6. Contexts of external influencers

and of project application areas


Series on Project Contexts

By Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon)

Sydney, Australia




This is the sixth of a series of seven articles which identify and discuss a variety of key contexts which impact on the management of projects. The basic reason for developing this series is that there is far too little attention given to the contexts of projects in the relevant literature – particularly when you consider that, in practice, effective management of projects’ contexts is usually quite critical to achieving overall project management (PM) success.

The first article of this series (Stretton 2019e) identified six key types of project contexts. These were summarised pictorially into a combined model, depicted in skeleton format in figure 1.

 Figure 1: Outline project context model

The second article of this series (Stretton 2019f) was concerned with the context of organisational strategic management, and the third (Stretton 2019g) with the contexts of projects being undertaken by supplier organisations (SOs), and by owner organisations (OOs). The fourth article (Stretton 2019h) discussed the contexts of what Shenar & Dvir 2007 describe as project dimensions, and the fifth (Stretton 2019i) the more general context of types of projects.

This sixth article is concerned with two external contexts, namely those of external influencers, and of application areas in which projects are undertaken. Their places in Figure 1 are illustrated by bolder typefaces, and heavier external borders.


Recapping discussions of the context of external influencers in the first article

I discussed aspects of this particular context in Stretton 2019e, under the following headings, as now summarised.

Types of external influencers

The following table lists potential external stakeholders, derived from Stretton 2018j.

Figure 2: A listing of potential external influencers

In Stretton 2018j I discussed a group of project stakeholders that Pirrozi 2017 described as influencers. In Figure 2 I have expanded on these to include other external stakeholders who can also influence the project. The above listing is rather a generalised one, and does not take account of particular influences which apply to only a few projects of a particular type – e.g. adverse geophysical conditions.


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How to cite this paper: Stretton, A. (2019). 6. Contexts of external influencers, and of project application areas, Series on Project Contexts; PM World Journal, Volume VIII, Issue X, November. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/pmwj87-Nov2019-Stretton-6-project-contexts-external-influencers-and-application-areas.pdf



About the Author

Alan Stretton, PhD      

Faculty Corps, University of Management
and Technology, Arlington, VA (USA)
Life Fellow, AIPM (Australia)



Alan Stretton is one of the pioneers of modern project management.  He is currently a member of the Faculty Corps for the University of Management & Technology (UMT), USA.  In 2006 he retired from a position as Adjunct Professor of Project Management in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia, which he joined in 1988 to develop and deliver a Master of Project Management program.   Prior to joining UTS, Mr. Stretton worked in the building and construction industries in Australia, New Zealand and the USA for some 38 years, which included the project management of construction, R&D, introduction of information and control systems, internal management education programs and organizational change projects.  He has degrees in Civil Engineering (BE, Tasmania) and Mathematics (MA, Oxford), and an honorary PhD in strategy, programme and project management (ESC, Lille, France).  Alan was Chairman of the Standards (PMBOK) Committee of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) from late 1989 to early 1992.  He held a similar position with the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), and was elected a Life Fellow of AIPM in 1996.  He was a member of the Core Working Group in the development of the Australian National Competency Standards for Project Management.  He has published over 200 professional articles and papers.  Alan can be contacted at alanailene@bigpond.com.au.

To see more works by Alan Stretton, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alan-stretton/.