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12 Project Manager Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

In a project manager interview, you're likely to encounter questions about your people skills, technical knowledge, and how you would react to specific situations.

[Featured Image] A project manager in a blue button-down shirt holds a clipboard and pen and interviews a candidate.

A project manager interview can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know what to expect. The good news is that going through some common questions can help a lot to be (and feel) prepared. Though all interviews are different, it’s likely that you’ll encounter questions that ask about your people skills, technical knowledge, and specific situations.

Project management interview questions

Here are a few common interview questions you’ll encounter as a project manager. You can use this list as a starting point to prepare stories about your past experiences.

1. Tell me about yourself.

A common question to open any type of interview, this statement is a chance for you to describe yourself and your story in your own words. 

How to answer: There are several ways you can approach this question. One effective way is to start with the present, then go into your past, and finish with your future. Describe what your role is and what you do. Then describe past experiences relevant to the role you’re applying to. Finally, talk about what kind of work you’re hoping to do next, and why you’re interested in the role you’ve applied to. 

2. Can you tell us about the last project you worked on?

An interview might ask you about your last project to get a sense of what types of projects you’re used to, what project management approaches you’ve used, the number of people on your team, and other details.

How to answer: Describe the important information about the project, like the overall goal, team size, and how you approached it. Speak candidly about what went well, and be sure to mention something you might have improved or that you learned. Having some metrics on hand to show the results of the project can be useful here.

Read more: 11 Key Project Management Skills

3. Tell us about a time something went wrong in a project you were managing.

Setbacks are normal in managing projects. Hiring managers will want to know how you’ve dealt with them in the past to understand what you do when things don’t go according to plan.

How to answer: Since dealing with unforeseen challenges is a core part of project management, you’ll want to have a few examples to point to for your interview. You can also mention how you would implement change processes in your project.

Consider using the STAR method when asked for specific examples from your past. Here’s how to put the method into action:

S ituation: Start by describing the facts of the situation and why it happened—in this case, what had gone wrong.

T ask: Go on to describe what task you were expected to do to solve the situation.

A ction: Next, explain what you did and how you did it.

R esult: Finish by sharing the outcome. Also, describe what you learned from the experience. 

4. How do you prioritize tasks in a project?

Knowing what to prioritize is key to a project. There’s a chance you’ll receive a question asking what you decide to prioritize and why. You might also be asked how you would juggle working on multiple projects at once.

How to answer: Tie your answer back to the interest of the project. Your answer might include some combination of deadlines, stakeholder needs, or determining tasks that make up a critical path. You can pull from some examples in the past or work your way through some hypothetical situations.

5. What was your most successful project?

This question can demonstrate to recruiters what you consider a success. Projects can be successful for meeting goals, deadlines, and budgets, but successes can also mean being able to incorporate change.

How to answer: Take this opportunity to demonstrate your strengths. Modesty is a great asset, but don’t undersell yourself. If your team pulled out a success, what did you do to keep the project on track or be more efficient? Think about the key elements you and the team took that led to success.

6. What’s your experience with budget management?

Hiring managers might ask questions specifically about various skills like budget management. It’s probably not a deal breaker if you have no experience in most cases—they may just be trying to get a better sense of where you stand.

How to answer: Managing a budget includes cost estimation, deciding how to allocate funds, keeping a record of how money was spent, and planning for unexpected expenses. It’s great if you can point to some examples in the past. If you don’t have much experience, you can share what you know about budget planning, or talk about budgeting experience you have in your personal life, if it’s relevant. It’s also good to show that you’re able to pick up new skills.

Read more: How to Become a Project Manager in 5 Steps

7. How would you describe a project plan?

An interviewer can try to gauge your technical knowledge of basic project management concepts. 

How to answer: Start by answering the question—describe what elements you know to be an important part of a project plan (like tasks, milestones, and team members). You can then go into an example of how you’ve typically implemented them in the past.

Read more: How to Make a Project Plan in 4 Steps

8. How would you create an environment of collaboration on your team?

Knowing how to motivate team members and make them feel like they can surface any questions and concerns is often central to a project’s success.

How to answer: In this situation, it can be helpful to point to an example of when you were able to foster good communication in your team. Think about any processes or methods you rely on to get people feeling like they are working toward a common goal. This might include simple methods like incorporating icebreakers in kickoff meetings, or building in communication structures within a project.

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9. What tools do you use to plan a project?

Interviewers might want to understand your familiarity with different project management tools. 

How to answer: In preparing for your interview, make a list of all the project management tools you’ve used before. These can include common project management tools like RACI charts, or collaboration software like Asana or Trello. Mention what you like about them, and how they might be improved.

Do some research to see if you can find what kind of tools you’ll be expected to use. You can try to familiarize yourself with the tool, or see if you’ve used any similar tools. These Guided Projects on Coursera are free, can be completed in two hours or less, and can introduce you to some common project management tools:

Trello for Beginners

Improve Efficiency in Asana for Project Managers

Use RACI charts for work management with Asana

10. Describe your experience in this industry.

Familiarize yourself as much as you can with the company’s industry before the interview. Learn what the top issues are by reading news articles and listening to podcasts, or reaching out to project managers in similar roles and asking about their experiences. 

How to answer: Come prepared to talk about any experience you’ve had in the industry. Academic or professional background is great. If you don’t have these, you can talk about what you’ve learned about the industry, and why you want to work in it. Mention any skills or knowledge that are transferable as well.

