efforts at implementing new technologies (Morris 1983). The key concept derived from this study was the breakdown of implementation process into a life cycle comprising four stages: 1) team formation, 2) build-up, 3) main phase, 4) closeout. Among the behavioral factors examined by the study were personal motivation, top management support, team motivation, clear objectives, client support, technical issues, and financial concerns. The results of the study, as shown in the table, demonstrate three important points. First, the relative importance of the various Critical Success Factor changes as the implementation effort proceeds through its life cycle. For example, at stage one, team formation, the most important factors are personal motivation and top management support. However, by the time the implementation process is in its closeout stage, personal and team motivation become the most important factors affecting the success of the project.

Principal Succes Drivers

PSD (in order of appearance)

Personal Ambition
Top Management Support
Team Motivation
Clear Objectives
Technological Advantage

Team Motivation
Personal Motivation
Top Management Support
Technical Expertise

Main Phase
Team Motivation
Personal Motivation
Client Support
Top Management Support

Personal Motivation
Team Motivation
Top Management Support
Financial Support

Critical Success Factors (CSF)

There is a growing body of project management literature that focuses on implementation CSF. However, in many cases, project management prescriptions and process frameworks are theoretically based rather than empirically proven. That is, the evidence supporting these sets of factors often comprises  anecdotal, single-case studies, or they are theory derived rather that empirical. While sometimes there exists strong intuitive evidence supporting the conceptual frameworks of the project management process, there is relatively little empirical basis for the resulting models and theories of project management and implementation. From Pinto and Slevin's research and development of ten-factor model (1987), examining over four hundred projects varying greatly in terms of basic characteristics, however, we can begin to explore how these factors offer new insights into the managerial nature of project CSF.

1. Project Mission

Initial clearly defined goals and general directions.

2. Top Management Support

Willingness of top management to provide the necessary resources and authority/power for implementation success.

3. Schedule/Plans

Detailed specification of the individual action steps for system implementation.

4. Client Consultation

Communications, consultation. and active listening to all parties impacted by the proposed information system.

5. Personnel

Recruitment, selection, and training of the necessary personnel for the implementation project team.

6. Technical Tasks

Availability of the required technology and expertise to accomplish the specific technical action steps to bring the information system online.

7. Client Acceptance

Act of selling the final product to its ultimate intended users.

8. Monitoring and Feedback

Timely provision of comprehensive control information at each stage in the implementation process.

9. Communication

Provision of an appropriate network and necessary data to all key actors in the information system implementation process.

10. Troubleshooting

Ability to handle unexpected crises and deviations from plan.