Soft Projects in the Public Sector AIPM IRC Bibliography by rtu18834


									“Soft” Projects in the Public Sector
AIPM IRC Bibliography
24th March, 2005
Introduction: Public Sector or Government projects vary across many industries, and correspondingly vary in size. This selection of
articles does not include major infrastructure, Defence or PPP projects, but instead focuses on the smaller “soft” projects found
within the Government sector, which of course require the same project management – or program management – skills as the
private sector. See also the existing IRC bibliographies on Soft Skills in Project Management and Using Project Management
for Organisational Change in the Government Sector. There are also bibliographies on PPPs, Defence, and numerous
Infrastructure subjects, should you wish to go bigger…

    1.   Bentley, Lesley. Realising the benefits from public sector projects. Australian Project Manager 24 (2), 9-11. 2004.
         Keywords: organisational change; government; soft systems; public sector, soft skills.
         Abstract: Successful implementation of a major policy change in a New South Wales government agency required complex
         information system changes and multiple business adjustments. Article looks at the use of a framework known as Soft
         Systems Project Management (SSPMA) in order to achieve organisational change, and compares "hard" and "soft"
         approaches to project management.

    2.   Arnaboldi, M, Azzone, G, and Savoldelli, A. Managing a public sector project: the case of the Italian Treasury
         Ministry. International Journal of Project Management 22 (3), 213-223. 2004.
         Keywords: Reengineering; Italy; construction; Public sector; New Public Management.
         Abstract: Project management strategy in the public sector has attracted the interest of many scholars since the late
         1980’s, following the growing pressure on governments to abandon bureaucratic organisations in favour of leaner
         structures. Though Italy is considered a late developer in this movement, its scope, speed, and consistency of reforms is
         considered remarkable [OECD, (2001) Reviews of Regulatory Reform in Italy]. Within this context many projects have been
         undertaken trying to implement the ideas of New Public management (NPM). This paper reports on a reengineering project
         carried out in the Italian Ministry of the Treasury which tested a methodology drawn from the literature of process
         engineering. Multiple dimensions and actions proved to be crucial in managing the project: the paper discusses them and
         their relative importance over the life of the reengineering project.

    3.   Adu, Joyce and Divall, Greg. Project management – The Centrelink experience. Australian Project Manager 23 (4), 27-
         28. 2003.
         Keywords: Centrelink; government; case study; public sector; organisational project management.
         Abstract: Centrelink now organises most of its work, including the delivery of major government, client specific, new
         business and business improvement initiatives, via projects, there are currently 97 formal projects for the 2002/2003
         financial year.

    4.   Hall, M., Holt, R., and Purchase, D. Project sponsors under New Public Management: lessons from the frontline.
         International Journal of Project Management 21(7), 495-502. 2003.
         Keywords: project sponsors; public sector; government; benchmarking; new public management; construction industry.
         Abstract: An understanding has been developed of the important role performed by the project sponsor, especially in areas
         where “New Public Management” is being practiced. One aspect of New Public Management is a proliferation in performance
         measurement, which has manifested itself as benchmarking. Through a series of interviews with project sponsors, research
         was initially aimed at reviewing the benchmarking process as applied to the management of public sector construction
         projects. However, in conducting the interviews, a series of issues emerged as being important to the project sponsor in
         allowing them to effectively manage publicly funded projects. The paper focuses on the findings of these interviews,
         highlighting a series of ‘softer’ issues, which suggest that management skills may be more important than technical skills for
         public sector project sponsors.

    5.   Crawford L., Costello K., Pollack J., and Bentley L. Managing soft change projects in the public sector. International
         Journal of Project Management 21(6), 443-448. 2003.
         Keywords: strategic management; systems approach; hard projects; soft projects; collaborative research; experiential
         Abstract: Public sector organisations worldwide are under pressure to increase efficiency while delivering improved and
         integrated services. Governments are promoting adoption of project-based management and use of formal project
         management methodologies developed in the context of essentially hard projects in industries where goals and methods are
         well defined. Problems in applying hard project management practice to the business of government and, in particular, to
         soft projects such as organisational change, challenge current project management standards and practices. Some writers
         and researchers have turned to soft systems thinking for enlightenment. They have identified possible links between project
         management practice and Soft Systems Methodology (SSM). However, examples of reported practical application have been
         few and limited in scope. This paper reports on the outcome of a team of practitioner-researcher’s attempts to link SSM and
         project management practice in several public sector agencies in Australia.

