http://pmtips.net/strategic-planning-success-factors-part-1-intro/ Source, Egeland. B, July, 2011

Alternative name(s)

Unique Characteristic, Necessary Ingredient, Heuristic Tool.


For a project to attain success depends on the performance of the individual on their given tasks, for example, Engineer, Planner, Contractor or Operator, the expectations from the performance may vary from each participant in the project. The success factors that are considered to be vital are derived from the Integrated 'Building Process Model' developed at Penn State University by Sanvido et al (1990). There are reviews being made on both failures and successes in the literature which will be advantageous in identifying the potential success factors in Agile software development projects, since failures can add to understanding on how to stay away from such dangers that are important to the success of a project (Sanvido et al,1992).
Agile values

In order to better understand critical success factors in Agile, there are seven critical success factors regarding the simplest potential answer and this value involves XP resources (Alleman, 2002). 1) the Big Picture, 2) Cooperation with Customers, 3) Establishing a Basis of Core Agile Practices, 4) Adopting the Whole Team Approach, 5) Applying an Agile Testing Mindset, 6) Automating Recovery testing and, 7) Providing and Gaining Feedback (Agileee, 2009).

Agile principles

The stakeholders commence examining the requirements in a development process. Generally, each project will experience changes, thus stakeholders possibly vary their requirements or opinions during the project leading to project stakeholders changing the objectives and significant criteria of the project. Well and Williams (2002) highlighted that these variances are the element of an ERP project. Furthermore, Kumar et al (2006) argued that success factors in Agile software development covers Organisation Factors, Human Factors and Technical Factors. With respect to organizational factors, it comprises decision time, client commitment and project team distribution. In terms of human resource factors, success of Agile software development projects typically rely on the people performances (Kumar et al, 2006). Eventually, “technical factors involve requirements, development and testing” (Kumar et al, 2006).

Agile practices

Beck (2010) emphasizes that there are seven practical success factors to adoption of the Scrum methodology. Firstly, on the basis of the Scrum principles, it includes open, early and regular delivering. Secondly, "We do Scrum in order to deliver a better product in a more efficient way. Scrum should help us reach project goals in less time and with lesser costs” (Beck, 2010). Thirdly, owning the project pioneer and paying out 100 percent dedication to the project team (Beck, 2010). Fourthly, a Scrum sponsor should possess a significant impact on the organisation. Fifthly, middle management would generate the largest obstruction to use of Scrum methodology (Beck, 2010). Additionally, Beck (2010) pointed out that it is necessary to explain the new rules and regulations to project team members before they commence applying Scrum. Eventually, Scrum helps the project team to create outstanding goods, and it is necessary for organisation to obtain a great marketing in the next (Beck, 2010).


Mansor et al (2011) deemed that software development methodology plays a crucial role in estimating cost process, traditional methods such as Waterfall offer different processes by comparison to the Agile methodology. In terms of traditional software development methods, Waterfall has advantages of a straightforward methodical and structured nature, and predictability. However, its weaknesses are a slow adaptation to rapidly changing business requirements and a tendency to be behind schedule. Mansor et al (2011) also stated that success factors in Agile cost estimation become simpler and easier. Particularly, most researchers pointed out that Agile offers simple steps and much easier by comparison than traditional methods. Additionally Agile includes more customer or user involvement, earlier testing, rapid delivery, and active requirements (Mansor et al, 2011).
There is literature reflecting success in IT projects which are dependent on a extensive range of critical factors, which are complicated to measure and normalise and present themselves in changing levels among projects. In addition, along with this there are queries concerning whether traditional way of project management is useful in dynamic and unpredictable environments, predominantly for IT projects. However Agile project management methodology is considered to be useful by techniques it provides to deal with project unpredictability and dynamic environments over traditional techniques (Doherty, 2011).

Links from this KA to other KAs

If a project is personalised to take in more functionality, then time, cost and quality aspects (triple constraint) it is certain that there will be changes in the scope. However there are knowledge areas that maintain support to project success factors, although are not considered as foundational. Finally what links these knowledge areas are as follows (Project Scope Management, Life Cycle Management, Project Quality Management, Project Cost Management) jointly synchronises all parts of a project . Taking baby steps can also enhance the chances of success.


Agileee. (2009) Seven Key Success Factors for Agile Testing Success. Available at: http://www.slideshare.net/agileee/seven-key-success-factors-for-agile-testing-success [Accessed: 23 February, 2013].

Alleman, G., B. (2002). Agile Project Management Methods for ERP: How to Apply agile Processes to Complex Costs, Projects and Live to Tell About It. Available at: http://www.itu.dk/~oladjones/semester%203/advanced%20it%20mgt%20and%20software%20engineering/project/materials/Agile%20Project%20Management [Accessed: 22 February, 2013].
Beck, P. (2010) 7 Practices for the Effective Implementation of Scrum. Available at: http://p-a-m.org/2010/01/119/ [Accessed: 24 February, 2013].

Kumar, U., Kuman, V. & Misra, S.C. (2006) Success Factors of Agile Software Development. Available at: http://ww1.ucmss.com/books/LFS/CSREA2006/SER5088.pdf [Accessed: 24 February, 2013].
Mansor, Z., Yahya,S. & Arshad, N. H. H. (2011) Review on Traditional and Agile Cost Estimation Success Factor in Software Development Project. International Journal on New Computer Architectures and Their Applications. 1(3). pp. 942-952.

Sanvido, V., Grobler, F., Parfitt, K., Guvenis, M. & Coyle, M. (1992) Critical Success Factors for Construction Projects. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management Projects. 118(1) March. pp.94-111.

External links

http://www.danube.com/docs/Intro_to_Agile.pdf An Introduction to Agile Software Development

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?reload=true&arnumber=1609817 Early Community Building: A Critical Success Factor for XP Projects

http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1363634 A Survey Study of Critical Success Factors in Agile Software Projects