This project supported the planning and conduct of a two-day Iowa Department of Transportation–hosted peer exchange for state agencies that have implemented some or all of the suggested strategies outlined in the Second Strategic Highway Research Program–sponsored project R10, Project Management Strategies for Complex Projects.
Presentations were made by participating states, and several opportunities were provided for directed discussion. General themes emerging from the presentations and discussions were identified as follows:
- To implement improvements in project management processes, agency leadership needs to decide that a new approach to project management is worth pursuing and then dedicate resources to developing a project management plan.
- The change to formalized project management and five-dimensional project management (5DPM) requires a culture shift in agencies from segmented “silo” processes to collaborative, cooperative processes that make communication and collaboration high priorities.
- Agencies need trained project managers who are empowered to execute the project management plan, as well as properly trained functional staff.
- Project management can be centralized or decentralized with equal effect.
- After an agency’s project management plan and structure are developed, software tools and other resources should be implemented to support the plan and structure.
- All projects will benefit from enhanced project management, but the project management plan should specify appropriate approaches for several project levels as defined by factors in addition to dollar value.
- Project management should be included in an agency’s project development manual.