Educational Technology Research and Development

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 115-140

First online:

The Competencies and Characteristics Required of an Effective Project Manager: A Web-Based Delphi Study

  • Jennifer M. BrillAffiliated withInstructional Design and Technology in the School of Education, Virginia Polytechnic a Institute and State University Email author 
  • , M. J. BishopAffiliated withEducational Technology, Lehigh University
  • , Andrew E. WalkerAffiliated withInstructional Technology, Utah State University

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In this study, we explore the competencies required for a project manager to be effective in the workplace. We used a Web-based Delphi method to lead experienced project managers through an anonymous consensus-building process consisting of two rounds of surveys. The Round I analysis of 147 respondents, all with 20 or more years of project management experience, yielded 117 project management success factors, 78 of which were identified as trainable competencies. The Round II analysis confirmed 42 of the 78 competencies (53.8%) as very important to extremely important to project manager success. Important contributions of this study include: (a) reporting on project manager competencies that can inform the literature and guide the development of educational programs for instructional designers and other professionals, and (b) demonstrating the Web-based Delphi technique to be an efficient methodology for conducting afront-end analysis, a core process of instructional design (ID) work.


project management instructional design front-end analysis Delphi technique