You Say You Want a Resolution? (Part 2 of 2)

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Happy New Year!

As promised, here is a brief (but important) follow-up to the Part I post on the relationship between success and sustainability.  Starting 2018, with this first post of the year, I’d like to be optimistic and there is reason to be so, based on recent publications and the increased focus and buy-in to the idea of integrating sustainability thinking into PM, not just by myself but by colleagues around the world.

Topping this off is a very recent article from the Dutch IPMA magazine (the photo in this blog post’s banner).    Below is a list of resources for your use, for your consideration, and to perhaps stimulate a ‘sustainable’ New Year’s Resolution:


  • Exploring Factors That Stimulate Project Managers to Consider Sustainability

  • Does Considering Sustainability Lead to More Successful Projects?

  • Exploring the relationship between sustainability and project success - conceptual model and expected relationships

Note: This paper has an interesting figure summarizing the relationships which I have included at the bottom of this post.

  • A New Conceptual Framework to Examine Sustainability Issues In Project Environments

  • Enablers for Considering Sustainability in Projects; The Perspective of the Supplier

The conclusion of this particular paper is interesting in and of itself, finding three factors which enable sustainability in projects – which match what I talked about in Part I:

• Factor 1: Benefits driven (Sustainability if it has benefits)

• Factor 2: Demand and intrinsic motivation driven (Willing to integrate sustainability if it is asked and paid for)

• Factor 3: Demand and Strategy driven (Sustainability if it is asked for and fits our strategy)


However, besides the findings, the paper ends with a very, very important – and reflective – question which ties right back to the New Year’s Day (resolution) theme.  I have paraphrased it a bit below.  The way I read the question, it asks whether you should be a follower or a leader.  I’ll let you draw your own conclusion and make your own resolution:

...For suppliers integrating sustainability in projects is strongly dependent on the demand and willingness of the customer to pay for sustainability. 

On the one hand, customers can take that into account into contracting strategies. On the other hand, adoption of sustainability in the supplier’s policy could be a successful measure for integration of sustainability in projects as well. In that respect, it should be questioned whether a supplier (and their project management leaders) should wait for the customer to ask for this, or should they take the initiative and distinguish themselves from their competitors?

What do you think?


Below is the figure from the reference, Exploring the relationship between sustainability and project success.


Posted by Richard Maltzman on: January 02, 2018 12:09 PM | Permalink

Comments (6)

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A good followup to part 1, thanks.

Thanks for the follow-up to the Part 1. Good post.

Integrating sustainability aspects in project from the start is important.It ensures strong relations and partnership with the customer at an early stage of project development.
Thank you Richard for sharing a great article.

Thank you for the valued information!

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"All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income."

- Samuel Butler