Review - Factors related to project success, project manager competence, and Prince2 Method

This is a literature review sample on "Factors related to project success, project manager competence, and Prince2 method" submitted by a student from Australia. The sample is based on the subject of project management.

It will guide you on the aforementioned topic for sure. Students can take assignment help from in order to get perfect literature review, case study, or any other academic service.

Write a literature review on the following topic:
To understand factors related to project success, project manager competence, and Prince2 method.

1. Introduction

In this chapter, the researcher looks at materials pertaining to the leaders and project success factors to analyse the evolving concepts and theories.  The literature review also will require examination of theories on leadership, competency of a project manager, project success and Prince2 method.

2. Leadership

A Leader has been defined throughout history in various papers. Most of them defined leadership as behaviour and not a certain position. Barnard (1938) states, that manager undertake managerial functions along with emotional functions, which guide them to handle the organisational responsibilities. Presence of numerous schools of thoughts over leadership has defined leadership in various contexts. According to Dulewicz and Higgs (2005), leadership as a subject and trait of people has been studied more in comparison to many other areas of human behavior.
Higgs (2003) indicates six schools that have been identified on the leadership. They are Trait, Visionary, Behaviour, Contingency, Emotional Intelligence, and Competency. These factors have been brought after conjoining the competency and characteristics. Bass (1985) has reviewed various organisational changes and has brought into picture different sets of behaviour that are imperative for the successful transformations that take place periodically in organisations.
A multi-factor questionnaire prepared by Bass and Avolio (1995) tried to understand the leadership competencies that came to the conclusion that transformational leadership has more significance than the transactional, particularly when the organisation is undergoing any changes such as cultural or any other. Personality has also been defined as the criteria for effective skills (Hogan, 2002). Hogan states that the competency and personality combine together results into leaders who are suitable for various settings or situations. For instance, performing in a less complex environment than performing comparatively tough environment requires a different level of combination of personality and competency. This result asserts the findings of Bass (1990), where he identifies that certain leaders are suitable for a specific environment.
The level of the conjugation of personality and competency depends on individuals and rarely depends on the environment (Goffee and Jones, 2000). This school of thought can find similarity with the trait theory where it states that the leaders who are effective share almost similar characteristics. One of the effective points to ponder here is that the competency can be acquired by a leader however personality cannot be learned even after contemplative effort.
Goleman (1997) stated that personality and competency help in predicting the future scope of the advances that can be made by an individual in the field of effective leadership. He stated the competency in terms of EI (Emotional Intelligence). Moreover, he affirmed that EI   and IQ, both, are imperative for the effective and efficient growth of the individual as a leader.

3. Competency of a Project Manager

Rees eta al. (1996) identified that the six traits are important for the project managers to handle the projects effectively. They stated that the managers who perform their task effectively stay above average in their ability to handle problems. This identification of traits almost equals the ones stated by Dulewicz and Higgs (2005) that was referred to as competency.
Rees et al. (1996) found that motivation based trait, for instance, energy and ability to communicate effectively is also important for successful leaders. However, their studies do not reflect any proof over such an assertion. On the other hand, Andersen, Grude, and Haug (1987) states that the personal characters of managers are imperative for success. This coincides with Hogan (2002) where he describes personality as an important factor. Combining personality with competency at various level helps bring leaders of different characteristics. The combination helps in identification of the leaders who are suited for different project circumstances.
Bass (1990) asserts that there exist a various type of leadership characteristics. On one hand, few are suited for changing the environment, while few of the leaders are suited for the environments that are more stable. These types of conjugation of personalities are more individually oriented and, therefore, cannot be prescribed in general. As stated earlier, competencies are acquired and gradually, however, characteristics are inherent or are more stubborn to be changed within the due course of time.
According to Pinto and Trailer (1998), five characteristics that define a successful project manager. They are:
  1. Quality of being believable or trustworthy,
  2. Ability to solve problem creatively,
  3. Tolerant to the situations where things seem vaguer than clear,
  4. Flexibility in managing the whole project that includes the project planning and handling the human resources, and
  5. Ability to communicate effectively with the people within the project.
Pinto and Trailer (1998) also brought into picture a few of the skills that are required by project managers while handling a project effectively. They are:
  1. Ability to understand the technical side of the project,
  2. Ability to handle the administration of the whole project efficiently that requires preparing plan and budget for the project, and
  3. Ability to lead people through giving examples and sharing the vision of the whole project or of the company for which the project is meant to be.
However, both the researchers did not justify the proper link between these traits or characteristics from the practical instances. They mentioned these characteristics as an important virtue of an effective project manager.
On the other hand, research conducted by Crawford (2007), identified the competencies of a project manager to be the conjugation of understanding of the tasks, skills, and characteristics. He stated that these abilities lead to the appreciable results at the end of any projects. Also, he emphasizes that the success of a project is finely connected with the level of competence held by any particular project manager.
A competent project manager is one of the important factors for the success of a project. Crawford (2007) stated that the most critical factor that has been identified in the successful project is leadership as the characteristics of the project manager, and it has ranked at the top among other factors. One of the striking contrasts that have been asserted by Crawford (2007) is that leadership has ranked well for manager competency criteria, but it rarely ranked well when the success factors of projects are concerned.
Therefore, based on the aforementioned literature on the competency factors of project managers, it can be stated that leadership is one of the important factors that are crucial for any project manager. Another important aspect that should be considered is that leadership is not the only criteria that are important for the success of a project. Along with leadership quality, managers must be able to efficiently solve problems arising during the project management and should be flexible enough to adapt according to the changing environment.