What if I don’t have any formal project management experience?

Project management is a field where people skills can make or break a candidate. If you’re less familiar with the technical side of project management, emphasize people skills you have like leadership, communication, and organization. Even if you’re not a formal project manager yet, chances are good that you’ve done some elements of project management in the past. Go through your experiences and find moments when you’ve helped to improve, plan, or execute new processes. 

And don’t worry—if you’ve landed an interview, your interviewer probably already knows that you don’t have formal experience but sees potential in you. Convey your enthusiasm for the job and willingness to learn.

11. One of your team members is asking for more time to complete a task. How would you handle this situation?

Situational questions like these are common in project management interviews. This is a chance for hiring managers to see your thought process and gauge how you think on your feet.

How to answer: As a project manager, you’ll be expected to help team members that haven’t been able to complete tasks on schedule in the interest of the project. You’ll want to know why the issue arose in the first place, and apply an appropriate fix. You might talk about adding another member if the team is feeling overloaded, implementing time buffers in the planning phase for certain tasks, or negotiating with a stakeholder for more time or resources.

12. How would you deal with a difficult stakeholder?

This situational question aims to get clarity into your workplace skills, a crucial part of being a successful project manager.

How to answer: Communication and negotiation are likely to be an important part of your answer here. Knowing your team’s needs, capacity, and the project’s available resources might also influence your answer.

For more ideas on preparing answers this question, see the video below, a preview of the Google Project Management Professional Certificate .

Project manager interview: General tips

Keep these tips in mind as you prepare for your project manager interview.

Be prepared to think on your feet: Project management sometimes requires making sound judgement calls in limited time. Practice responding under pressure by having somebody you trust ask you different situational questions.

Ask questions at the end: Though this is a common tip for all interviews, it’s especially important for project management interviews. In projects, your ability to ask the right questions can be the difference between success and missing key goals. Come prepared with a list of questions you want to ask. You can also take notes during the interview on points you want to clarify.

Read case studies: If you’re feeling stuck, try finding some case studies about projects that went well, and didn’t. This can help you learn from other people’s experiences, and jog your inspiration to know what to talk about in your own interview.

Interviewing remotely: Remote interviews have their own challenges. Watch the video below for tips.

Research the company: Learning about the company you're interviewing with can help build confidence prior to the meeting. Show an understanding of the company's goals and vision and how your background aligns with the position.

Getting started

If you’re looking for a place to learn about formal project management concepts or refresh old skills, consider the Google Project Management: Professional Certificate . You’ll learn in-demand skills like Scrum, how to make risk management plans, and use project management software.

Keep reading

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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47 case interview examples (from McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc.)

Case interview examples - McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc.

One of the best ways to prepare for   case interviews  at firms like McKinsey, BCG, or Bain, is by studying case interview examples. 

There are a lot of free sample cases out there, but it's really hard to know where to start. So in this article, we have listed all the best free case examples available, in one place.

The below list of resources includes interactive case interview samples provided by consulting firms, video case interview demonstrations, case books, and materials developed by the team here at IGotAnOffer. Let's continue to the list.

  • McKinsey examples
  • BCG examples
  • Bain examples
  • Deloitte examples
  • Other firms' examples
  • Case books from consulting clubs
  • Case interview preparation

Click here to practise 1-on-1 with MBB ex-interviewers

1. mckinsey case interview examples.

  • Beautify case interview (McKinsey website)
  • Diconsa case interview (McKinsey website)
  • Electro-light case interview (McKinsey website)
  • GlobaPharm case interview (McKinsey website)
  • National Education case interview (McKinsey website)
  • Talbot Trucks case interview (McKinsey website)
  • Shops Corporation case interview (McKinsey website)
  • Conservation Forever case interview (McKinsey website)
  • McKinsey case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
  • McKinsey live case interview extract (by IGotAnOffer) - See below

2. BCG case interview examples

  • Foods Inc and GenCo case samples  (BCG website)
  • Chateau Boomerang written case interview  (BCG website)
  • BCG case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
  • Written cases guide (by IGotAnOffer)
  • BCG live case interview extract (by IGotAnOffer) - See below

3. Bain case interview examples

  • CoffeeCo practice case (Bain website)
  • FashionCo practice case (Bain website)
  • Associate Consultant mock interview video (Bain website)
  • Consultant mock interview video (Bain website)
  • Written case interview tips (Bain website)
  • Bain case interview guide   (by IGotAnOffer)
  • Bain live case interview extract (by IGotAnOffer) - See above

4. Deloitte case interview examples

  • Engagement Strategy practice case (Deloitte website)
  • Recreation Unlimited practice case (Deloitte website)
  • Strategic Vision practice case (Deloitte website)
  • Retail Strategy practice case  (Deloitte website)
  • Finance Strategy practice case  (Deloitte website)
  • Talent Management practice case (Deloitte website)
  • Enterprise Resource Management practice case (Deloitte website)
  • Footloose written case  (by Deloitte)
  • Deloitte case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)

5. Accenture case interview examples

  • Case interview workbook (by Accenture)
  • Accenture case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)

6. OC&C case interview examples

  • Leisure Club case example (by OC&C)
  • Imported Spirits case example (by OC&C)

7. Oliver Wyman case interview examples

  • Wumbleworld case sample (Oliver Wyman website)
  • Aqualine case sample (Oliver Wyman website)
  • Oliver Wyman case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)