6.   Fieldhouse, Diane. Inspirational planning shows the modern way. Project 16(3), 24. 2003.
     Keywords: government; public sector; public infrastructure; planning; e-technology; IT; information technology.
     Abstract: There’s nothing quite like planning to rouse emotions. As part of the move to e-government, Nottingham City
     Council has introduced technology to speed up and improve the process.

7.   Anderson, ian. Recent developments to improve quality and impact of Australia's aid program. Australian Project
     Manager 23(2), 10-13. 2003.
     Keywords: overseas aid; developing countries; government; public sector; AUSAID.
     Abstract: Significant reforms that the Australian Government 's Aid Agency - AUSAID - has recently introduced to further
     improve the quality and impact of Australian aid activities will be of interest to project managers as the majority of the
     Australian Aid program is outsourced to and delivered by contractors and consultants.

8.   Wideman, R. Max. Contracting for IS/IT software services in the public sector. , 1-11. 2003.
     Keywords: procurement; IT; IS; information services; information technology; contracting; public sector.
     Call Number: ART 258
     Abstract: Contracting for services in the public sector typically follows a traditional procurement process. That is: specify,
     solicit competing firm-price bids, select lowest tender and award contract. Unfortunately, where the acquisition of IS/IT
     software services are concerned, audit reports and surveys indicate that may times results are disappointing, especially in
     terms of performance, cost and schedule. The question is: why is this and is there a better way that still meets public sector
     procurement standards? The author proposed "Progressive Acquisition", where progressive implies a staged approach. The
     approach applies to both fully customised software as well as customised commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software,
     depending on the degree of customisation. European government experience suggests that the approach is much more
     effective compared to the "big-bang" model.

9.   Gardiner, Alvin. Registers of Scottish success. Project 16(1), 20-21. 2003.
     Keywords: prince2; certification; organisational change; training; education.
     Abstract: Having identified major project overruns in time and cost, the Registers of Scotland Executive Agency realised
     that a change was needed in the way that projects were managed and controlled. Like other government agencies, it
     adopted PRINCE2 and introduced generic PM training, including the APMP qualification.

10. Hall, Tony. Under public scrutiny. Project 15(9), 16-19. 2003.
    Keywords: public sector; project success; project failure.
    Abstract: In the world of project management, the label 'controversial' often equates with 'failure'. Equally often, the
    projects are large and publicly funded. The British Library and the Millennium Dome are two such projects. Were they

11. Brunetto, Y. and FarrWharton, R. The impact of government practice on the ability of project managers to manage.
    International Journal of Project Management 21(2), 125-133. 2003.
    Keywords: New Public Management (NPM) policy; outsourcing; efficiency; effectiveness; public sector; finance.
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect government policy has on the way managers of government-funded projects
    manage. The findings suggest that government reforms have improved the efficiency of processes undertaken during the
    life of the project, but have failed to address the issues arising from a lack of policy clarity relating to "what should be
    developed". In addition, the findings suggest that the gains achieved through the implementation of government reforms
    are compromised by a lack of a management framework detailing the responsibility and authority of each government
    entity involved in the ownership of projects. In addition, there is presently no recourse to mediation for resolving
    outstanding contract discrepancies.

12. Jaques, T. W. A New York State of Mind - the "Empire State" saw significant payback after implementing a
    project management program over three years. PM Network 17(1), 28-33. 2003.
    Keywords: methodology; New York; Local Government; public administration.
    Abstract: The Empire State saw significant payback after implementing a project management program over three years.
    This state-wide effort began in 1999 to create strong project management capabilities and increase the success rate of
    projects across the state. The program had a three pronged plan of attack which focused on training, developing a
    methodology, and creating a project management office (PMO). The PMO has surfaced as the coordinated statewide support
    for project management services which are increasing the state's project management capabilities. Every process
    represented in the PMBOK® Guide was mapped into a life cycle phase. Mapping made it possible to present the guide's
    knowledge areas cumulatively.

