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South African Journal of Industrial Engineering

versão On-line ISSN 2224-7890
versão impressa ISSN 1012-277X

S. Afr. J. Ind. Eng. vol.22 no.1 Pretoria  2011


Defining 'project success' for a complex project - The case of a nuclear engineering development



S.I. van NiekerkI, II;H. SteynII

IPebble Bed Modular Reactor, Centurion, South Africa
IIGraduate School of Technology Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa.




The case of a nuclear engineering project was investigated to establish the relevant success criteria for the development of complex, high-technology systems. The project was first categorised according to an existing scheme, and the Delphi method was used to determine the criteria for project success that apply to this specific case. A framework of project success dimensions was extended to include criteria that are of specific importance for the project under consideration.
While project efficiency (delivery on time and within budget) obviously still needs to be controlled, the results provide empirical evidence for the notion that, for 'super high tech' projects, this is relatively less important. The relative importance of the dimensions of success was also evaluated and presented on a timeline stretching from project execution to 10 years after project completion. This provided empirical evidence for certain concepts in the literature.


Die geval van 'n kern-ingenieursprojek is ondersoek om die relevante kriteria vir sukses vir die ontwikkeling van komplekse hoë-tegnologiesisteme te bepaal. Die projek is eerstens geklassifiseer volgens n bestaande skema, en die Delphi-metode is vervolgens gebruik om die relevante kriteria vir projeksukses vir die betrokke geval te bepaal. n Bestaande raamwerk van dimensies vir projeksukses is uitgebrei om kriteria wat van spesifieke belang vir die betrokke geval in te sluit.
Terwyl tydige aflewering, binne begroting natuurlik steeds belangrik is, voorsien die resultate empiriese bewys vir die nosie in die literatuur dat hierdie aspekte van relatief minder belang is in die geval van 'super hoë-tegnologie'-projekte. Die relatiewe belangrikheid van die dimensies van sukses is ook evalueer, en aangedui op n tydlyn wat strek van projekuitvoering tot 10 jaar na die afhandeling van die projek. Dit lewer empiriese bewys vir sekere bewerings in die literatuur.



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* Corresponding author.
1 The author was enrolled for an M Eng (Project Management) degree at the Graduate School of Technology Management, University of Pretoria.

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