8. A.T. Kearney case interview examples

  • Promotion planning case question (A.T. Kearney website)
  • Consulting case book and examples (by A.T. Kearney)
  • AT Kearney case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)

9. Strategy& / PWC case interview examples

  • Presentation overview with sample questions (by Strategy& / PWC)
  • Strategy& / PWC case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)

10. L.E.K. Consulting case interview examples

  • Case interview example video walkthrough   (L.E.K. website)
  • Market sizing case example video walkthrough  (L.E.K. website)

11. Roland Berger case interview examples

  • Transit oriented development case webinar part 1  (Roland Berger website)
  • Transit oriented development case webinar part 2   (Roland Berger website)
  • 3D printed hip implants case webinar part 1   (Roland Berger website)
  • 3D printed hip implants case webinar part 2   (Roland Berger website)
  • Roland Berger case interview guide   (by IGotAnOffer)

12. Capital One case interview examples

  • Case interview example video walkthrough  (Capital One website)
  • Capital One case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)

13. Consulting clubs case interview examples

  • Berkeley case book (2006)
  • Columbia case book (2006)
  • Darden case book (2012)
  • Darden case book (2018)
  • Duke case book (2010)
  • Duke case book (2014)
  • ESADE case book (2011)
  • Goizueta case book (2006)
  • Illinois case book (2015)
  • LBS case book (2006)
  • MIT case book (2001)
  • Notre Dame case book (2017)
  • Ross case book (2010)
  • Wharton case book (2010)

Practice with experts

Using case interview examples is a key part of your interview preparation, but it isn’t enough.

At some point you’ll want to practise with friends or family who can give some useful feedback. However, if you really want the best possible preparation for your case interview, you'll also want to work with ex-consultants who have experience running interviews at McKinsey, Bain, BCG, etc.

If you know anyone who fits that description, fantastic! But for most of us, it's tough to find the right connections to make this happen. And it might also be difficult to practice multiple hours with that person unless you know them really well.

Here's the good news. We've already made the connections for you. We’ve created a coaching service where you can do mock case interviews 1-on-1 with ex-interviewers from MBB firms . Start scheduling sessions today!

The IGotAnOffer team

Interview coach and candidate conduct a video call

35 Case Interviews Examples from MBB / Big Four Firms

Studying case interview examples is one of the first steps in preparing for the  management consulting  recruitment process. If you don’t want to spend hours searching the web, this article presents a comprehensive and convenient list for you – with 35 example cases, 16 case books, along with a case video accompanied by detailed feedback on tips and techniques.

A clear understanding of “what is a case interview” is essential for effective use of these examples. I suggest reading our  Case Interview 101  guide, if you haven’t done so.

McKinsey case interview examples

Mckinsey practice cases.

  • Diconsa Case
  • Electro-Light Case
  • GlobaPharm Case
  • National Education Case

What should I know about McKinsey Case interviews?

At McKinsey, case interviews often follow the interviewer-led format , where the interviewer asks you multiple questions for you to answer with short pitches.

How do you nail these cases? Since the questions can be grouped into predictable types, an efficient approach is to master each question type. However, do that after you’ve mastered the case interview fundamentals!

For a detailed guide on interviewer-led cases, check out our article on McKinsey Case Interview .

BCG & Bain case interview examples

Bcg practice cases.

  • BCG – Written Case – Chateau Boomerang

Bain practice cases

  • Bain – Coffee Shop Co.
  • Bain – Fashion Co.
  • Bain – Mock Interview – Associate Consultant
  • Bain – Mock Interview – Consultant

What should I know about BCG & Bain case interviews?

Unlike McKinsey, BCG and Bain case interviews typically follow the candidate-led format – which is the opposite of interviewer-led, with the candidate driving the case progress by actively breaking down problems in their own way.

The key to acing candidate-led cases is to master the case interview fundamental concepts as well as the frameworks.

Some BCG and Bain offices also utilize written case interviews – you have to go through a pile of data slides, select the most relevant ones to answer a set of interviewer questions, then deliver those answers in a presentation.

For a detailed guide on candidate-led cases, check out our article on BCG & Bain Case Interview .

Deloitte case interview examples

Deloitte practice cases.

Undergrad Cases

  • Human Capital – Technology Institute
  • Human Capital – Agency V
  • Strategy – Federal Benefits Provider
  • Strategy – Extreme Athletes
  • Technology – Green Apron
  • Technology – Big Bucks Bank
  • Technology – Top Engine
  • Technology – Finance Agency

Advanced Cases

  • Human Capital – Civil Cargo Bureau
  • Human Capital – Capital Airlines
  • Strategy – Club Co
  • Strategy – Health Agency
  • Technology – Waste Management
  • Technology – Bank of Zurich
  • Technology – Galaxy Fitness

What should I know about Deloitte case interviews?

Case interviews at Deloitte also lean towards the candidate-led format like BCG and Bain.

The Deloitte consultant recruitment process also features group case interviews , which not only test analytical skills but also place a great deal on interpersonal handling.

Accenture case interview examples

Accenture divides its cases into three types with very cool-sounding names.

Sorted in descending order of popularity, they are:

These are similar to candidate-led cases at Bain and BCG. albeit shorter – the key is to develop a suitable framework and ask the right questions to extract data from the interviewer.

These are similar to the market-sizing and guesstimate questions asked in interviewer-led cases – demonstrate your calculations in structured, clear-cut, logical steps and you’ll nail the case.