13. Boyce, Deborah. Ensuring the beat goes on. Project 15(7), 16-18. 2002-2003.
    Keywords: risk management; UK police force; public sector; government.
    Abstract: Every day, police officers and those in supporting roles to the service face risk. It is a fact of 21st century life and
    it is not going to go away. This article looks at how the police in the UK face up to managing these risks.

14. Kirk, David. A new model for service success. Project 15(6), 18-19. 2002.
    Keywords: local government; services; computer modelling; IT; information management.
    Abstract: The purpose of government, whether national or local, is to deliver services that improve people's lives. The
    challenge presented to all departments by the Modernising Government agenda is to put reforms in place that ensure
    services offer the best possible value and quality. In short, to devise and implement policies that deliver. The author looks
    at computer modelling as a tool to help achieve this.

15. Jain, Adesh. New frontiers in managing government funded or owned projects (GFOP). Indian Project Management
    Journal 1(1), 4-7. 2002.
    Keywords: government; public sector.
    Abstract: This article examines what is necessary for managing government funded projects and new developments in this

16. Zand P, Brennan D. The story - reinventing state government online. PMI Seminars and Symposium
    Proceedings 2002; 2002 Oct. 3-2002 Oct. 10; AIPM (CDRom). USA: PMI; 2002.
    Keywords: government; public sector; IT; information technology; web design; internet technology.
    Abstract: What does it take to develop a successful public sector Web portal? The State of Michigan launched
    within 90 days after technology selection and continues to improve the portal. See how project management played an
    important role in this successful project.

17. Salac LS. Understanding government, baseball and PMI. PMI Seminars and Symposium Proceedings 2002; 2002 Oct.
    3-2002 Oct. 10; AIPM (CDRom). USA: PMI; 2002.
    Keywords: government; public sector; sport administration; baseball; strategic planning.
    Abstract: Public and private administrators are similar in job functions. They face common problems as they both struggle
    to survive when interacting with various agencies. Learn to understand the government way of doing business first and

18. Pyne LS, Rigby B. Implementing a project management culture in a government organisation. PMI Seminars and
    Symposium Proceedings 2002; 2002 Oct. 3-2002 Oct. 10; AIPM (CDRom). USA: PMI; 2002.
    Keywords: government; public sector; project management culture; cultural change; change management; case studies.
    Abstract: Even though the concept of earned value has been a mainstay of the United States Department of Defense (DoD)
    for many years, even though there are a plethora of opportunities to learn about earned value, even when consultants
    advise the "states" within the United States that earned value is an ideal way to track projects, states have not yet made a
    wholesale adoption of earned value in their projects.

    Though state governments have made great strides to better manage their projects, many states have not even so much as
    run a pilot project using the earned value concept. The challenge of using earned value has been thwarted by a number of
    things including lack of access to needed data, the nature of funding of state projects, and just the resistance to change.
    Though states within the United States may not use earned value there are many efforts to improve management of
    projects that deserve credit. In order to put the situation in perspective, let's review the metrics that state governments

19. Mulenburg GM. Gender in project managers: Are national aeronautics and space administration (NASA) women
    and men project managers equal? Frontiers of Project Management Research and Application: Proceedings of PMI
    Research Conference 2002; 2002 July 14-2002 July 17; AIPM . USA: PMI; 2002.
    Keywords: project managers - sex differences; NASA; aeronautics; government; equity; public sector.
    Call Number: CON 40
    Abstract: Do NASA men and women project managers exhibit the same or different characteristics? What does the answer
    to this question imply for project managers inside and outside of NASA? Dr. Mulenburg discusses the results of choosing the
    project manager "who-is-the-best-person for the job.".

