This Guest paper was submitted for publication and is copyright to E. Riis & P. Eskerod, © 2009
published February 2010

Introduction | Method | Case Description and Findings
Perceived Value | Discussion | Sustaining Value

Eva Riis, M.Sc., is a certified project manager (IPMA Level C), an assessor for IPMA certification, an external lecturer and research fellow at the Project Management Unit at University of Southern Denmark, and the managing partner of ACIS Ltd., a Copenhagen based consulting firm. In 2006-2008, together with 48 other researchers around the world, she contributed to the research on Understanding the Value of Project Management. Eva is especially interested in the implementation of project management models and management of research projects. Email:

Professor Pernille Eskerod, M.Sc., Ph.D, teaches and conducts research in project management. She is also head of a professional master program in project management at University of Southern Denmark and teaches an MBA program in project and process management at WU Vienna University of Economics and Business. Pernille is an active member of PMUni, an international network formed to promote project management research and teaching. She is especially interested in stakeholder management and competence development in project-oriented organizations. Web:, Email


As companies become more project-oriented, they conduct growing numbers of concurrent projects.[1] Are there advantages in applying common ways of managing them? Is it possible to use a situational-guided understanding of project management, based on a specific project situation, combined with a small number of general elements that are present in every project?[2] Are there economies through repetition?[3]

The 2005 National Competence Baseline for Scandinavia asserted that if general elements are present in a multi-project environment, it might be desirable for a company to prescribe a management breakdown structure. That includes the management processes and the roles in project management that are to be applied across all projects.[4] Companies could move from applying project models that are specific to a particular type of project to a common project management model. The former gives an overview of all processes of a specific project, and indicates how to structure, approach and organize the execution of the project work. Project management models (PM models), on the other hand, focus on managing a broad range of projects that can be very different in content and size.

Recent research has shown that PM models can be a powerful creator of value for companies.[5][6][7][8][9][10] This paper extends this research aiming at gaining a deeper understanding of the preconditions that must exist for harvesting the values of a common frame of reference for project management. It reports findings from in-depth investigations in a Danish industrial concern that considers its PM model as the core of its project activities.

The paper is structured in three parts. In the following section, the research methods applied in the case study are summarized. Thereafter, the case results are reported and related to the outcome of similar research efforts. The final section of the paper draws together theoretical and empirical strands on how to achieve sustainability of the value created by implementing a PM model.


1. Blichfeldt, B.S. & Eskerod, P. (2008). Project Portfolio Management - There's More to it than What Management Enacts, International Journal of Project Management, 26 (4), 357-365.
2. Mikkelsen, H. & Riis, J.O. (1996). Grundbog i Projektledelse. Rungsted: Prodevo (in Danish).
3. Gann, D.M. & Salter, A. (2000) Innovation in project-based, service-enhanced firms: The construction of complex products and systems, Research Policy, 29, 955 - 972.
4. Association of Danish Project Management, Norwegian Association of Project Management & Swedish Project Management Society (2005). Competencies in Project Management - National Competence Baseline for Scandinavia. Hillerod: Association of Danish Project Management.
5. Thomas, J. & Mullaly, M. (2004). Understanding the Value of Project Management. Research Proposal . Submitted to the Project Management Institute in answer to the 2004 RFP Quantifying the Value of Project Management.
6. Thomas, J. & Mullaly, M. (2007). Understanding the Value of Project Management: First steps on an international investigation in search of value, Project Management Journal, 38(3), 74-89.
7. Thomas, J. & Mullaly, M. (2008). Researching the Value of Project Management, Philadelphia: Project Management Institute.
8. Eskerod, P. & Riis, E. (2008). Creating Value by Building an Intra-organizational Common Frame of Reference for Project Management, Proceedings for PMI Research Conference, Warsaw, Poland, July, Project Management Institute.
9. Eskerod, P. & Riis, E. (2009a) Project Management Models as Value Creators, Project Management Journal, 40 (1), 4-18.
10. Eskerod, P. & Riis, E. (2009b) Value Creation by Building an Intra-organizational Common Frame of Reference Concerning Project Management, Project Management Journal, 40 (3), 6-13.
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