These cases have you sort through a deluge of data to draw solutions; however, this type of case is rare.

Capital One case interview examples

Capital One is the odd one on this list – it is a bank-holding company. Nonetheless, this being one of the biggest banks in America, it’s interesting to see how its cases differ from the consulting ones.

Having gone through Capital One’s guide to its cases, I can’t help but notice the less-MECE structure of the sample answers. Additionally, there seems to be a greater focus on the numbers.

Nonetheless, having a solid knowledge of the basics of case interviews will not hurt you – if anything, your presentation will be much more in-depth, comprehensive, and understandable!

See Capital One Business Analyst Case Interview for an example case and answers.

Other firms case interview examples

Besides the leading ones, we have some examples from other major consulting firms as well.

  • Oliver Wyman – Wumbleworld
  • Oliver Wyman – Aqualine
  • LEK – Cinema
  • LEK – Market Sizing
  • Kearney – Promotional Planning
  • OC&C – Imported Spirits
  • OC&C – Leisure Clubs

Consulting clubs case books

In addition to official cases, here are a few case books you can use as learning materials.

Do keep in mind: don’t base your study on frameworks and individual case types, but master the fundamentals so you can tackle any kind of case.

  • Wharton Consulting Club Case Book
  • Tuck Consulting Club Case Book
  • MIT Sloan Consulting Club Case Book
  • LBS Consulting Club Case Book
  • Kellogg Consulting Club Case Book
  • INSEAD Consulting Club Case Book
  • Harvard Consulting Club Case Book
  • ESADE Consulting Club Case Book
  • Darden Consulting Club Case Book
  • Berkeley Consulting Club Case Book
  • Notre-Dame Consulting Club Case Book
  • Illinois Consulting Club Case Book
  • Columbia Consulting Club Case Book
  • Duke Consulting Club Case Book
  • Ross Consulting Club Case Book
  • Kearney Case Book

case studies for project management interviews

Case interview example – Case video

The limitation of most official case interview examples is that they are either too short and vague, or in text format, or both.

To solve that problem for you, we’ve extracted a 30-minute-long, feedback-rich case sample from our Case Interview End-to-End Secrets Program .

This is a candidate-led, profitability case on an internet music broadcasting company called Pandora.

In 30 minutes, this candidate demonstrates the exact kind of shortcoming that most candidates suffer during real case interviews – they come in with sharp business senses, then hurt their own chances with inadequate techniques.

Here are seven notable areas where the candidate (and you) can improve:

Thanking Throughout the case, as especially in the opening, he should have shown more appreciation for the time the interviewer spent with him.

Structured opening The candidate’s opening of the case feels unstructured. He could have improved it by not mixing the playback and clarification parts. You can learn to nail the case in a 3-minute start through this video on How to Open Any Case Perfectly .

Explicitness A lot of the candidate’s thought process remains in his head; in a case interview, it’s better to be as explicit as possible – draw your issue tree out and point to it as you speak; state your hypothesis when you move into a branch; when you receive data, acknowledge it out loud.

Avoiding silence The silence in his case performance is too long, including his timeout and various gaps in his speech; either ask for timeout (and keep it as short as possible) or think out loud to fill those gaps.

Proactivity The candidate relies too much on the interviewer (e.g: asking for data when it can easily be calculated); you don’t want to appear lazy before your interviewer, so avoid this.

Avoiding repeating mistakes Making one mistake twice is a big no-no in consulting interviews; one key part of the consulting skill set is the ability to learn, and repeating your mistakes (especially if the interviewer has pointed it out) makes you look like someone who doesn’t learn.

Note-taking Given the mistakes this candidate makes, he’s probably not taking his notes well. I can show you how to get it right if you watch this video on Case Interview Note-Taking .

Nonetheless, there are three good points you can learn from the candidate:

The candidate sums up what he’s covered and announces his upcoming approach at the start and at key points in the case – this is a very good habit that gives you a sense of direction and shows that you’re an organized person.

The candidate performs a “reality check” on whether his actions match the issue tree; in a case interview it’s easy to lose track of what you’re doing, so remember to do this every once in a while.

The candidate prompts the interviewer to give out more data than he asked for; if anything, this actually matches a habit of real consultants, and if you’re lucky, your interviewer may actually give out important pieces you haven’t thought of.

These are only part of the “ninja tips” taught In our Case Interview E2E Secrets Program – besides the math and business intuition for long-term development, a key feature is the instant-result tips and techniques for case interviews.

Once you’ve mastered them, you can nail any case they throw at you!

For more “quality” practice, let’s have a mock case interview with former consultants from McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Oliver Wyman, Strategy& and many other consulting firms. They will help you identify your problem areas and give you actionable feedback, making your preparation much easier and faster.

Hi! This is Kim and welcome to another performance in the Tips & Techniques part of our amazing End-to-end program. You are about to hear a really interesting performance.

There is a common Myth that Profitability cases are easier. Well, for beginners, that’s may make sense, but I would argue that Profitability cases can be really tricky and candidates without good foundation will make about the same level of mistakes regardless of type of cases given.

The profitability case we are about to watch will show that. It’s a very unconventional

Profitability. It started out like a typical one but getting more and more tricky toward the end.

The candidate is fairly good in term of business intuition, but the Tips & Techniques aspect needs a lot of fine tune! Now let’s go ahead and get started! 

