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Last edited 28 Aug 2020
In a general business-related context, projectisation is the assignment of resources or funds for a specific, closed purpose (or project) without regard for other matters or considerations. This is in contrast with programmes, which are a series of interrelated activities that may be carried out repeatedly or continuously in order to support an ongoing process.
In the context of construction-related matters (associated specifically with project decision-making issues) projectisation typically refers to the management of activities based on project teams rather than established functional groups. This may also be referred to as project oriented or project based.
 An emphasis on the project manager
This form of management has become popular due to the increased interest in project-based activities driven by decentralisation. Its intention is to bring together individuals, groups, organisations, enterprises and officials in order to accomplish goals and solve problems.
For projectised organisations, project managers are responsible for all activities associated with the project. They are usually employed by the organisation and are not outside consultants or employed by the client.
The required characteristics of an effective project manager are:
- An ability to solve problems with intellectual rigour.
- Energy coupled with the ability to inspire others.
- Confident leadership and communication skills.
- Ability to see the whole picture.
- Good negotiating skills.
- An understanding of collaborative practices.
In addition to overseeing the day-to-day management of a project, project managers are able to make decisions, set priorities and apply resources. This also means they can make budget decisions without having to request approval from higher authorities. This centralisation of authority can help facilitate decision making through shortened lines of communication.
Project managers also assign team members to the project and oversee their work. Team members are encouraged to share their lessons learned so the entire team benefits from mutually shared experiences. Ideally, this creates a team that is invested in the project’s goals and shares a sense of responsibility for - and loyalty to - its outcome.
All team members report to the project manager until the project is completed - after which, team members are reassigned to new projects. These reassignments allow team members to develop new skills and apply experiences from completed projects even if their new assignments or responsibilities are somewhat different.
 Projectisation and construction
Projectisation can be used for large scale, long-term projects that are common in construction. It allows the organisation to function in a dynamic and flexible manner that can result in a competitive advantage.
Despite its suitability, projectisation in construction does not tend to be fully applied. Instead, partial projectisation may be used to handle critical activities such as engineering and construction, which are assigned to a project manager and team.
 Drawbacks of projectisation
Potential disadvantages of this organisational structure include:
- With so much responsibility, the selection of the project manager is crucial. Care must be taken to ensure that the project manager does not allow the role to create an undesirable or even unethical situation.
- Deadlines can be stressful, particularly in instances where decisions are destined to lead some team members to question priorities. For instance, in an organisation with multiple projects, a situation may arise when an unused piece of equipment is moved from one location to another. Even if this is a temporary situation, it may cause one team to disagree with the decision, seeing it as a potential source of delay.
- Duplicating resources. While projectisation is based on prompt decision making, there may still be poor communication that results in wasted resources.
- Creating insecure team members. Because roles change at the end of each project, staff may worry they’ll be out of work at its completion. This can sometimes result in a lower sense of loyalty amongst team members.
- Higher costs. Because resources (such as equipment) may be hired for shorter periods of time, the cost may be higher.
- Inconsistent staffing. There are benefits to having cross trained or multi-skilled team members, but in reality, there may be instances where some personnel lack the skills to handle assignments they have been given. This can have an impact on the outcome of the project or cause other team members to cover in order to fill in the gaps.
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