4. Project Success and Manager

According to Pinto and Slevin (1988), factors that relate to the success of the project are rarely discussed. The Critical Success Factors (CSFs) are considered as the most important area that has become critical for any project in the contemporary period. Critical Success Factors help in conducting a proper assessment of the chance of success of any project. The recent decades have seen changes in the way the project success criteria were defined. Now the project success criteria have moved beyond just time and budget management.
The period of the 1970s saw the focus on time and budget, on the other side, the period of 1980s and 90s focus on the improvement of the quality within the project. However, the recent improvements have been seen in factors such as the satisfaction level of the stakeholders, and, the success of products (Baccarini, 1999). Few more factors are: (i) whether the organization and the firm are being benefited by the products that have been developed through the project, and (ii) whether the team needs any development while conducting the successful project (Atkinson, 1999).
In 1980 the intensification of the researches related to the factors for the success of the project. Few of the researchers (Baker, Murphy and Fisher, 1988; Pinto and Slevin, 1988; Morris, 1988) have identified some common success factors for the project. They are:
  1. Performance of the overall project,
  2. Whether the project is being managed under the stipulated time and budget,
  3. Achievement of the project on the commercial front.
The important point to consider here is that the mention of these factors does not include any explicit mention of the leadership as the character of project managers and whether they influence the success of any project or not. Andersen et al. (1987), indicates there are certain traps that do not allow the project to reach its intended success and generally works against the project and increases the count of failing. The traps that are mentioned relate to the planning, organising, and controlling of the whole project.
According to Baker et al. (1988), when the project amply satisfies its clients, the people who will use the product, and the people who were involved in the development of the project then it can be perceived as a successful project. The project should meet all technical areas that were specified for the project and achieves the stated mission without any delay. These researchers focused more on the planning parts of the project management and identified it as the most crucial factor of the project manager and shed little emphasis on the leadership criteria for the project success.
A study conducted by Pinto and Slevin (1988) specify that ten factors are important for the success of the project. They asserted that proper communication and ability to solve problems are the two most important criteria for the success of projects. However, they did not mention the leadership or skill of managing people as the factors that contribute to the success of the project. They are not even denied the importance of these factors. Moreover, they mentioned few more characteristics that are imperative for the project success and their absence might lead to unsuccessful projects. They are:
  1. Administrative capability of the project manager,
  2. Ability to manage people effectively and efficiently,
  3. Ability to influence people, and
  4. The ability to bring the whole team towards the achievement of the plan.
The researchers Lee-Kelley and Leong Loong (2003) stated that there exists a deep relation between the personal characteristics of the project manager and the ability of the project manager to perceive the success of the whole project. They asserted that the manager should be confident while handling the project and they should believe in themselves. These two are criteria are significant factors for the project manager while delivering a successful project to the clients.
The researcher Turner (1999) stated a method that can be applied to the project for successfully implementing the project. The elements that included are the human resource of the project, ability of the project manager to lead effectively, ability to coordinate the whole team, and building relationship with stakeholders. Turner describes that leadership is needed for the successful project and should be considered during the project strategy development. However, Cooke-Davies (2001) believes that even if the results of the project are clearly understood by the project manager and the team, and they are highly experienced in handling such projects, most of the time, the project results have been disappointingly poor for the stakeholders.
He stated that cost incurred on the project, time consumed, and the quality of the overall project results are the important factors for the success of the project. The research results brought by him did not identify the people part in the project management.  They did not mention about the leadership quality of the project managers that leads to the success of the overall project.
According to Jugdev and Muller (2005), these four situations that are imperative for the success of the project. However, these factors cannot be stated as sufficient for the success of the project. The four situations are:
  1. The project managers should understand the criteria that state the project to be successful and those criteria must be coordinated with the stakeholders.
  2. The relationship between the project managers, owners, and the team should be in proper collaboration.
  3. The project manager should have the ability to foresee the unexpected situations and act smartly to handle those without impacting the project.
  4. The people who own or sponsor the project must be interested in whether the project is performing as per the requirement.
A recent study conducted by Turner and Muller (2005) that was focused on understanding the competence of the project manager. Factors that contribute to the success of the project and leadership style that is imperative for project success. Most of the literature has rarely mentioned the impact of the competence and leadership style of the project manager on project success. These researchers stated that most of the researches have been conducted in the field of impact of the leadership style in the general management, but the impact of the leadership style of project managers on the project has been less focused.
However, it has been identified that leadership is important for the success criteria in the paper that has mentioned the success criteria of the project. Linda and Victor (2008) conducted a study on the contribution of the leadership contribution of the project manager to the success of the project, it states that leadership capability of the project manager profoundly impacts the success of the project.