It’s actually a little better to playback the case information and ask clarifications. The candidate does not distinguish between the two and do both at a same time. Also, the candidate was asking these clarifications in an unorganized and unstructured fashion. This is not something terrible, but could have been better, especially when this is the very first part of the case, where the crucial first impression is being formed.

My pitch would sound like this:

“That’s a very interesting problem and I am happy to get the chance to solve it. First of all let me tell you my understanding of the case context and key objectives. Then I would like to ask a few clarifying questions regarding a few terminology and concepts. Both of these are to make sure that I will be solving the right problem.

So here is my understanding of the case: The client is ABC. Here are some DEF facts about the situation we just talked about. And the key case question is XYZ.

Does that correctly and adequately summarize the case?”

Once the interviewer confirms, I would move to the clarification part as follows: “Now I would like to ask a few clarification questions. There are three of them: No 1, … No 2, … and No 3, …”

You may see above pitch as obvious but that’s a perfect example of how you should open any cases. Every details matters. We will point out those details in just a second. But before we do that, it’s actually very helpful if you can go back, listen carefully to the above pitch, and try to point out the great components yourselves. Only after that, go back to this point and learn it all together.

Alright, let’s break down the perfect opening.

First of all, you hear me say: “That’s a very interesting problem and I am happy to get a chance to solve it”. This seems trivial but very beneficial in multiple ways:

1. I bought myself a couple of seconds to calm down and get focused. 2. By nature, we as human unconsciously like those who give us compliments. Nothing better than opening the case with a modest compliment to the interviewer.

And (c) I showed my great attitude towards the case, which the interviewer would assume is the same for real future consulting business problems.

You should do that in your interviews too. Say it and accompany it with the best smile you can give. It shows that you are not afraid of any problems. In fact, you love them and you are always ready for them.

Secondly, I did what I refer to as the “map habit”, which is to always say what you are about to do and then do it. Just like somebody in the car showing the drivers the route before cruising on the road. The driver would love it. This is where I said: “Let me tell you my understanding of the case context and key objectives. Then ABC…”.

Third, right at the beginning of the case, I try to be crystal clear and easy to follow. I don’t let the interviewer confused between playing the case vs. asking clarification questions. I distinguish between the two really carefully. This habit probably doesn’t change the outcome of how the case goes that much, but it certainly significantly changes the impression the interviewer has of me.

Fourth, in playing back the case, each person would have a different way to re-phrase. But there are three buckets to always include:

1. Who is the client 2. The facts regarding the client and the situation and (c) The key question and the objective of the case.

Fifth, after playing the case context and objectives, I pause for a second and ALIGN with the interviewer: “Does it correctly and adequately summarize the case?”. This is a habit that every consulting manager loves for young consultants to do. Nobody wants first-year folks to spend weeks of passion and hard-work building an excel model that the team can’t use. This habit is extensively taught at McKinsey, Bain and BCG, so therefore interviewers would love somebody that exhibits this habit often in case interview.

Lastly, when asking clarification questions, you hear me number them very carefully to create the strong impression that I am very organized and structured. I said I have three clarifying questions. Then I number them as I go through each. No.1, No.2, and No.3.

Sometimes, during interviews it’s hard to know exactly how many items you are going to get. One way is to take timeout often to carefully plan your pitch. If this is not possible in certain situations, you may skip telling how many items you have; but you should definitely still number your question: No.1, No.2; and so on. 

Just a moment ago, the candidate actually exhibited a good habit. After going through his clarification questions, the candidate ended by asking the “is there anything else” question. In this case, I actually give out an important piece of data.

Though this is not very common as not every interviewer is that generous in giving out data. But this is a habit management consultants have to have every day when talking to experts, clients, or key stakeholders. The key is to get the most data and insights out of every interview and this is the type of open-ended question every consultant asks several times a day.

To show of this habit in a case interview is very good!

There are three things I would like you to pay attention to:

First, it took the candidate up to 72 seconds to “gather his thoughts”. This is a little too long in a case interview. I intentionally leave the 72 seconds of silence in the recording so you get an idea of how long that is in real situations. But it’s worth-noting here is not only that. While in some very complicated and weird cases, it’s ok to take that long to really think and gather ideas. In this case, the approach as proposed by the candidate is very simple. For this very approach, I think no more than 15 to 20 seconds should be used.

No.2, with that said, I have told I really like the fact that this candidate exhibits the “map” habit. Before going straight to the approach he draws the overall approach first.

No.3. You also see here that the candidate tried to align the approach with me by asking my thoughts on it. As I just said on the previous comment, this is a great habit to have. Not only does it help reduce chance of going into the wrong direction in case interviews, but it also creates a good impression. Consulting interviewers love people doing it often!

Here we see a not-really-bad response that for sure could be much better. The candidate was going into the first branch of the analysis which is Revenue. I would fix this in 3 aspects:

First, even though we just talked about the overall approach, it’s still better to briefly set up the issue tree first then clearly note that you are going into one branch.

Second, this is not a must, but I always try to make my hypothesis as explicitly clear as possible. Here the candidate just implicitly made a hypothesis that the problem is on the revenue side. The best way to show our hypothesis-driven mindset is to explicitly say it.

Third, you hear this a ton of times in our End-to-End program but I am going to repeat it again and again. It is better to show the habit of aligning here too. Don’t just go into revenue, before doing that, give the interviewer a chance to agree or to actually guide you to Cost.