20. Martinsuo M, dietrich P. Public sector requirements towards project portfolio management. Frontiers of Project
    Management Research and Application: Proceedings of PMI Research Conference 2002; 2002 July 14-2002 July 17; AIPM .
    USA: PMI; 2002.
    Keywords: project portfolio management; public administration - Finland; public sector; government.
    Call Number: CON 40
    Abstract: The principles of project portfolio management must be tested on public sector organizations (e.g., governments,
    communities, nonprofit organizations) before they can be declared applicable. This paper presents a case study of the City
    of Espoo, Finland, using it as an example for determining project portfolio requirements for a public sector organization.

21. Lloyd V. Lessons to be learned from the public sector. Strategies for successful project delivery. Project Challenge
    2002; 2002 May 2; AIPM. UK: Association for Project Management; 2002.
    Keywords: Project Management; Conference; Project Delivery; Public Sector.
    Call Number: CON 35
    Notes: 2 volumes.
    Abstract: This paper is based on work the author did on why some projects fail, despite being managed by good people
    and having mature processes.

22. Breathet RP. Professional development of federal government information management project managers. PMI
    Seminars and Symposium Proceedings 2002; 2002 Oct. 3-2002 Oct. 10; AIPM (CDRom). USA: PMI; 2002.
    Keywords: government; information resources management; public sector; certification.
    Abstract: The Information Technology industry has recognized the challenges and poor success rates of IT projects. The
    Department of National Defense/Canadian Forces (DND/CF) experience has been similar to that of industry. Key to project
    success is project management staff who possess the skills and expertise necessary to successfully deliver projects. The
    introduction of its training and certification framework has contributed to an increased DND/CF IT project success rate.

23. Blake J. Developing a project management methodology for state government. PMI Seminars and Symposium
    Proceedings 2002; 2002 Oct. 3-2002 Oct. 10; AIPM (CDRom). USA: PMI; 2002.
    Keywords: government; public sector; methodology.
    Abstract: Large and diverse organizations, such as state government, typically have many different approaches to project
    management. Selecting best practices and incorporating them into a single, standard, accepted PM methodology is a
    challenge. Learn how our team collected best practices, combined them with processes from the PMBOK(r) Guide and other
    leading methodologies, and developed a comprehensive Project Management Guidebook for New York State.

24. Baccarini D. Implementing a project office at Curtin University - Lessons learned. World Project Management Week
    2002; 2002 Mar. 11-2002 Mar. 16; AIPM . Hong Kong: 2002.
    Keywords: PO; project office; programme office; public sector; education.
    Abstract: This paper describes the lessons learnt in implementing a project office at Curtin University. The author was a
    member of the project team for phases 1,2 and 3. The use of the PO has a long history dating back to the 1930s. The
    interest in project offices has grown significantly over recent times because of the explosion of projects that organisation
    have to undertake to survive and prosper. Research shows 85% of POs in the private sector have existed for less than
    three years whilst 75% in the public sector have been in existence for more than 3 years.

25. Stratton RW. Assessing and improving project management in public agencies. PMI Seminars and Symposium
    Proceedings 2001; 2001 Nov. 1-2001 Nov. 10; AIPM (CDRom). USA: PMI; 2001.
    Keywords: organisation evaluation; public administration; government; public sector.
    Abstract: What tools do you use in determining a project management capability? How do you interview the workforce and
    determine areas for improvement? What modifications to the PMBOK Guide are needed to fit project management in the
    public sector? This paper describes the composition and processes used by a Team retained to improve project management
    in a public sector capitol project agency. This paper then continues with the findings of the Team and the process to
    implement their recommendations.

    The agency desired to improve their management of public sector civil works projects. The goal was to move more toward
    PMBOK Guide principles. This effort began by soliciting, and finally selecting the author's firm to create a Team to undertake
    this task. The Team consisted of experts in PMBOK Guide and project management, project management software tools,
    and team building. The initial goal set by the client was a review of current agency project management directives and
    project management software. Although considerable effort had been expended in both these areas, client top management
    realized that the gains anticipated had not been attained through directives and tools. Perhaps the directives needed
    tuning? Perhaps the software selected was wrong? The client's management, recognizing that other changes may be
    needed, opened the door to any other areas the Team found possible improvement. "There are no sacred cows." The
    consultant Team was engaged to review the directives, software, and current practices and make recommendations for

    The client is presently moving rapidly toward implementing the PMBOK Guide principles. One unexpected consequence is
    also the movement toward a PMO organization. It was found to provide the career growth for both project management
    interests and engineering interests. The Team found the consulting project rewarding since we took an organization that did
    project management, and directed toward a project management focused organization.

