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The Experience of the Application of Traditional Project Management Approach in ESI Funds and Possible Alternatives

Tamás Berky

The objective of this article is to explore some problems that arise from the application of short-term and output-oriented grant management practice and from the traditional ‘waterfall’ project management approach in cases where the project content is more difficult to precisely define at the planning phase, where there is more risk inherent in the project and where more iteration and engagement is necessary in the implementation phase. The characteristics of the current grant management approach will be examined based on evaluation findings and experiences regarding practices in Hungary; the possible implications of this approach for research, institutional development or service development projects and possible alternatives to them will be introduced. Furthermore, it will be discussed how iterative management approaches that have become legitimate in government service development and procurement in recent years could be applied to a wider range of projects under European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds as well. Whereas the problems will essentially be discussed as perceived at the project level, the implications of both problems and potential solutions at programme or policy level will be examined.

Tamás Berky is a project management and organisational development consultant. He works primarily with public and higher education organisations and used to perform both programming and programme-coordination duties at the national level co-ordinating authority of Structural Funds in Hungary.


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