Literature Review: Project Management

Published: 2021-08-17
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University of Richmond
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Literature review
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Project management comprises the various phases of the project life cycle and is accomplished via processes (Project and Construction Management, n.d). It ensures there is a solid foundation in existence for an organization to accomplish its objectives and goals. It could be managed via a stand-alone project, within a portfolio or a program. Programs focus on doing projects the right way whereas portfolio management focuses on having the right projects and programs. In program management, attention is paid to the relationship between components of the project and the optimal means of managing them (Project and Construction Management, n.d). For portfolio management, what is key is the review of projects and programs to ensure prioritization of resource allocation and make sure that the portfolio is in line with project strategies (Project and Construction Management, n.d). Organizational Project Management (OPM) ensures the organization accomplishes its strategic goals (What is New In the PMBOK Guide 6th Edition an in-depth comparison, 2017). Hegney (2012) argues that OPM makes sure the organization carries out the right projects, critical resources are properly allocated and that everyone who is part of the organization understands the strategic vision, its initiatives, objectives, and deliverables. A projects life cycle can be predictive or adaptive (Project Management Life Cycle Methodology, 2017). A project entails four phases: initiation, planning, execution, and closure (Project and Construction Management, 2017). It is necessary that an organization chooses the most optimum life cycle for the specific project to ensure flexibility to cater for the various factors in the project (Indelicato, 2011). Flexibility comprises adjusting multiple phase attributes, carrying out processes in the appropriate phase, and identification of processes that need to be done.

ISO21500 describes project management concepts and their relationship. The concepts include project, its management, its governance, its environment, its life cycle, its constraints, organizational strategies and projects, competences of project personnel, and the connection between processes and project management concepts (PRINCE, the PMBOK Guide, & ISO 21500:2012, 2017). The core of these concepts is value creation. The organization strategy should create opportunities that should be evaluated and selected. For business cases, selection may bring about projects with deliverables. The deliverables ought to be utilized by the organization for benefits thereby create value (PRINCE, the PMBOK Guide, & ISO 21500:2012, 2017). The benefits can be put in to accomplish strategies and develop them further. ISO21500 also mentions project management processes that ought to be utilized for the entire project or during some phases. The role of choosing the appropriate process belongs to the project manager. Process management process can be seen be seen in two ways, as process groups or as subject groups (Bannazaden, Zomorodian & Magharen, 2013). Process groups entail initiating, planning, implementing, controlling and closing the project. Subject groups comprise 39 processes divided into ten themes in project management. The themes include cost, scope, resource, time, stakeholders, e.t.c. Although the Zanduis, Stellwinwerf, and Newton (2013) recommend guidelines, the project manager, and the team is ultimately responsible in deciding as to what good practices ought to be applied in the management of a specific project. Intimate association with the sponsor of the project and the management of the line association is essential in realizing an effective process.

Construction projects should address geography, communities, physical environment, site conditions, existing infrastructure, and the requirements of stakeholders. For instance, in Vancouver, it will be of the essence for the organization based in this region to consider these aspects within the locality for efficient management of a given project. Most constructions are usually one-of-a-kind products instead of the mass products (BC Housing Design Guidelines and Construction Standards, 2014). The challenge this presents is that there is lack of a prototype. In overcoming this, the project ought to be done in phases to refine and review the design and strategies and also validate the intention of the investment. The environment In which construction occurs is ever-changing, complex and at times risky. The environment could be offshore constructions, bridges, roads, healthcare facilities, industrial facilities, e.t.c. Therefore, construction requires the integration of engineering disciplines with the combination of the application of technology and use of sophisticated construction equipment that necessitates the use of unique construction methods and techniques. The effect of this on the project is that it increases costs as there is a need for subcontracting arrangements, risk insurance, complicated logistics, adaptation to changing environmental regulations, e..t.c. The project management team ought to consider the unique aspects of the project environment and complexity for the project to manage effectively. Adhering to standard practices and knowledge will improve the performance of the project. Also, being familiar with concepts that are industry-specific is crucial to the proper management of services.

Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3) through three interlocking elements offers organization project management (Organizational Management Maturity Model, 2013). The elements are knowledge, assessment, and improvement. Davidson (2014) claims the purpose of OPM3 is to offer guidelines beneficial to an organization its senior management, and everyone participating in project management. It makes the relationship between strategic planning and execution stronger. Therefore, the outcomes of project management can be predicted, are reliable, show consistency and correlate with organizational achievements. OPM3 points out the optimal practices that back implementation of organizational strategy via successful projects. OPM identifies the specific capabilities which make up the Best Practices, and the dependencies among those Capabilities and Best Practices (Organizational Management Maturity Model, 2013).


Bannazadeh, B., Zomorodian, Z., & Maghareh, M. (2013). Assessment of PMBOK Indexes in Executive Projects. Journal Of Advanced Management Science, 265-268.

BC Housing Design Guidelines and Construction Standards. (2014) (1st ed.). British Columbia.

Construction extension to the PMBOK guide. (2016). Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

Davidson Frame, J. (2014). Reconstructing Project Management. Project Management Journal, 45(1), e2-e2.

Heagney, J. (2012). Fundamentals of project management. New York: American Management Association.

Indelicato, G. (2011). Project management fundamentals: Key concepts and methodology, second edition. Project Management Journal, 43(1), 92-92.

Organizational project management maturity model (OPM3). (2013). Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

PRINCE2, the PMBOK Guide and ISO 21500:2012. (2017). Retrieved 8 December 2017, from

Project and Construction Management | UBC Civil. (2017). Retrieved 8 December 2017, from

Project Management Life Cycle Methodology. (2017). Retrieved 8 December 2017, from

What Is New In the PMBOK Guide 6th Edition - an in-depth comparison. (2017). Retrieved 8 December 2017, from

Zandhuis, A., Stellingwerf, R., & Newton, S. (2013). ISO 21500 guidance on project management. Zaltbommel: Van Haren Publishing.

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