Project Management

Climate Change and the Evolution of the Project Management Profession

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One of the most significant questions for the project management profession will be our position in relation to huge, complex and overwhelming environmental and societal problems that cannot be resolved by any organization, government and individual alone—often referred to as “Grand Challenges.”

The climate crisis is a prime example of a Grand Challenge, one with an increasing urgency that needs to be addressed if societies around the world are to survive and prosper. Up to now, project management as a profession has been key for “getting things done,” and as such is likely to be part of the solution for climate change and other such Grand Challenges.

At the same time, we cannot forget that the patterns of industrialization and growing economic demands that have led to climate change have involved—and been delivered by—projects. In other words, fulfilling the potential of the project management profession to be an important part of addressing the climate crisis and other Grand Challenges may not be a straightforward process.

Since 2018, we have led a research project collaborating with industry partners who are developing innovative project practices to address how project, program and portfolio management (P3M) can be utilized and extended to deal with Grand Challenges, including the climate crisis. Our research concluded that…


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