7. Comments on major contexts

and further discussions


Series on Project Contexts

By Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon)

Sydney, Australia




This is the last of a series of seven articles which have identified and discussed a variety of key contexts impacting 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 below.

Figure 1: Outline project context model

The second article of this series was concerned with the context of organisational strategic management; the third with the contexts of projects being undertaken by supplier organisations (SOs), and by owner organisations (OOs); the fourth with the contexts of what Shenhar & Dvir 2007 have described as projects dimensions; the fifth with types of projects; and the sixth with external influencers, and with application areas in which projects are undertaken.

In this last article we will first re-present the full version of Figure 1, which illustrates the six contexts and their sub-contexts, and discuss their multitudinous nature, and potential utility. We will then return to look at each of the six contexts, with comments on key issues, and on related issues not previously discussed, including some further contexts. We conclude the whole series with a brief note on the importance of this somewhat neglected subject of the contexts in which projects are undertaken.

We start with re-presenting the full version of Figure 1, which was first presented as Figure 5 in the immediately preceding article (Stretton 2019j).

Figure 2: A cumulative representation of the six contexts and their sub-contexts

We will now discuss some aspects of these project contexts and sub-contexts


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How to cite this paper: Stretton, A. (2019). 7. Comments on major contexts, and further discussions, Series on Project Contexts; PM World Journal, Volume VIII, Issue XI, December. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/pmwj88-Dec2019-Stretton-7-conclusion-of-contexts-series.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/.