Developing a professional framework of practice within a project management environment

Author: Richard Wilson

Developing a professional framework of practice within a project management environment

Richard W J Wilson
1 July 2019

Wilson, R. W. J. (2019). Developing a professional framework of practice within a project management environment. (Executive Summary of a thesis submitted for the degree of Master of Professional Practice, Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zealand).

Executive Summary

My professional framework of practice covers the transition between starting my career at the Otago Museum and my current role with the Dunedin City Council (DCC). In this time, I highlight my exposure to project management and how my learning progresses over the space of several years. I have held positions of responsibility in a project management context, without training or education in project management theory. This has developed my professional framework, and with project case study, supported by relevant literature, I outline the development of my practice.
I was appointed Facilities Manager at Otago Museum is 2015, the beginning of my professional career in project and facilities management.

In 2017 the Otago Museum started the construction and development phase of the Tūhura Science centre, a rebuild and refit of the science interactive centre for Dunedin. This development required several aspects of both internal and external project management and a deep involvement from facility management. This is where I first began developing a framework of practice for commercial project management.

This project involved high levels of communication and collaboration between Otago Museum staff and a wide range of project stakeholders and contractors, including but not limited to: engineers, architects, designers, builders, and the museum’s Maori Advisory Board (MAC).

As I moved into a management role at the museum, and took increasing responsibility for this large-scale project. This multi-party collaboration has highlighted multiple management issues, in regard to communication, management processes, and relationships. This case study analyses processes used by the Otago Museum and compares them to best practice models from the literature.

As I collected, evaluated, and reflected on data gained by interviews and observations, my research focus evolved: starting from a narrative about building processes; to an investigation of bridging the gap between internal and external staff; to a more intensive enquiry about the processes of internal communication – leading to significant refinement of my framework of professional practice.

This work concludes with a narrative around my own development, career progression and professional capabilities and the framework of practice which surrounds it. In 2018 I left the Otago Museum to further develop my management capabilities with the Dunedin City Council where I continue to develop my profession practice and am gaining formal project management training.

Keywords: museum, project, practice


The thesis is not publicly available. This Executive Summary is available under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivatives licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International.