Governance Of Projects: A Comparative Analysis Of Project Delivery Approaches

Young, Nicola Jayne (2021) Governance Of Projects: A Comparative Analysis Of Project Delivery Approaches. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Governance of digital-focused projects in central government has lacked detailed definition, resulting in misunderstanding, inconsistency and a perception of inflexibility by project professionals. Consequently, governance was deemed restrictive and inflexible, which impacted progress in the delivery of digital solutions. This research aimed to investigate the principles, practices and perceptions of governance in central government by conducting a comparative analysis across different project delivery approaches, viz. Waterfall, Agile and Hybrid. A mixed-methods research design critically examined central government project professionals’ experiences of governance across the three delivery approaches: a quantitative survey established the perception of governance and identified themes to inform case studies across different central government departments; semi-structured interviews were conducted with individuals in various project roles; and, an analytical review of secondary data, supplied by central government project experts, supported triangulation of the findings.
The study confirmed the requirement for all central government projects, regardless of delivery approach, to have a governance framework encompassing the accountabilities, responsibilities, procedures, controls and escalation routes within hierarchical structures. Delegated authority was allocated within tolerances that allowed projects to make decisions more quickly, but particularly benefitted Agile and Hybrid approaches to maintain delivery momentum. Flexibility was encouraged, but an absence of central guidance on its application led to inconsistency in governance practices. Stakeholder involvement in decision-making was crucial, but the absence of formal governance training meant some did not fully comprehend the importance of their role. This empirical research and comparative analysis have contributed the following knowledge: identified new underlying project governance principles and practices for central government; added to the ascertained lack of literature on the governance required to support a Hybrid project delivery approach; and identified an opportunity for future research on the principles underpinning the classification, management, and tracking of business and financial benefits for Agile and Hybrid project delivery approaches.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: UK Central Government, Waterfall, Agile, Hybrid, Stakeholder Capabilities
Subjects: N900 Others in Business and Administrative studies
Department: University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2021 15:48
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2021 16:00

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