Application of Project Management in Higher Education

This month’s post is a deep dive into the opportunities and challenges of project management (and establishing PMO’s) in HEI’s (Higher Education Institutions). Based on a study held at Drexel University, this paper by Chanelle Austin and Winifred Browne uncovers some insights about the adoption value and strategic application of project management at Universities. It also discusses some specific issues higher ed institutions face when implementing project management versus other industries.


Key takeaways include:

  • How higher education institutions can benefit from having formal project management methodology or a central PMO
  • PMO’s contribution to the organizational performance can be seen as the result of multiple coexisting values within an organization
  • Project Management may be viewed as “too corporate” of a way to make decisions, yet this is changing within higher education due to the need to be more effective
  • Project management can help Universities increase efficiency in increasingly competitive environments


The full paper is available to read online or you can download it here in PDF format.


Assessing the value of project management offices (PMO)

Originally posted on PMI.ORG


There is a growing view from the point of organizational aspects in project management that using project office entity form is valuable to the organization (Lullen & Sylvia 1999). Recently, many organizations show interest in establishing Project Management Office (PMO) to support and manage information systems/information technology projects. PMO can be defined as an organizational entity with full time personnel to provide and support managerial, administrative, training, consulting and technical services for project driven organization. Establishing PMO in the organization is one approach toward improving overall project management effectiveness that leads to successful project outcomes.

However, previous studies on whether a PMO significantly contributes to the project management effectiveness have been very limited and largely anecdotal. Therefore, there is a need for a systematic and quantitative approach that justifies the existence of PMO. This study suggests a systematic approach that measures the benefit and value of PMO quantitatively. By using this model, project managers will be able to better justify the needs of PMO in the project-oriented organizations.

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