Revisiting models of organisational and project contexts



By Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon)

Sydney, Australia


I have written many articles in this journal on broader contexts relevant to projects and their management. One of the more prominent was a series of seven articles entitled Series on project contexts”, from Stretton 2019e to 2019k. Later articles on broader contexts include Stretton 2020k, and I have also written many other articles on particular types of contexts.

This article revisits and updates the above series on project contexts, as summarised in Stretton 2019k. This update re-formats some of the original contexts into more of an hierarchical mode, as well as upgrading and/or modifying some of the component details. The resulting model will hopefully be seen as a useful vehicle for helping view the contexts of organisations, and of their projects, with more holistic perspectives.


Figures 1 and 2 are summarised outlines of the project-related contexts discussed in Stretton 2019k, and of the contexts to be discussed in more detail in this article.

It can be seen that there are several changes, particularly in the format and order of presentation of the various contexts, the addition of a Context of types of organisation, and changes in the titles of some of the contexts. As we will see later, there have also been changes to the detailed components of some of the contexts.


The context of organisational strategic management has been expanded to include operations management (Op’s in Figure 2), and the project and other strategic works (OSW) contributions reconfigured as shown in more detail in Figure 3.

The earlier SO (Supplier Organisation) and OO (Owner Organisation) categories have been removed, and re-assigned to the new Context of types of organisation.

Both the Context of project types and the Context of project dimensions have now been placed within the domain of the Context of organisational management, simply because the latter is the domain in which projects are actually undertaken.

We start with adding the context of project types.


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How to cite this work: Stretton, A. (2022). Revisiting models of organisational and project contexts, featured paper, PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue IX, September. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/pmwj121-Sep2022-Stretton-revisiting-models-of-organisational-and-project-contexts.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 240 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/.