5. Prince2 in the DOE Project Management

The previous sections dealt with the characteristics of project managers and criteria that define the success of the project. In this section, Prince2 will have to be taken into consideration to understand how the Department of Environment (DOE) manages the project and the criteria that are considered suitable for successful management.
Prince2 can be considered as an automated method that is applied by the UK government and most of the private sector companies in the project management (Prince2, 2015). There are few of the key features that are included in the Prince2 (Projects IN Controlled Environments). They are:
  1. Focusing on justifying the business properly,
  2. Defining the structure of the team that will be handling the project,
  3. Planning the project management keeping in purview the product that has to be designed or developed,
  4. Focusing on division of the project in a way that makes it more easier to manage and control, and
  5. Keeping flexibility in the project up to the extent that is feasible.
Prince2 employs certain methods that are suggestible to consider while understanding how the projects are managed under it. Prince2 methodology states that before delving into the required actions, it is imperative that the project managers and the stakeholders must understand the answer to certain questions. They are:
  1. Things project managers want to do,
  2. The date on which the project will be initialised,
  3. Material resources that are required for the successful completion of the project,
  4. People who will be important for the conduction of the project,
  5. The expected time period that has to be invested on the project for its completion, and,
  6. The total cost that has to be incurred on the project (Prince2, 2015).
Moreover, the Prince2 methodology states that the project must have three criteria for its effective completion (Prince2, 2015). They are:
  1. Initialisation of the project that is well-organised and under the control of the project manager and the stakeholders,
  2. Process that are involved throughout the project should be organized and under proper control, and
  3. The completion of the project should not leave any loose ends.
Prince2 has identified three stakeholders within a project. They are project managers, clients and the sponsors of the project (Prince2, 2015). As per the Prince2 methodology, the project managers help in the organization and control of the whole project. Project managers involved in the selection of the human resources who will be involved in the conduction of the project. The project managers develop the overall plan of the project and ensure that when the project should take off and the process that will be followed throughout the project.
The second stakeholders are the clients who will be using the product or service developed in the end. They are the people who will be impacted in the final. The third stakeholders are the Project board or the sponsors of the project. They can be the users of the project or the people who are supplying expertise in the handling of the project. Prince2 methodology states that all these stakeholders must be coordinated together for the successful completion of the project.
The Prince2 methodology states few of the management techniques that are imperative for the project success. They are project assurance and project support. Project assurance relates to the provision of independent communication on project progression. It ensures that the project keeps in the purview whether the project is moving ahead as planned and is within the specified costs and benefits. There are projects that require heavy financial allocation from the beginning (Esty an Matysiak, 2004).
The Prince2 methodology has majorly focused on public sector projects. There is various public sector investment programme which helps the government effectively plan and manage the various projects (White and Fortune, 2002). The financial resources that are procured by the project teams depend on the assessment completed by the government. One can observe the presence of numerous constraints related to the governmental projects and two of them are resource constraints and the issues in scheduling constraints.
If the investment of Anguilla is considered, it can be stated that the budget estimate has increased from the period of 2010 to 2014 (Government of Anguilla, 2016). There have been various achievements of the Anguilla’s government, namely, valley primary school, health services department, Library ICT Centre, and other major projects. The investment in the governmental projects requires prudent understanding and action (Akintoye et al, 2003). 

