What Enables Project Success: Lessons from Aid Relief Projects

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Earthquakes, bushfires, tsunamis, and tropical storms are recurring threats that people in certain environments may face several times in their lives. Aid relief projects carry an acute sense of urgency—the outputs are often critical to project recipients sustaining their life and livelihoods, and to the quality of life of affected communities. Aid relief projects are particularly challenging in terms of stakeholder engagement and cultural sensitivity. So, under these circumstances, what are the antecedents of project and program management success?

Paul Steinfort and Derek Walker harness the contributions of seasoned project management practitioners to take a project management journey that enables them to look at project management through a range of worldview lenses, independent of any paradigm.. From the reconstruction program in Aceh, Indonesia after the devastating December 2004 Tsunami to the response to the February 2009 Bushfires disaster in Victoria, Australia, the authors explore the antecedents of project management best practices, using aid relief projects as the contextual framework to more fully understand them. Tracing their journey of discovery, this book:

  • Explains how the project management mindset is changing by enabling value derived from individual projects to enhance effective delivery of business or social program outcomes;
  • Offers a deeper understanding of the validity of seeing project objectives and outputs in a broader way than has been traditionally dominant in the project management literature;
  • Introduces pragmatic research methodological approaches to readers who may not have considered their usefulness before;
  • Explores the lived experience of project managers in extraordinarily challenging circumstances and indicates how they cope and what other project management professionals in more traditional contexts can learn from them; and
  • Explains the nature and impact of the antecedents of project management best practice.

What Enables Project Success reports on cutting-edge project management research and is academically a work that many practitioners— particularly those who reflect on project management practice and are open to alternative ways of seeing their world— will find pragmatic and useful.

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