The seven keys to successful projects?

A common cause of project failure is a lack of executive commitment and sponsorship. So how do you communicate the challenges that a large project is facing at the boardroom level?

Over the course of my career I’ve witnessed several different approaches to this problem. In my opinion the framework that has proved most effective is one that was developed by PwC, called the The Seven Keys to Success. I’ve seen it used, on many different occasions, to communicate difficult messages to senior managers up to and including board members.

The Seven Keys To Success are applicable to any kind of project that you can imagine. It works by assessing the project across seven different critical success factors that resonate with executives and by focusing on the action that you wish them to take:


IBM used to have a whitepaper available for download that provided an introduction to the Seven Keys. Unfortunately they seem to have removed it from their website. However a quick Google for the author (Bill Smillie) along with the article’s title (The Seven Keys To Success) quickly turns up various copies on the Web!