Project Management in Public Sector: A New Threat or Opportunity?

Jurgita Domeikienė, a Team Leader of EU Public Finance Management Program (EU4PFM), International Key Expert on Human Resources and Public Administration Reform, in an article for the magazine ‘Derzhsluzhbovets’ (The Civil Servant) spoke about Lithuania’s positive experience in implementing project management in the public administration.

‘For the private sector, which includes businesses of all sizes, project management is an important tool that moves them forward,’ the publication said. ‘It helps to achieve the desired results effectively and save time… This is an integral part of the public sector development in European countries. Obviously, the question arises, how useful can this be for the public sector in Ukraine?’

Jurgita Domeikienė, Team Leader

Project management, which nowadays has already become an essential skill of the modern work process, and a separate profession. In the Lithuanian public sector, project management was introduced due to the country’s accession to the European Union.

As the author noted, this area of ​​activity differs from other work efforts as it focuses on results rather than day-to-day functions. With clearly defined boundaries, a budget, and a dedicated team, project management uses an improved monitoring and control system at all stages of the project. Unlike the more conservative public sector, it uses a flexible approach, better suited to sudden changes and new challenges.

‘It was created with the result in mind,’ the author concludes.‘The main task of state institutions is to maintain the stability of the state by carrying out standard processes defined by current legislation. However, the world around us is constantly changing. New technologies, the rapid growth of information, new challenges, and tasks focused on the needs of citizens and businesses, require changes in the public sector,’ the publication reads.

Government agencies, in parallel with their functional activities, are also launching projects aimed at addressing strategic objectives (e.g. government priorities), developing new products (e.g. new IT tools for efficiency management), or improving the quality of public services (transferring existing ones online or creating new ones). Thus, public sector institutions face the problem of managing interconnected processes and ensuring the successful implementation of projects. Project management is one of the most effective ways to overcome these challenges and revolutionize traditional governance.

Implementing the experience of EU countries in the application of project management in the public sector and thorough training of civil servants on new management tools could significantly help the ongoing reform process in Ukraine.’ – says Jurgita Domeikienė.

The publication also considers these:

Does the introduction of project management in the public sector require significant changes in the organizational structure?

What are the prerequisites for the successful application of project management in public institutions?

What methodological documents will be needed and is a state standard for project management in the public sector needed?

How is the implementation of the project management regulated in the Law on Strategic Management of the Republic of Lithuania?

And finally, what is Ukraine to do about it?

Noticeably, the EU4PFM project actively supports the idea of ​​training civil servants in project management. With EU4PFM support in August 2021, the first of the series of planned three-day training seminars on the Basics of Project Management for employees of the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine took place. EU4PFM Experts will provide recommendations for building an effective project management system in the public finance management institutions, using the benefits of project management in carrying out the reforms planned by the Government in this area.

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