So, summarizing the above insights, my pitch would sound something like this:

“So as we just discussed, a profit problem is either caused by revenue or by cost. Unless you would like to go into cost first, let’s hypothesize that the problem is on revenue side. I would like to look deeper into Revenue. Do we have any data on the revenue?”

And while saying this, you should literally draw an issue tree and point to each as you speak.

There is an interesting case interview tip I want to point out here. Notice how the candidate responds after receiving two data points from me. He went straight into the next question without at least acknowledging the data received and also without briefly analyzing it.

I am glad that the candidate makes this mistakes… well, not glad for him but for the greater audience of this program. I would like to introduce to you the perfect habit of what you should react and do every time you have any piece of data during case interviews. So three things you need to do:

Step 1: Say … that’s an interesting piece of data. This helps the interviewer acknowledge that you have received and understand the data. This also buys you a little time. And furthermore, it’s always a good thing to give out modest compliments to the interviewer.

Step 2: Describe the data, how it looks, is there any special noteworthy trend? In this case, we should point out that revenue actually grew by more than 50%.

Also notice here that I immediately quantified the difference in specific quantitative measurement (in this case, percentage). Saying revenue went up is good, but it’s great to be able to say revenue went up by more than 50%.

Step 3: Link the trend identified back to the original case question and the hypothesis you have. Does it prove, disprove, or open up new investigation to really test the hypothesis? In this case, this data piece actually opened up new investigating areas to test the hypothesis that the bottleneck is within revenue.

My sample pitch for this step 3 would sound like this: “It’s interesting that revenue went up quite a bit. However, to be able to fully reject our hypothesis on the revenue, I would like to compare our revenue to that of the competitors as well.”

Then only at this point, after going through 3 steps above, I ask for the competitors’ revenue like the candidate did.

Notice here that I ended up asking the same question the candidate did. This shows that the candidate does have a good intuition and thought process. It’s just that he did all of these implicitly on his head.

In consulting case interview, it’s always good to do everything as explicitly as possible. Not only is it easier to follow but it helps show your great thought process.

… the rest of the transcript is available in our End To End Case Interview

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Secrets to a successful case-study interview

January 09, 2023

Secrets to a successful case-study interview

Prepping for (and maybe fretting) the case-study interview?

While this kind of interview may appear intimidating, consider this: The interviewer really wants you to do well.

So, shake off the nerves, relax and have fun.

Tips for standing out in the case-study interview: 

  • Take your time; don't rush it.  Talk through the problem. If you can't make sense of it, take a moment and allow yourself some time to process what you've been missing. If you get stuck, get creative. Don't let yourself get bogged down; rely on your ingenuity. 
  • Ask questions.  You can always ask your interviewer to define an acronym or to repeat or confirm details. If the interviewer asks, “How do we achieve success?”, don’t be afraid to ask, “What does ‘success’ mean to you? Is it turning a profit? Raising the company’s profile?” When you work on a client project, you need to ask questions to figure out what the problems might be, and the same applies here. The interviewer is your biggest asset in the room. They have the information you need to “solve the case” successfully. Use them wisely!
  • Be flexible.  The focus of a case-study interview may vary. So, be prepared to participate in whatever discussion the interviewer has in mind. They may spend the first half of the interview asking about your previous experience, or they may dive right into the case study at the start. The bottom line: Be flexible, and be ready to discuss the work you do and how you do it.
  • Use visual aids.  Don’t be afraid to use pen and paper, sketch out your thoughts, and talk through the problem at hand if it helps you get your ideas across. What matters most is demonstrating that you can solve problems.
  • Focus on impact.  Inventory the information you have, and then dive in where you can have the most impact. Don’t forget to discuss your thought process and explain your assumptions.
  • Tell a story.  Your experience has helped you progress in your career and education; use that experience. For example, in a business case study, you could bring your experience as a traveler to a case about a hypothetical airline. Your individuality is important. Your unique insights will serve you well when you’re interviewing.
  • Pay attention to cues.  If the interviewer says something, it probably means something. Don’t dismiss seemingly extraneous details. For example, the interviewer might say, “The case is about a retailer who wants to increase the value of a company it purchased, and the owner loved the brand when growing up.” The purpose of that detail is to indicate that turning around and selling the asset is not an option for making it profitable, because the owner is attached to it.

Preparing for the job you want can take time, but it’s a worthwhile investment—especially when you receive an offer.

Your ideas, ingenuity and determination make a difference. 

Find your fit  with Accenture. 

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Top 20 Project Management Case Studies [With Examples]

Top 20 Project Management Case Studies [With Examples]

Project management case study analyses showcase and compare real-life project management processes and systems scenarios. These studies shed light on the common challenges that project managers encounter on a daily basis. This helps project managers develop effective strategies, overcome obstacles, and achieve successful results. 

By leveraging project management case studies , organisations can optimise their operations by providing insights into the most effective approaches. With effective implementation of these case studies, strategies, and methodologies, ensuring successful project completion is achievable.

Criteria for Selection of Top 20 Case Studies

The top 20 case studies are selected based on significance, impact, challenges, project management strategies, and overall success. They provide diverse insights and lessons for project managers and organisations.

1. The Sydney Opera House Project

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The Sydney Opera House Project is an iconic example of project management case studies as it faced multiple challenges during its construction phase. Despite facing leadership changes, budget overruns, and design failures, the project persevered and was completed in 1973, a decade later than planned. The Opera House stands as a symbol of perseverance and successful project management in the face of humankind.

