Evidence-based scope for reducing "fire-fighting" in project management

This paper reviews the problems of project management as reported by 1,879 individuals employed in the construction, manufacturing, process, and service industries in northwestern Europe over a 23 year span. Data obtained by a written questionnaire confirms that organizational relationships need the most attention. The data exhibits no trends over the 23 years. It indicates that many of the problems of project management are "institutional"; in other words, they are due to organizational cultures rather than inherent in project work. The evidence supports the view that poor discipline at the front-end of projects results in too much "fire-fighting" in project execution to overcome problems that could have been prevented. Prevention of these institutional problems requires action at the level of corporate governance, above the level of project management.
member content locked

Become a PMI member to gain access

or Join



Related Content

  • Project Management Journal

    The Interplay between Formal and Informal Institutions in Projects member content locked

    By Wang, Hongdi | Lu, Weisheng | Söderlund, Jonas | Chen, Ke In projects, various kinds of formal and informal institutions are crucial for imprinting and controlling behavior.

  • Project Management Journal

    Project Networks member content locked

    By DeFillippi, Robert J. | Sydow, Jörg This article examines how project networks may be viewed as either a single interorganizational project or as a series of projects that are interconnected by interorganizational relationships. The…

  • Seminars & Symposium

    Staging a Project member content open

    By Elenbaas, B. Following is a discussion of 10 areas considered key to launchinga project successfully and establishing a supportive project “infra-structure” to position a project for success.