Published research

Although having a research function is a relatively new addition the support services offered by APM to its members and the wider project management community, APM have endeavoured to support project management research or research into the management of projects through supporting individuals and organisations in launching new research concepts, being co-owners of the International Journal for Project Management, investing in research directly through its APM volunteer research fund and commissioning key research on behalf of the project management profession.

APM research reports

On a regular basis APM commission research to support key themes or issues arising from the project management profession.

Recent publications include:

  • Project management for large, complex projects -This expert report was commissioned by the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry in association with APM Research to address general issues about the nature, purpose and application of project management, as well as answer key questions about programme and risk management.  
  • Taking a seat at the table – the value of chartered to employers (all linked to the pdf). This research, undertaken in association with Opinium, explores employer awareness of APM and its chartered status. It also examines employer attitudes towards the benefits of working with professional bodies and the recognition that chartered status confers on holders and their employers.
  • Making it happen – student and adviser awareness of the project profession; this research, undertaken in association with Opinium, explores students’ attitudes towards careers influencers and how career choices are made, student aspirations and the relative popularity of project management as a career of first choice. The report also examines drivers for careers advisers and teachers to recommend careers to students. 
  • This research project focuses on the psycho-social aspects of project management and specifically on how project managers cope with difficult stakeholders.
  • The importance of conventions: A critical evaluation of current practice in social cost benefit analysisThis research project comprised of a critical evaluation of current methods used by project planners and evaluators in the public and third sectors to quantify social benefits and costs. The study sought to evaluate current methods to see if it is possible to develop alternative quantification models/frameworks for quantifying these costs and benefits, thus broadening the choice of available quantification frameworks to project management professionals.
  • Can agile be scaled? This APM Research Fund study builds on the 2015 APM North West Volunteer study on the practical adoption of agile methodologies which provided a review of approaches at a project level, this study aims to investigate the level of practical adoption of those programme and portfolio components addressed by Scaled Agile methodologies. The objective of the study was to understand the extent to which scaled agile tools, techniques and roles are practically in place in corporate portfolio, programme, project and development management methodologies, to determine the level of corporate commitment to exploiting scaled agile, e.g. pilot, full use, selective based on need, as well as drivers for selection or deselection of the framework based on the overheads
  • Project Handover: How do we improve the transition of a project from the project team delivering in a project life cycle to the end users’ business-as-usual activities, to ensure the realisation of the benefits the project set out to achieve? This research topic therefore looks at good practice in passing the project from the project delivery team to the end users so they can get the benefits they set out to achieve in the first place. Otherwise all the time and effort spent on the project has been wasted.
  • Successful delivery of change within the public sector: getting it right, May 2017. This research report was commissioned by the Enabling Change SIG Public Sector practitioner group in conjunction with APM Research to promote further dialogue and enhance knowledge about change in public-sector organisations.
  • APM’s Salary and Market Trends Survey 2016 is the largest of its kind in the UK with insights from almost 5,000 project professionals across multiple sectors. The report offers an in-depth insight into the profession and allows us to see current growth and trends throughout the industry. Almost 5,000 respondents took part in the survey throughout 2016. Respondents were drawn from a number of backgrounds including project managers, board members and recruiters.
  • APM’s Conditions for Project Success sought to identify the core factors which lead to the successful delivery of projects, programmes and portfolios. The principal findings arising from the research were launched at the APM Conference in March 2015.
  • APM’s Salary and Market Trends Survey 2015 was designed to help create vital career development research that will provide project professionals and employers with an overview of the project management profession in terms of salaries, packages and market trends.
  • Knowledge ManagementKnowledge management is widely misunderstood in project management. Many people think knowledge management is a matter of capturing some ‘lessons’ at the end of a project; it isn’t. A lack of alignment between an organisation’s understanding of ‘knowledge’, its approach to knowledge management, and what it actually does to manage knowledge can lead to confusion, misunderstandings and poor focus.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Engaging stakeholders is one of the most important activities a project manager needs to undertake. All the project deliverables can be undermined if there are areas of an organisation with poor stakeholder commitment, and yet there is very little information available to those who are starting out in project management. For this reason, the Stakeholder Engagement
  • Focus Group – an APM-funded research project, led by the Oxford APM Chapter – put together this collection of tools, techniques, patterns, papers and case studies which we hope you find useful.
  • Practical Adoption of Agile MethodologiesAPM has sponsored a review of the practical adoption of agile methodology in project management in the North West. The report was written by the APM North West branch.



APM offers a range of journals, books, guides and case studies as a result of our research activities.

View APM publications available for purchase in the bookshop or access free downloads in our library.

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