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    ‘Serving the public in the post pandemic world’: a study of project management in the public sector

    Blair, Garry, Barratt, Stuart and Pagano, Rosane (2022) ‘Serving the public in the post pandemic world’: a study of project management in the public sector. Journal of Advanced Research in Alternative Energy, Environment and Ecology, 9 (1&2). pp. 11-18. ISSN 2455-3093

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    The public sector has been severely affected by the pandemic, resulting in major changes to operating conditions and expectations. The requirements for public sector projects have similarly changed, with the nature and scope of such enterprises being severely affected. The pandemic has led to excessive public expenditure on health matters and supporting the economy through the restrictions to activities. This paper proposes that there has been a major change to project management in the public sector. Priorities have altered and the available resources have been drastically reduced. Current projects have been cancelled or reduced in scope and new projects have been commissioned for different priorities, shaped by the pandemic. The approach to project management has also been amended, due to the effects of the pandemic. This has led to generally higher levels of urgency, reduced budgets and shorter timescales for implementation. Public sector projects are vital to the global economy, in terms of delivering services and stimulating private sector demand. Public sector projects are, therefore, of vital importance and require further study to help to understand the prevailing operating conditions and demand. Research can also assist in comprehending the actions required of the project manager, in directing such enterprises. This paper examines key literatures, discerning the major themes in this sphere. A model of learning is adapted to categorise these themes. An interview has been held with a senior manager from a UK public sector organisation, with a job remit spanning health, education and social services, and the main themes are also selected from the interview text. This enables the academic and practitioner perspectives to be considered. A summary of implications for practice is presented, comprising a ‘rich picture’ of key areas to be addressed in respect of public sector projects, utilising the soft systems methodology techniques.

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