Success Breakdown Structure: Application to Petrochemical Projects Success Assessment

Document Type : Research Article


1 Civil Eng. Department, University of Toronto, Canada

2 Department of Business and Economics, University of Würzburg, Sanderring 2, Würzburg, Germany, Postal Code: 97070

3 Civil Eng. Dept, Sharif University of Technology


This paper focuses on assessing the success of petrochemical projects. Therefore, through reviewing the literature and consulting with experts, four success dimensions, four main stakeholders, and eighteen success criteria for petrochemical projects were discovered. Using these findings and results of a subsequent questionnaire survey, two petrochemical projects Success Breakdown Structures (SBSs) have been advanced. SBS1 breaks down the structure of success for petrochemical projects and clarifies that the success of these projects has four dimensions each of which is perceived differently by the stakeholders. By this SBS, it is possible to measure the “project’s efficiency”, “business success”, “preparing for future” and “impact on end-users” for each project. Having the success criteria rated, SBS2 (stakeholders-based SBS) was developed. SBS2 not only does contain the traditional success elements of cost, time, and quality but also reveals significant connections between stakeholders' attitudes and petrochemical projects success. To validate the SBSs, the Delphi method was used. Based on SBS2 a mathematical model was structured to quantify the success of petrochemical projects. A case study was conducted to test the serviceability of the model which showcased that the stakeholders’ expectations directly affect the success of a petrochemical project. For instance, if contractors/consultants are unhappy with their profit margin or if the credit they gain is unsatisfactory, the success rate of the project declines. Similarly, from the viewpoints of end-users of petrochemical products supplying sufficient quantities of high-quality products is the main contributor to the project success to which the project client has to pay attention.


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