2. The Airbus A380 Project

The Airbus A380 Project is a project management case study showcasing the challenges encountered during developing and producing the world’s largest commercial aircraft. The project experienced massive delays and impacted costs of more than $6 billion, with several issues arising from the manufacturing and delivery process, outsourcing, and project coordination. 

However, the Airbus A380 was successfully launched through carefully planned project management strategies, delivering a world-class aircraft that met customer expectations.

3. The Panama Canal Expansion Project 

The Panama Canal Expansion Project serves as a compelling case study, illustrating the management’s encounters in expanding the capacity of the Panama Canal. The project included multiple stakeholders, technological innovations, environmental concerns, and safety challenges. 

4. The Boston Central Artery/Tunnel Project

The Boston Central Artery/Tunnel Project serves as a project management case study of a large-scale underground tunnel construction project. It successfully addressed traffic congestion and was completed in 2007. The project was completed in 2007, with numerous hurdles delaying progress like complexity, technology failure, ballooning budgets, media scrutiny, etc.

5. The London 2012 Olympics Project

The London 2012 Olympics Project stands as a successful project management case study, showcasing the management of a large-scale international sporting event. This project involved the construction of a new sports infrastructure, event logistics and security concerns. The project was successfully accomplished, delivering a world-class event that captivated the audience.

6. The Hoover Dam Bypass Project

The Hoover Dam Bypass Project was a construction project in the United States of America that intended to alleviate traffic from the Hoover Dam by building a new bridge. Completed in 2010, the bridge spans across the Colorado River, connecting Arizona and Nevada and offers a safer and more efficient route for motorists.

7. The Golden Gate Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project

The Golden Gate Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project is a case study example constructed in San Francisco, California. Its objective was to enhance the bridge’s resilience against earthquakes and aftershocks. Completed in 2012, the project included the installation of shock absorbers and other seismic upgrades to ensure the bridge’s safety and functionality in the event of a major earthquake.

8. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge Project

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge Project is a massive case study that intends to connect Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau with a bridge-tunnel system of 55 kilometres. Completed in 2018, the project required massive funds, investments and innovative engineering solutions, providing a new transport link and boosting regional connectivity.

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9. The Panama Papers Investigation Project

The Panama Papers Investigation Project is a global case study of journalistic investigations into offshore tax havens. It involved leaked documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm. Coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the project resulted in major political and financial repercussions worldwide, garnering widespread media attention.

10. The Apple iPhone Development Project

The Apple iPhone Development Project started in 2004, aiming to create a groundbreaking mobile device. In 2007, the iPhone transformed the industry with its innovative touchscreen interface, sleek design, and advanced features. This project involved significant research, development, marketing, and supply chain management investments.

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11. The Ford Pinto Design and Launch Project

The Ford Pinto Design and Launch Project was a developmental project intended to create an affordable, fuel-efficient subcompact car. Launched in 1971, because of its fuel tank design, it became infamous for safety issues. The project was rigged for ethical and safety concerns, lawsuits, and recalls.

12. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response Project

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response Project was a response to the largest oil spill in US history, caused by an offshore drilling rig explosion in 2010. This crisis response project utilised a waterfall project management approach, where the project team followed a pattern of planning, executing, monitoring, and closing phases. 

13. The NASA Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster Project

  The NASA Challenger Disaster Project was a tragic space exploration mission in 1986, resulting in the loss of all seven crew members. Extensive investigations revealed design and safety flaws as the cause. This disaster prompted NASA to address decision-making processes and improve safety cultures.

14. The Three Gorges Dam Project

  The Three Gorges Dam Project was a large-scale infrastructure project developed in China that aimed to build the world’s largest hydroelectric dam on the Yangtze River. Completed in 2012, it encountered environmental, social, and engineering challenges. The dam currently offers power generation, flood control, and improved navigation, but it has also resulted in ecological and cultural consequences.

15. The Big Dig Project in Boston

The Big Dig Project was a transportation infrastructure project in Boston, Massachusetts, intended to replace an old elevated highway with a newer tunnel system. Completed in 2007, it serves as one of the most complex and costly construction endeavours in US history. Despite facing many delays, cost overruns and engineering challenges, the project successfully improved traffic flow and urban aesthetics but also resulted in accidents, lawsuits, and financial burdens.

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16. The Uber Disruptive Business Model Project

  The Uber Disruptive Business Model Project was a startup that introduced a new ride business model that disrupted the taxi-cab industry by connecting riders with drivers via a mobile app. Launched in 2010, this project required innovative technology, marketing and regulatory strategies and faced legal actions and ethical challenges related to labour, safety, and competition. Uber has since then dominated the market with its ride-sharing business plan.

17. The Netflix Original Content Development Project

The Netflix Original Content Development Project was an initiative created to launch its original content for its platform. This launch by the online streaming giant in 2012 was a huge success for the company. The project required huge investments in content creation, distribution and marketing and resulted in award-winning shows and films that redefined the entire entertainment industry’s business model.

18. The Tesla Electric Car Project

The Tesla Electric Car Project was a revolutionary project that aimed to compete for its electric vehicles with gasoline-powered vehicles. The project required a strong project management plan that incorporated innovation, sustainability, and stakeholder engagement, resulting in the successful launch of the Tesla Roadster in 2008 and subsequent models. Tesla has one-handedly revolutionised the entire automobile industry on its own. 

