The research on project management has been studied for decades. Many scholars and managers put great efforts into finding out what can influence project success. Through their continuing work and precious experiences, what factors dominate the success of projects is well documented in literature. The use of these guide texts can help project managers to deal with difficult tasks. Moreover, it is unanimous consensus that project critical success factors are necessary for management team to achieve project objectives and ensure success. If they are well considered and addressed, then it is more likely that a project would have more successful outcomes. On the other hand, if these factors are not rigorously taken into account, then may lead to the failure of a project. However, it is sophisticated to implement all success factors which usually involved in a broad aspect of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques. Furthermore, during the whole project life cycle, the key factor determining success or failure often varies in different project phases. In real practice, different elements contributing to the project success interact with each other. They are integrated rather than segregated. Therefore, managing a project is a challenge. Even though the approach of managing a successful project is well documented, it is extremely hard to apply in practice. In addition, there are many other elements can affect the success. When working on a project, social, economic and environmental effects should be considered. This discussion paper aims to distinguish the differences between project and project management success and find out their relationship. In addition, why the success factors often ignored in practice and other social impacts which may influence project success will be discussed.
Definition of project and project management
In order to discuss what factors can affect the project being successful, we have to understand what a project is and what