26. Barrington J. On the right track. Project 2000-2001;13(7):20.
    Keywords: Outsourcing; Railways; Public Sector; Utilities.
    Abstract: Communicating news of your project needs the right approach, which is why many organisations go to outside
    public relations specialists to ensure the right message gets across. The author is a special PR consultant bought in by Sub
    Surface Lines Ltd - formerly part of the London Underground - as PR and Communications Manager for the Kings Cross St.
    Pancras Underground Redevelopment project.

27. Mens R, Nelson H. Best practices: big projects succeed in a small town. PM Network 2000;14(12):35-7.
    Keywords: Local Government; Public Sector; Portfolio Management; Multiple Projects.
    Abstract: Project portfolio management enabled a small Canadian municipality to successfully plan economic development
    and growth.

28. Boothroyd K. Risky business. Project 2000;13(3):24-6.
    Keywords: Risk management/UK/Institute of Risk Management/IRM.
    Abstract: Looks at why the skills of the professional risk manager is in demand in both the private and public sector in the

29. Macdonald I. Transforming information technology within the police. Congress 2000. 15th IPMA World Congress on
    Project Management.; AIPM . 2000.
    Keywords: conferences; project management; IPMA; Congress 2000; enforcement; IT; information technology; programme
    management; police; public sector.
    Call Number: CON 3
    Abstract: This paper examines how a modern British Police force began to encounter difficulties in IT and how it began to
    solve them through an initial action plan, a medium term shift from project to program management and the creation of a
    long term strategy.

30. Zurga G, Sirnik IM. Project management methodology in state institutions of the Republic of Slovenia - towards
    implementation. Congress 2000. 15th IPMA World Congress on Project Management; (22-25 may 2000); AIPM. Zurich,
    Switzerland: International Project Management Association; 2000.
    Keywords: Conferences; Project Management; IPMA; Congress 2000; Republic of Slovenia; Methodology.
    Call Number: CON 3
    Abstract: Project management as the common conceptual and methodological basis has the important role in state
    institutions in the Republic of Slovenia. This paper presents the efforts for project management methodology
    implementation and describes some important concepts for its efficient use.

31. Diaz-Carreras JH. It's like the wind: maintaining project focus in times of political instability and organisational
    change. Connections 2000. PMI Seminars and Symposium. Proceedings; 2000 Sept. 7-2000 Sept. 16; AIPM (CD-Rom).
    USA: PMI; 2000.
    Keywords: government; public sector; organisational change; scope; political instability.
    Abstract: Working for a government agency in the 1990's is much like walking through a fun house, all twists and turns
    and big changes at every bend. Traditionally, government agencies have been bastions of stability, with executive directors
    lasting several administrations and the rank and file being around for decades. Increasingly, government agencies are
    taking on the characteristics of private sector employers, with rotating senior staff and employees that jump in and out of
    positions. While senior management changes at private companies are often tied to stock price and profits, changes at
    government agencies are linked to the electorate.

    As elected officials come and go, so often do the senior management of government agencies. New senior managers often
    make seemingly drastic organizational changes which introduce instability into the workplace in order to further some
    political goal or show that they "mean business." The challenge for the project manager is to be able to maintain
    momentum in a project when team members do not know where they will stand after the "dust" settles. Especially during
    transitional times, such as after a reshuffling has been announced but before the final organizational charts are made
    available, employees will have a tendency to lose direction and put off working on project work for fear that the project
    "won't be relevant" in the new world order. Even after you are told which box is yours on the organizational chart, there will
    be a lag time before implementation, as well as a period of time where last minute "horse swapping" is going on. After all of
    the dust settles, it can still be weeks before new reporting relationships are established and people are comfortable with
    where they work and who they need to go to if they need any administrative approvals or have some sort of problem.

