Toward a nasa-specific project management framework

Aaron Shenhar, Dov Dvir, Dragan Milosevic, Jerry Mulenburg, Peerasit Patanakul, Richard Reilly, Michael Ryan, Andrew Sage, Brian Sauser, Sabin Srivannaboon, Joca Stefanovic, Hans Thamhain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


One of the most common myths in the discipline of project management is the assumption that all projects are the same and can be managed with the same set of processes and techniques. In reality, however, projects differ and “one size does not fit all.” Based on our previous research, we have learned that adapting the right approach to the right project is critical to project success; yet, very few organizations know how to distinguish among their project efforts. Furthermore, we have also learned that there is no universal framework that works effectively for all organizations. NASA's procedures suggest several distinctions among projects based on product lines and priority levels. These distinctions form a base for different approval processes. The next step will be to help managers actually manage different projects in different ways. The purpose of this research was to study several NASA programs and start identifying a framework that would work for project managers and teams in the NASA environment. We used four current projects as case studies to test the validity of potential frameworks, and have suggested an initial NASA-specific framework that could eventually lead to guidelines for tailoring project and program management to project type.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-16
Number of pages9
JournalEMJ - Engineering Management Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Contingency
  • Project classification
  • Project management
  • Project success

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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