While several researchers and practitioners stated that project management methods should fit the project context, engineering a project management method to fit a specific situation has not yet received much attention in the literature. Only recently, some studies have introduced Project Contingency Theory (PCT) and suggested various project contingency factors that could guide method selection or engineering. However, a thorough overview of contingency factors lacking. Remarkably, in information systems (IS) development research, a rich tradition of situational method engineering exists. IS development contingency factors have been studied and linked to engineering requirements for IS development methods. It is the objective of this paper to initiate a similar tradition for Situational Project Management Method Engineering. A first step needed is to develop a comprehensive list of project contingency factors. In this paper we built such a set of 28 project contingency factors. We elicited these factors from both theory and practice. We conducted a systematic literature review to analyze theories in both project management and IS literature. We obtained input from practice through semi-structured interviews with project managers. We merged the contingency factors found in theory and practice and described each factor using the literature surveyed and the interview data. Quotes from the interviews with project managers are given to illustrate the contingency factor and its impact on project management practices. Furthermore, we provide a comparison of the contingency factors found to the notion of critical success factors. The 28 contingency factors presented are grounded in practice and theory and provide a solid foundation for further research towards Situational Project Management Method Engineering.
Heupers, Elmar; van Hillegersberg, Jos; and Katsma, Christiaan, "Identifying Project Contingency Factors for Situational Project Management Method Engineering" (2011). International Research Workshop on IT Project Management 2011. 6.