p-Government – A Framework for Public Projects Management


By Stanislaw Gasik, PhD

Warsaw, Poland


Public project management is one of the basic tools for modern public administration. Currently there exists no integrated conceptual framework for this area of management. The article contains the results of the review of best practices of public project management from 93 countries. These practices were grouped into six areas: public project portfolio management, organizational units, processes and methodologies, knowledge management, actors of public project management, and the development of public project management. These areas together make a framework of public project management. The article introduces the concept of p-government, i.e. a government which bases its functioning on effective project management. The article prepares theoretical foundations for comparative public project management.


A public project is a project executed by a public administration or with the participation of a public administration, or implemented with the involvement of funds from the budget of such an administration.

Public projects are of increasing interest to researchers. Entire books describe how to manage public projects (e.g., Kassel 2010; Wirick 2009). The differences between project management in the public and private sectors, as well as specifics of public projects, often in relation to particular countries, are examined (e.g., Bretschneider 1990; Abbasi and Al-Mharmah 2000; Olateju et al. 2011; Nagadevara 2012; Arnaboldi et al. 2004). The causes of inefficient public projects management are a subject that arouses great interest (e.g., Cats-Baril and Thompson 1995; Flyvbjerg 2007; Flyvbjerg et al. 2009; Sambasivan and Soon 2007; Assaf and Al-Hejji 2006; Iyer and Jha 2005; Yuttapongsontorn et al. 2008). The critical success factors for public projects (Moe and Pathranaraku 2006) and the impact of practices in public projects management on the success of these projects (Shah et al. 2011) are analyzed. Cultural factors are a special type of critical success factors in the implementation of public projects (Hall and Holt 2002). Mutajwaa and Rwelamila (2007) analyze the skills needed to carry out public projects in developing countries. Hallein and Bowman (2002) analyze the factors affecting quality management in public projects.

The number of publications devoted to public projects management, as well as their growing budget, point to increasing interest in this type of projects. However, to date there is no consistent framework of public projects management. This paper tries to fill the gap. The aim of my work is to identify and systematize public projects management practices. A structured description of these practices creates a framework of public projects management.

Public projects can be viewed from several perspectives. Project managers directly involved in their execution have another perspective than people accountable for the overarching systems of their execution: governments, ministers, heads of public institutions. Project managers are usually interested in the activities directly related to the implementation of projects: for example, the activities to be carried out to produce a specific product, ways to prevent specific risks, ways to build a project schedule. People and organizations accountable for the management of public projects see them in another way. These people are interested in organizing an effective system of public projects management as a whole. What is important to them is, for example: the organization of relevant institutions, developing and implementing a comprehensive process, the existence of mechanisms for project selection. The main questions that they ask may be: do we have an organizational unit supporting public projects? Have we defined the project selection process? Do we have an organized system for managing project subcontractors? This study is focused primarily on the second interest group: it tries to answer the question of how to organize the system of public projects management at the country level.

The focus of the study are the states and, in countries with a federal structure (e.g., Canada, Australia, United States), their main administrative components acting autonomously in the area of public projects management. All such units will collectively be called “countries”.

The next six chapters describe the main areas of public projects management.


To read entire paper (click here)

About the Author

pmwj24-jul2014-Gasik-AUTHOR IMAGEStanislaw Gasik, PhD, PMPflag-poland

Warsaw, Poland

Dr. Stanisław Gasik, PMP is an adjunct professor at Vistula University in Warsaw, Poland. He holds M. Sc. in mathematics and Ph. D. in organization sciences (with specialty on project management), both from University of Warsaw. Stanisław has over 20 years of experience in project management, consulting, teaching and implementing PM organizational solutions. He has lectured at global PMI and IPMA congresses and other conferences. He was a significant contributor to PMI’s PMBOK® Guide and PMI Standard for Program Management and contributed to other PMI standards. His professional and research interests include public projects, portfolio management, project management maturity, and project knowledge management. He may be contacted at [email protected].

Editor’s note: Dr. Gasik is engaged in research related to the management of public projects in various countries.  To learn more, please contact the author. To participate in an international survey for those working in public agencies or working on publicly-funded projects, go to https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1auCWJG_gXXugU7HkDyZeKGkLwJBxrGa0pW2teyg_UNc/viewform 

See the news article about the survey at http://pmworldjournal.net/publicly-funded-projects-managed/.