6. Conclusion

The literature review has identified certain characteristics of the project managers that are imperative for the success of the project. Some of them are:
  1. Leadership quality,
  2. Ability to communicate effectively within the team and with the stakeholders, and
  3. Ability to handle administrative tasks such as budgeting.
The Prince2 methodology of project management is employed by the Department of Environment (DOE) and most of the private organisations for the successful achievement of the project. The rest of the paper evaluates whether the projects that are externally funded by the Department of Environment (DOE) succeeds well or not. The success as defined by the literature review lies in two areas. They are:
  1. Successful implementation of Prince2 methodology, and,
  2. The characteristics of the project managers that contribute to the project success.

Place Order For A Top Grade Assignment Now

We have some amazing discount offers running for the students

Place Your Order

7. References

Akintoye, A., Hardcastle, C., Beck, M., Chinyio, E., & Asenova, D. (2003). Achieving best value in private finance initiative project procurement. Construction Management and Economics, 21(5), 461-470.
Andersen, E. S., Grude, K. V., & Haug, T. (1987). Goal-directed project management. London: Kogan Page/Coopers & Lybrand.
Baccarini, D. (1999). The logical framework method for determining critical success/failure factors in projects. International Journal of Project Management, 14, 141–151.
Baker, B., Murphy, D., & Fisher, D. (1988). Factors affecting project success. In D. I. Cleland & W. R. King (Eds.), Project management handbook (2nd ed., pp. 669–685). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
Barnard, C. I. (1938). The functions of the executive. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Bass, B. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York: The Free Press.
Bass, B. (1990). Bass and Stodghill handbook of leadership: Theory, research, and applications. New York: The Free Press.
Bass, B., & Avolio, B. (1995). The multifactor leadership questionnaire. Palo Alto, CA: Mind Garden.
Bennis, W. (1989). On becoming a leader. London: Hutchinson.
Cooke-Davies, T. (2001). The real project success factors. International Journal of Project Management, 20(3), 185–190.
Crawford, L. W. (2007). Developing the project management competence of individuals. In J. R. Turner (Ed.), Gower handbook of project management (4th ed., p. 678–694). Aldershot, UK: Gower Publishing.
Dulewicz, V., & Higgs, M. (2005). Assessing leadership dimensions, styles and organizational context. Journal of Managerial Psychology,20(2), 105–123.
Esty, B. C., & Matysiak, G. A. (2004). Modern project finance: A casebook. New York, NY: Wiley.
Goffee, R., & Jones, G. (2000). Why should anyone be led by you? Harvard Business Review, 78(5), 63–70.
Goleman, D. (1997). Beyond IQ: Developing the leadership competencies of emotional intelligence. Paper presented at the Second International Competency Conference, London.
Government of Anguilla,. (2016). Public Sector Investment Programme. Anguilla.
Higgs, M. (2003). Developments in leadership thinking. Organisational Development and Leadership Journal, 24, 273–284.
Hogan, R. (2002). Leadership: What do we know? Presentation for MDC, New Zealand.
Huchzermeier, A., & Loch, C. H. (2001). Project management under risk: Using the real options approach to evaluate flexibility in R… D. Management Science, 47(1), 85-101.
Jugdev, K., & Müller, R. (2005). A retrospective looks at our evolving understanding of project success. Project Management Journal, 36(4), 19–31.
Kotter, J. (1990). What leaders really do. Harvard Business Review, 68(3), 103–111.
Lee-Kelley, L., & Leong Loong, K. (2003). Turner’s five functions of project-based management and situational leadership in IT services projects. International Journal of Project Management, 21, 583–591.
Prince2,. "PRINCE2 Methodology | PRINCE2.Com". N.p., 2016. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.
Rees, D., Turner, R., & Tampoe, M. (1996). On being a manager and leader. In J. R. Turner, K. Grude, & L. Thurloway (Eds.), The project manager as change agent (pp. 99–115). Maidenhead, UK: McGraw-Hill.
Turner, J. R. (1999). The handbook of project-based management: Improving the processes for achieving
strategic objectives. London: McGrawHill.
Turner, J. R., & Müller, R. (2005). The project manager’s leadership style as a success factor on projects: A literature review. Project Management Journal, 36(2), 49–61.
White, D., & Fortune, J. (2002). Current practice in project management—An empirical study. International journal of project management, 20(1), 1-11.

Did you like it?

The sample given above is submitted by a student. You can request a higher quality assignment from us through our Order Now form. If you have liked the sample and want help with assignments of project management then bookmark us in your computer. has professional writers who will provide immediate assistance to students who are failing to complete their academic work. Our writers have got efficiency and knowledge to help student in every academic subject. Therefore, if you are struggling in your academics and want to improve your score, take help from us.

Get Quality Assignment Without Paying Upfront

Hire World's #1 Assignment Help Company

Place Your Order