Project Management on Large Scale Projects

The Edinburgh Tram Inquiry has commissioned an expert report to address general issues about the nature, purpose and application of project management, as well as specific questions about programme management and risk management.

Traditional project management guidelines and methodologies provide sets of processes, procedures and tools for managing projects on time, within budget and to the required specifications. These common processes are valuable for identifying the bodies of knowledge and detailed procedures required to initiate and manage projects. Traditional project management assumes that a one-size-fits-all approach – a simple, predictable and standardised model – is applicable to all types of projects.

Now published on the APM website, this report emphasises the need to manage the strategic front end of projects, arguing that project success depends crucially on efforts to define the requirements, governance and organisational structure; evaluate the risks; estimate the costs and schedule; manage stakeholders; and design a delivery strategy to achieve the project goals.

It argues that project solutions tailored to the uncertainty, complexity and rate of change is even more important for large, complex infrastructure projects situated in urban areas, with many stakeholders often having conflicting objectives, needs and priorities.

Taken together, the strategic and adaptive approaches to project management identified in this report offer a more effective way of planning and managing large, complex projects.

Read the full report here.