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Keywords:

  • public sector;
  • accidental project manager;
  • skills and knowledge

Abstract

Many individuals are called upon to undertake project management responsibilities with little or no preparation. Such project managers have been referred to as accidental project managers. This article examines the experiences of 46 accidental project managers within the Western Australian public sector through a questionnaire survey. Findings reveal that most project managers were selected based on their technical or managerial expertise and thus lacked the required competencies to deliver a project. There was a greater propensity for accidental project managers to act in a part-time mode, undertake nontechnical projects, and be provided with limited training and education.