The Value of Project Management Education for IT Professionals

  • Angela Lecomber
  • Arthur TatnallEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 515)


IT organisations and organisations with IT departments frequently procure project management training as part of their initiatives to improve business outcomes through professional education. This paper utilises the results of a research study that focused on the training of the project management methodology PRINCE2 in an organisation where IT was one of the departments. The longitudinal study over two and a half years reported on the adoption of the PRINCE2 project management methodology by sixteen employees following the successful completion of a PRINCE2 training course. Two different outcomes were observed: some individuals continued to develop their interest in PRINCE2 and looked for a stable network that will support their practice, even if they resigned from the organisation. The other outcome was that other individuals ceased using PRINCE2 for their projects if there was no imperative given by the organisation to use it and no example set by others in using it. The adoption outcomes from this study have implications as to the interventions that need to be implemented by organisations to derive the value from an investment in professional vocational education in project management for all relevant professionals.


Project management training IT professionals PRINCE2 Professional vocational education Actor-Network Theory 


  1. 1.
    Standish Group: CHAOS Report 2016: Outline. Standish Group, Boston (2016)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Business Directory: Project, February 2017.
  3. 3.
    Kerzner, H.: Project Management Best Practices: Achieving Global Excellence. Wiley, New Jersey (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wells, H.: How effective are project management methodologies? An explorative evaluation of their benefits in practice. Proj. Manage. J. 43(6), 43–58 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Price Waterhouse Coopers: Fourth Portfolio and Programme Management Survey (2014). Cited 2017
  6. 6.
    Konstantinou, E.: Professionalism in project management: redefining the role of the project practitioner. Proj. Manage. J. 46(2), 21–35 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ramazani, J., Jergeas, G.: Project managers and the journey from good to great: the benefits of investment in project management training and education. Int. J. Proj. Manage. 33(1), 41–52 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ojiako, U., et al.: Project management learning: a comparative study between engineering students’ experiences in South Africa and the United Kingdom. Proj. Manage. J. 46(4), 47–62 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Tatnall, A., Reyes, G.: Teaching IT project management to postgraduate business students: a practical approach. J. Inf. Technol. Educ. 4, 153–166 (2005)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Burgess, S.: Curriculum Planning for Information Management, in Business Information Technology. Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne (1993)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Blomquist, T., et al.: Project-as-practice: in search of project management research that matters. Proj. Manage. J. 41(1), 5–16 (2010)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ojiako, U., et al.: The criticality of transferable skills development and virtual learning environments used in the teaching of project management. Proj. Manage. J. 42(4), 76–86 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Skulmoski, G., Harman, F.: Information systems project manager soft competencies: a project-phase investigation. Proj. Manage. J. 41(1), 61–77 (2010)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Thomas, J., Mengel, T.: Preparing project managers to deal with complexity – advanced project management education. Int. J. Proj. Manage. 26(3), 304–315 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Starkweather, J.A., Stevenson, D.H.: PMP® certification as a core competency: necessary but not sufficient. Proj. Manage. J. 42(1), 31–41 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Crawford, L.: Senior management perceptions for project management competence. Int. J. Proj. Manage. 23, 7–16 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Joslin, R., Muller, R.: Relationships between a project management methodology and project success in different project governance contexts. Int. J. Proj. Manage. 33, 1337–1392 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Winter, M., et al.: Directions for future research in project management: the main findings of a UK government funded research network. Int. J. Proj. Manage. 28(8), 638–649 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ojiako, U., et al.: Project management learning: key dimensions and saliency from student experience. Int. J. Proj. Manage. 32(8), 1445–1458 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    AXELOS: AXELOS Global Best Practice (2015). Cited 2016
  21. 21.
    Sargeant, R., et al.: Creating value in project management using PRINCE2. Office of Government Commerce, London, UK (2010). Cited 2017
  22. 22.
    Checkland, P., Scholes, J.: Soft Systems Methodology in Action. Wiley, Chichester (1991)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Finegan, A.: Soft Systems Methodology: an Alternative Approach to Knowledge Elicitation in Complex and Poorly Defined Systems. RMIT Centre for Remote Sensing and Land Information (1994). Accessed 15 Nov 1998
  24. 24.
    Lecomber, A.: Reshaping the project manager’s project story: An adoption study of ‘best practice’ project management, in Information Systems. RMIT, Under examination (2017)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Yin, R.K.: Case Study Research, Design and Methods, 5th edn. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks (2014)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Davey, W., Adamopoulos, A.: Grounded theory and actor-network theory: a case study. Int. J. Actor-Netw. Theory Technol. Innov. 8(1), 27–33 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Tatnall, A.: Innovation translation as a research approach to theorising information systems implementation. Int. J. Network. Virtual Organ. 6(1), 64–76 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Callon, M.: Some elements of a sociology of translation: domestication of the scallops and the fishermen of St Brieuc Bay. In: Law, J. (ed.) Power, Action and Belief. A New Sociology of Knowledge? pp. 196–229. Routledge and Kegan Paul, London (1986)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Latour, B.: Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2005)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Davey, W.: ANT, phenomenography and a research question in information systems. Int. J. Actor-Netw. Theory Technol. Innov. 6(2), 1–9 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.See Differently Consulting and RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Victoria UniversityMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations