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Practitioner views on project management methodology (PMM) effectiveness

Stephen Keith McGrath, Stephen Jonathan Whitty


This paper reports the results of a study investigating the organisational conditions that impact the effectiveness of project management methodology (PMM) implementation. It was conducted with a sample of experienced practitioners across a range of industries and disciplines covering engineering infrastructure and IT in Queensland, Australia. The implementations covered generally aligned with either the American PMBOK or the British PRINCE2, while some attempts had been made to hybridize.

The study found general practitioner agreement on the effectiveness of having a methodology. It synthesised from the data collected a list of six organisational conditions impacting the effectiveness of PMM implementation, providing a guide to practitioners looking to implement a PMM. Evidence of quantification of PMM benefits was found in two large organisations whose PMBOK based PMMs had been delivering better than 90% on time and budget across all their infrastructure projects. This study included but did not focus on IT and did not uncover any information on actual performance of PRINCE2 implementations. It indicated a need for research on the effectiveness of PMM implementation and found that this could be facilitated by analysing internal organisational project performance data records, which are sometimes published in annual reports. It also found the PRINCE2 claim of suitability for application to all project types was disputed for physical engineering infrastructure. The paper also puts a case for defining Project Management Methodology (PMM) as an organisation’s process for the whole lifecycle of its projects, which would exclude PMBOK and PRINCE2 from being so labelled.


project management methodology implementation; PMM; project governance; change management; PMBOK; PRINCE2


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