    How a project manager handles employee distraction will depend on the type of organization and the extent of the
    organizational change occurring. In organizations with a tradition of project managers with authority to cross organizational
    lines to acquire resources, the challenge will be very different than in an organization where project managers are
    supervisors and can only draw resources from the people they supervise. In either case, as organizational changes occur,
    project teams can be moved about, thereby interrupting synergies that have been established over time between team
    members. In any case, the project manager has to deal with both the team members and with the shifting upper
    management in order to maintain the project on track. Techniques include marketing the project to the new and returning
    management folks as well as communicating with team members both about the project and about what is happening in the
    organization as a whole. Promoting the project is crucial to it continuing on after the new organizational structure is in
    place, but project managers must not forget that the possibility exists that whatever they were working on will no longer be
    needed after everything is said and done. The questions then becomes, what's next?

32. Brown K, Gegan B. Harnessing electronic commerce in a state government environment. Connections 2000. PMI
    Seminars and Symposium. Proceedings; 2000 Sept. 7-2000 Sept. 16; AIPM (CD-Rom). USA: PMI; 2000.
    Keywords: government; public sector; electronic commerce; state government; IT; information technology; project plan
    Abstract: Electronic commerce is revolutionizing government by offering interaction and responsiveness that is measured
    in seconds rather than weeks, months or even years. Additionally, electronic commerce can provide a quality of service,
    security and cost savings that outperforms even the best conventional regulatory practices. Implementing "electronic
    government" is a challenging management of project integration, scope, costs, time and communications.

33. Crawford L, Simpson S, Koll W. Managing by projects: a public sector approach. Proceedings for NORDNETT'99:
    Managing business by projects 1999:608-26.
    Keywords: Organisations; Public Sector; Management By Projects.
    Call Number: ART00068
    Abstract: Organisations worldwide are experimenting with management of their organisations as projects. This paper
    presents the experiences of public sector organisations that has adopted a management by projects approach in order to
    focus the whole organisation on collaborative working to achieve results, facilitate response to change and enable delivery
    of better outcomes for the community through integrated services.

34. Griesche D, Dworatschek S. Management of the administration by projects, the concept for management of
    change in public sector. 14th World Congress on Project Management. June 10-13, 1998 Proceedings, Volume 2; AIPM.
    Slovenia: International Project Management Association; 1998.
    Keywords: public sector; reform projects; change management; motivation; techniques.
    Call Number: CON 2
    Abstract: Against today's background of widespread reform processes the various public administration bodies are
    becoming increasingly aware of the capabilities of project management. Experts in project management within consultancy
    firms, research institutions and associations of professionals like the German Project Management Association are beginning
    to focus on the field of the public sector. In this paper experience out of real reform projects are described and general
    recommendations are derived.

  35. Crawford L. Management of interdependent soft projects. Proceedings IRNOP III - The Nature and Role of Projects in
      the Next 20 Years: Research Issues and Problems; AIPM. 1998.
      Keywords: Soft Projects; NSW Police Service; Public Sector.
      Call Number: ART00077
      Abstract: UTS and the NSW Police Service in collaboration conducted a research project that aimed to enhance the
      theoretical understanding of interdependent "soft" projects. This project is the basis for developing improved management
      systems. With action research as the primary methodology, it used project management practices and systems theory as a
      framework and Reform Agenda projects of the NSW Police Service as a case study. This paper will present the rationale,
      aims, methodology and expected outcomes for the study as a basis for critical peer review and input to the conduct of the

  36. Defence Acquisitions Organisation. Project management competencies for the public sector. 97. Canberra, ACT, DAO
      Defence Acquisition Organisation.
      Keywords: Competencies; Defence; Training Programmes.
      Reprint: 21.
      Call Number: MON 81


To obtain copies of any of the above documents, please visit the AIPM website under “Knowledge
       Resources - Document Delivery”, or contact the IRC Manager on 02-9252 7277 or


To top