Best Practices of Managing Government Projects – A Book Review

challenges and best practices of managing government projects and programs book coverChallenges and Best Practices of Managing Government Projects and Programs is based on a research that examined public projects across different sectors of developed nations, in particular, the USA, UK and Australia. Most government projects and programs span several years and involve a great amount of money. They are supposed to help national growth and improve the lives of citizens. However, many of these projects are also prolonged beyond their scheduled delivery date, have become over-priced or may be suddenly terminated due to political or economic reasons. This book provides insight to the peculiarities of government projects, their implications as well as selected practices that have a positive effect.

Book Details

This first paperback edition was published in July 2014 by the Project Management Institute. It has 74 pages and is about 0.2 inch thick. The front cover displays the title in multi-colored fonts at the upper right area on a background of blue interconnected rings. The authors’ names are at the bottom right and the logo of the PMI at the opposite side. ISBN-10: 1628250658; ISBN-13: 978-1628250657


$20.76 for the book edition and $21.72 for the Kindle edition


Target Audience

Challenges and Best Practices are for project managers and the PM community involved in government projects and programs who are interested to gain more knowledge and best practices for better decision making. It will also serve policy makers, government officials and international aid agencies.

What Customers Say

Javed Azam from the PM World Journal stated that the 6 key unique factors of government funded projects and programs identified by the authors can help prevent potential bottlenecks and help improve PM performance and outcome.

Content, Approach, Style

Challenges and Best Practices is divided into five chapters. The introduction explains the motivations and objectives of the research, the literature review involving the audit reports of 39 megaprojects in infrastructure, transportation, ICT and defense industries and other public documents, and the research approach and data analysis. Chapter 2 identifies the 6 key characteristics of government projects and programs which include non-financial benefits, political environment, and formal processes among others. Chapter 3 provides recommendations for each of the 6 characteristics. Chapter 4 provides a discussion on common frameworks, critical factors, statistical analysis and others, while the last chapter gives concluding remarks.

The research used terms common in project management, business and government. The contents are presented in an organized way, with an appendix and reference sections at the end.

Why Buy the Book

Government-funded projects and programs are some of the most complex and highly budgeted undertakings, but can also have the worst impact when they fall short or fail, resulting in wasted taxpayers’ money or international aid, to the detriment of the well-being of a large number of citizens. Challenges and Best Practices of Managing Government Projects and Programs is an essential guide for project professionals to understand the nature of these complex megaprojects.

Books that Complement

Great Lessons in Project Management by David Pratt, PMP presents a compilation of how the author participated in fixing failing or damaged projects, and the lessons learned from these experiences.

Heaslip’s Managing Complex Projects and Programs is a comprehensive guide that attempts to present a third-generation approach, in view of traditional and agile PM processes and practices, in managing modern organizations and redefining roles of project and program managers.


Young Hoon Kwak is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Decision Sciences at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Yonsei University, and his Master’s and Ph. D in Engineering and Project Management from UC, Berkley. Dr. Kwak serves on the editorial board of several professional journals in engineering and management. He has received research grants from the PMI and IBM, one of which received an IPMA award. Dr. Kwak has consulted and lectured worldwide on topics that include strategic issues of PM, project control, and management of technology, among others.

Min Liu is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Civil, Construction and Environment Engineering at the North Carolina State University. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Tsingdao Institute, her Master’s in Civil Engineering from Xi’an University, MS in Construction Engineering from National University of Singapore and Ph. D in Civil Engineering from UC, Berkley. Dr. Liu’s research includes performance and productivity improvement, lean construction, and international project management.

Peerasit Patanakul is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Management at the Pennsylvania State University. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Chulalongkorn University, and his Master’s and Ph. D from Portland State University. Dr. Patanakul has engaged in research projects funded by NASA and the PMI. His research includes PPM, multiple PM, strategic and value-focused PM and managing government projects.

Ofer Zwikael is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean at the Australian National University’s College of Business and Economics. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Ben Gurion University, and his Master’s and Ph. D from Tel Aviv University. Dr. Zwikael is a PMP and has served on the executive boards of three PMI international chapters. He has published numerous scholarly peer-reviewed articles, and has received awards and grants for his research which focuses on selection, management and evaluation of projects.

$20.76 for the book edition and $21.72 for the Kindle edition


Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.