19. The Johnson & Johnson Tylenol Crisis Management Project:

The Johnson & Johnson Tylenol Crisis Management Project was a case study in crisis management in 1982. The project required quick and effective decision-making skills, stakeholder communication, and ethical leadership in response to the tampering of Tylenol capsules that led to deaths. 

20. The Airbnb Online Marketplace Platform Project  

The Airbnb Online Marketplace Platform Project was a startup that created an online platform which connected travellers with hosts offering short-term rental accommodations in flights. The project required innovative technology, user experience design and stakeholder management. Airbnb’s success has led to the disruption of the hospitality industry and inspired many other project case study examples of sharing economy platforms.

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Future developments in project management.

Future developments in project management include all the insights on the increased use of artificial intelligence, agile methodologies, hybrid project management approaches, and emphasis on sustainability and social responsibility, along with many more developing ideas that will address the evolving market innovations. 

Key Takeaways from the Case Studies

The project management case study examples illustrate real-life examples and the importance of project management in achieving project success. The cases show the use of innovative technologies, tools, techniques, stakeholder engagement, crisis management, and agile methodologies. 

Project Management also highlights the role of ethical leadership and social responsibility in project management. To learn more and more about case studies, upGrad, India’s leading education platform, has offered an Advanced General Management Program from IMT Ghaziabad that will equip you with in-demand management skills to keep up with the changing trends!


Keerthi Shivakumar

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Project Management is extensive planning, executing, monitoring and closing of a project before its deadline. Project management ensures accuracy and efficiency across all organs of a project, right from its inception to its completion.

Project Management case studies are real-life examples of projects to put an insight into all the tools, techniques and methodologies it provides.

The role of a project manager is to ensure that all day-to-day responsibilities are being met by the resources deployed in a certain project. They have the authority to manage as well as lead the functioning members as well.

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Case Studies

Learn about the people behind the projects, the projects they deliver and the organisations raising the bar of project professionalism. We recognise what people can achieve through project management, and have been celebrating excellence in the profession for over 20 years.

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Project Management Examples

MPMM Project Management Methodology

Project Management Example Case Study

MPMM includes an entire suite of project management examples which give you practical, hands-on examples of managing successful projects.

Each example provides a project management case study describing how a project was managed, the challenges faced and the tips and tricks used to deliver the project successfully. By reading the extensive suite of examples included within MPMM, you will advance your project management knowledge and skill set.

Project Examples

The example case studies included in MPMM help you to perform:

  • Project Initiation
  • Project Planning
  • Project Execution
  • Project Closure
  • Risk Management
  • Change Management
  • Quality Management
  • Cost Management
  • Issue Management
  • Time Management
  • Procurement Management
  • Acceptance Management
  • Communications Management

More than 30 comprehensive project management example case studies describe how to undertake every activity within the Project Life Cycle. These examples will:

Initiation Examples

MPMM TM includes a suite of examples which help you to initiate projects, by defining the business case, undertaking a feasibility study, completing a project charter, recruiting the project team and setting up a Project Office. The following topics are described in depth, within the Project Initiation Example suite:

  • Develop a Business Case
  • Undertake a Feasibility Study
  • Establish the Project Charter
  • Appoint a Project Team
  • Set up a Project Office
  • Perform a Phase Review

Planning Examples

After defining the project and appointing the project team, you're ready to enter the detailed Project Planning phase. This involves creating a suite of planning deliverables to help guide your team through project delivery. The following topics are described in depth, within the Project Planning Example suite:

  • Create a Project Plan
  • Create a Resource Plan
  • Create a Financial Plan
  • Create a Quality Plan
  • Create a Risk Plan
  • Create a Acceptance Plan
  • Create a Communications Plan
  • Create a Procurement Plan
  • Define the Tender Process
  • Issue a Statement of Work
  • Issue a Request for Information
  • Issue a Request for Proposal
  • Create a Supplier Contract

Execution Examples

Execution is the phase within which the deliverables are physically built and presented to the customer for final acceptance. While each deliverable is being constructed, a suite of management processes are undertaken to monitor and control the deliverables being output by the project. These processes help you manage time, cost, quality, change, risks, issues, suppliers, customers and communication. The following project management examples will help you to execute projects efficiently:

  • Perform Time Management
  • Perform Cost Management
  • Perform Quality Management
  • Perform Change Management
  • Perform Risk Management
  • Perform Issue Management
  • Perform Procurement Management
  • Perform Acceptance Management
  • Perform Communications Management

Closure Examples

Project Closure involves releasing the final deliverables to the customer, handing over project documentation to the business, terminating supplier contracts, releasing project resources and communicating project closure to all project stakeholders. The last remaining step is to undertake a Post Implementation Review, to measure the level of project success and identify any lessons learned for future projects. The following project management examples will help you to complete these closure tasks quickly and efficiently:

  • Perform Project Closure
  • Review Project Completion

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So if you want to view project management examples and case studies to see first hand how other projects have been completed, then click on the "Free Trial" button. Each example helps you boost your project management knowledge.

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Project Management in Data Collection: A Practical Example Based on In-Depth Interviews

  • By: Nargiza Alimukhamedova & Shahzaib Ahmed Khan
  • Product: Sage Research Methods: Business
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd
  • Publication year: 2023
  • Online pub date: March 21, 2023
  • