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Differentiate Between Success Criteria, Success Factors, KPIs

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 19th February 2012

FAO Paul Naybour

Hi Paul,

Can you offer some feedback to the below please?

Success criteria are those things identified by stakeholders e.g. sponsors and end users,  that must be achieved in order for the project to be a success. Examples include; finishing the project on time, finishing the project with no SHE incidents or delivering the benefits at 10% less than budget.


Success factors are factors that when present in a project environment are conducive to the achievement of a successful project. Examples include a capable principal contractor with experience and resource, a strong supply chain able to support all facets of the procurement strategy or an intelligent client who favours a partnership approach to project management rather than adversarial.


Key Performance Indicators are measures of success that include time scales and should be used through the project’s life to ensure it is progressing to a successful conclusion. Examples include; the speed with which a façade is placed onto a building, the metrics that support achievement of SHE culture e.g. near misses, RIDDOR events etc, project expenditure against plan.