AbstractThis paper presents the findings from a study of the breakdown of project success criteria. An exploration of the evolution of studies on the success of engineering projects over decades was the basis for a project success definition proposal. Using a comprehensive literature review of success criteria for engineering projects, a list of 133 different success criteria was identified. Those criteria were analyzed to develop an integrated framework of project success criteria, describing its hierarchical decomposition. Such a breakdown structure could serve as a starting point when setting project success criteria for a specific project, because the importance of criteria will be context dependent. Practitioners or stakeholders could discuss and tailor it based on specific features of engineering projects or specific needs and interests. Generally, criteria have evolved from simple work-related factors to focusing more on the complex benefits of the projects. Such an evolving success definition has implications for further studies of project success and might contribute toward a long-term vision in which all projects will be delivered successfully.