Management of the Project-Oriented Company
Roland Gareis, University of Economics and Business Administration, Vienna
Version 2, July 11
The general topic of the World Congress of the IPMA (International Project Management
Association) in June 1990 in Vienna, Austria was “Management by Projects”. Since then
the vision, to cope with the complexity and the dynamics of companies by projects,
became reality. “Management by Projects“ is today the best organizational practice in
many industries. Research results about the specific strategies, structures, and cultures
of the “Project-Oriented Company” (POC) have been published, even the project-
orientation of regions and nations have been assessed and benchmarked.
This paper introduces the POC as a social construct and describes models for the
organizational differentiation and integration in the POC, such as projects, programmes,
expert pools, the PM Office, and the Project Portfolio Group. Further a
, based on the specific business processes of POCs, is presented, which can be
applied to assess and to benchmark the competences of POCs.
It is not intended, to describe the specific business processes of the POC in detail. This
is done in the literature broadly for project and programme management. The intention
is rather to elaborate on the new perceptions of projects and programmes as temporary
organizations and social systems, and to present an integrative model for the POC.
2. The POC: A Social Construct
Companies are becoming more project-oriented. Projects and programmes are applied
in all industries and in the non-profit sector. To perceive a company as a POC is a social
construction. Any company (or parts of a company, such as a division or a profit center),
which frequently applies projects and programmes to perform relatively unique business
processes of large scope, can be perceived as being project-oriented.
A POC can be defined as an organization, which
defines “Management by Projects” as an organizational strategy,
applies temporary organizations for the performance of business processes of
medium and large scope,
manages a project portfolio of different project types,
has specific permanent organization units, such as a PM Office and a Project Portfolio
To simplify the further reading the term “project,” will be used instead of “project and
programme”. Many of the presented concepts apply to projects as well as programmes.