The project-specific Formal System Model

White, Diana and Fortune, Joyce (2009). The project-specific Formal System Model. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 2(1) pp. 36–52.



Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to introduce a project-specific version of the Formal Systems Model that can be used by project managers and other professionals to identify actual or potential weaknesses in a project's structure or processes and to look for difficulties in the relationships between the project and the context in which it is or will be taking place.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses research findings to show how the model was developed and to demonstrate the utility of the approach taken.
Findings – A model that is based upon the Formal Systems Model but which is accessible to those who are not fluent in the language of systems thinking and not familiar with its concepts is developed and its utility is demonstrated. Its use in a real-life project situation is also demonstrated.
Practical implications – The model that is presented provides a robust means of helping project managers avoid failure.
Originality/value – This paper is based on primary research and provides the first full introduction to the project-specific version of the Formal Systems Model.

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