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The Project Office as Project Management Support in Complex Environments


Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


Proceedings from International Conference on Project MANagement/ProjMAN/2015 October 7-9, 2015




In the academic sector, most engineering research funding presupposes collaborative projects. Collaboration between academia and industry is encouraged. This approach creates successive complexity in most Research and Development (R&D) projects in many ways. Projects funded by the European Commission or jointly funded by national agencies are often encouraged to become large, competing companies may become partners, objectives are unclear, and overall vagueness usually increases with consortium size. Many companies and some research organizations have created project management offices (PMO) to deal with project complexity. Typically, project managers in research organizations are excellent researchers but less skilled or interested in project management. To help researchers stay focused on research and not get side tracked by project management, the PMO provides professional project management services to researchers and research projects. The combination of excellent research and professional project management is a success factor when handling a large portfolio of complex projects. We surveyed the directors of PMOs in Sweden to determine how PMOs cope with complexity in different organizations. This paper presents the results of that small survey and compares them with similar efforts at one Swedish university in a brief case study.


author = {Gunnar Widforss and Malin Rosqvist},
title = {The Project Office as Project Management Support in Complex Environments},
volume = {64},
number = {N/A},
pages = {764--770},
month = {September},
year = {2015},
booktitle = {Proceedings from International Conference on Project MANagement/ProjMAN/2015 October 7-9, 2015},
url = {}