Projects fit for purpose: delivering more with less in the public sector – September 2014

Practice area: Public Policy
Client: Project Management Institute
Published: 08 September, 2014
Keywords: qualitative analysis stakeholder surveys and consultations

London Economics were commissioned by the Project Management Institute (PMI) to conduct an exploratory study of success factors in public sector project and programme management in the United Kingdom. The study forms part of PMI’s ongoing effort to understand what works in project management globally and to make these insights available to policymakers, project managers and the wider public. This research sits alongside similar research projects done elsewhere in the world including the USA and Canada. Twenty-five interviews were conducted with individuals in project management functions, namely project managers and project sponsor/senior responsible owners (SROs) in public sector organisations central and local government and non-departmental public bodies in England and Wales. The study explored the role in project success of factors including internal and external communication; building and maintaining knowledge about best practice; leadership; project set-up; application of project management methods; stakeholder engagement; and make-up and culture of the project team. The impact of civil service career structure, the use of projects as opposed to departmental ‘business as usual’ for policy delivery and differences between central and local government are found to be important factors in project success.