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Advancing capital project management

Andrew J. Grandage (Political Science and Public Affairs Department, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina, USA)

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management

ISSN: 1096-3367

Article publication date: 28 June 2021

Issue publication date: 15 October 2021




Effective project management is critical for reducing project failures, cost overruns and schedule delays. Yet, research in this area is lacking. This study provides original research on capital project management in US state governments, with special attention to earned value management (EVM). EVM is a technique used to provide early warning indicators of performance issues and facilitate corrective action during project execution.


A multi-method design involving document review, focus groups, surveys, interviews and case studies is used to unearth primary data from statewide project management offices (PMO) responsible for overseeing large-scale information technology (IT) acquisitions. A strategic framework is developed, facilitating a descriptive analysis of management strategies.


Results from 31 states indicate the vast majority have taken key initial steps in formulating a statewide strategy, such as establishing a PMO, adopting industry standards and defining guidelines for agencies. However, agencies are only required to follow guidelines issued by the statewide PMO in 14 states. EVM is currently used in 18 states, with most defining clear criteria for application and tailoring practices according to project context.


This study introduces the EVM concept to public budgeting research, provides a blueprint for EVM policy development and offers novel analysis of capital project management reforms and strategies.



Grandage, A.J. (2021), "Advancing capital project management", Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Vol. 33 No. 5, pp. 618-634.



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