This Guest paper was submitted for publication and is copyright to E. Riis & P. Eskerod, © 2009
published February 2010

Introduction | Method | Case Description and Findings
Perceived Value | Discussion | Sustaining Value

Sustaining Value

Every aspect of project management has two dimensions - a technical dimension and a human dimension.[16] Not surprisingly, both impact upon the sustainability of the values created by the introduction and operation of a PM model. The technical dimension encompasses those groups of practices or processes that are integral to project management. The human dimension includes the people operating these processes, their expertise and motivation.

Activities related to the human dimension should take place when introducing the PM model and must be continued thereafter. However, different approaches can be applied:

  • Training and certification, knowledge sharing meetings and operation of a mentor scheme
  • Personal development of the project managers such as the leadership development program of the case company
  • Project managers networking days, and a governance group that provides feedback on quality of project documents

In the case company, the implementation of the PM model started with emphasis on the human dimension by heavily involving the project managers of the company in the customization or development of the model. This likely enhanced the feeling of ownership. It also had an impact on the technical aspects of the PM model. The number of procedures and mandatory documents is moderate and a higher-level PM model has been implemented. This created a high operational impact and the implication for practice is that value is best sustained if the organization makes sure that the PM model has relatively few mandatory requirements but a well developed governance structure.

Our analysis has showed that a precondition to harvesting the most value is substantial investment in both the human and technical dimensions of a PM model. By the same token, an effective involvement of the company's project managers in the developmental process is a sine qua non, and hence an even stronger emphasis on the human dimension.


The authors wish to acknowledge the efforts and contributions from the organization that participated in this research project, the financial support of the Project Management Institute, and the intellectual stimulation of all the PMValue project team members in the preparation of this article.

Discussion  Discussion

16. Cooke-Davies, T.J. & Arzymanow, A.A. (2003). The maturity of project management in different industries: An investigation into variations between project management models, International Journal of Project Management, 21 (6), 471-478.
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