The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


Practice-based Study of Strategic Project Portfolio Management in the UK construction sector

26 October 2021

A new report for a research project examining main contractors in Australia and the UK, conducted by BSSC Emeritus Prof. Hedley Smyth and Wu Yanga, in a joint research project proposed by the University of Technology Sydney and funded by the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Construction UK

Project portfolio management is the allocation of resources to select projects that align with the strategies of the firm, in particular the large-scale tier one main contractor.

At the level of project selection, project portfolio management is conducted with established routines for decision making and a governance process.

Portfolio resources for programme management that coordinates organizational capabilities and related inputs at the project level is frequently weak or absent, which constrains options for project selection and effective delivery.

Prof. Hedley Smyth comments:

"Project portfolio management in construction has been a neglected area of research within the project domain. It was great to work with colleagues at the University of Technology Sydney, who have led work in other project sectors. Project portfolio management is largely conducted on a project-by-project basis and there is scope to develop much stronger links through programme management and firms’ portfolio management to support transformation in construction. It was particularly interesting to examine this topic in privately owned contractors, who arguably have some lessons for others to follow.

It is good to see this published online – it has a longer time coming than most research because of gaining access to case companies at the outset of the first Covid lockdown proved a challenge."

  • Read the full report - This publication has been developed and reproduced with a grant from Project Management Institute, Inc. and is copyrighted material of and owned by, Project Management Institute Inc., Copyright 2021. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited.
  • Find out more about the School’s research into the management of project enterprises