Interview with Ou Lixiong


PM has shifted from ‘Management of Projects’ to ‘Management by Projects’

Interview with Ou Lixiong

Professor, Northwestern Polytechnical University
Executive Vice President, PMRC
Vice President, IPMA

Interviewed by Yu Yanjuan

Journalist, Project Management Review: PMR (China)

Journalist’s Introduction

‘For/By People, Goal/Objective Orientation, Flexible/temporary organization, Uncertainty/change management, Stakeholders satisfaction’. These are the five key phrases that Professor Ou Lixiong used to describe project management in his eyes.

Dr. Ou Lixiong, works as a professor in Northwestern Polytechnical University. He is Vice President of IPMA, and Executive Vice President of Project Management Research Committee, China (PMRC).

Working as a professor, author, researcher, trainer and consultant, Professor Ou Lixiong has been in the profession of project management for three decades. At first sight, you may be impressed by his handsome looks, but by having in-depth conversations with him or by listening to his lectures, you will be amazed by his forward-looking insight, persistence, global perspective and research spirit.

His research focuses on contemporary project management theory and body of knowledge, organizational project management (OPM), project management competence and performance evaluation, mega-programme management.

He is the first to put forward the concept of OPM in China, OPM theory framework and application models. He has also published the textbook titled ‘Organizational Project Management’.

Based on Shenzhou spacecraft programme management practice, he has proposed ‘Shenzhou project management maturity model’ that is of Chinese characteristic and universal applicability.

He is also a participant in the formulation of IPMA OCB and ICB. He has made great efforts in promoting the development of project management in China and around the globe.

‘Life is to be fantastic because of persistence’ is the belief and motto that drives Professor Ou Lixiong forward along the 30-year journey. Faced with all kinds of distractions and temptation, he is firm in carrying on the research of project as a discipline and promoting Project Management development and application in China, which may not be beneficial in terms of money. That’s because what matters most to him is spiritual satisfaction.


Part 1: PM with Chinese Perspective

Q1.      PMRC is the only multi-industry project management professional/academic organization in China. What are the goals and future strategic direction of PMRC?

Ou Lixiong (Lixiong): PMRC is the only multi-industry project management non-profit professional organization in China and it will continue to fulfill its tenet as it has always done in the past. It is committed in promoting the advancement of project management discipline in China and the professionalization and internationalization of project management in China.

PMRC’s recent priority is the creation of the ‘Science of Project’ (named as ‘PROJECTICS’) and establishment of ‘Chinese Project Management School’.

Q2:      Earlier this year, PMRC initiated a survey in an effort to know how much China is project-oriented. Would you please share the survey results with us? Have you noticed any differences between China and western countries in terms of projectification?

Lixiong:           The research actually forms a part of a bigger project being undertaken by IPMA called Projectification and its Impact on Societies. Our research objective was to investigate the level of projectification in China and we found that China’s current projectification level is at 42.7%, which is significantly higher than the numbers obtained in Germany, Norway and Denmark. The results also find that each industry has its own unique characteristics in regards to Projectification.

Q3:      You have been promoting establishing China’s own Body of Knowledge in project management, which is echoed by many experts. Why is it so important? Please share the progress of the work with us.


To read entire interview, click here


Editor’s note: This interview was first published in PMR, Project Management Review magazine, China.  It is republished here with the permission of PMR. The PM World Journal maintains a cooperative relationship with PMR, periodically republishing works from each other’s publications. To see the original interview with Chinese introduction, visit PMR at http://www.pmreview.com.cn/english/

How to cite this interview: PMR (2018). PM has shifted from ‘Management of Projects’ to ‘Management by Projects’. Interview with Prof Ou Lixiong; Project Management Review; republished in the PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue XI – November.  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/pmwj76-Nov2018-Yanjuan-Lixiong-Interview.pdf


About the Interviewer

Yu Yanjuan

Beijing, China




Yu Yanjuan, Bachelor’s Degree, graduated from the English Department of Beijing International Studies University (BISU) in China. She is now an English-language journalist and editor working for Project Management Review Magazine and website. In the past, she has worked as a journalist and editor for China Manned Space Agency website and Student English Times. She once worked part-time as English teacher in training centers. For work contact, she can be reached via email [email protected] or Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/yanjuan-yu-76b280151/.