Project management practice, generic or contextual
a reality check
Is project management a generic process or a contextual discipline? This article addresses this question via a study examining the commonalities and the variations involved in practicing project management, a study that involved the authors surveying 753 project managers about the tools and the techniques they most often use to manage different types of projects, a study that seeks to identify the similar and the different practices used to manage different types of projects in different types of contexts. In doing so, it lists the study's research questions and overviews the literature on the generic and the contextual natures of managing projects. It outlines the study's methodology and survey parameters; it discusses the key concerns--organizational support and autonomous use--in selecting and applying generic practices. It then analyzes the survey responses, listing the tools most often and least often used and identifying the significant contextual differences between project types.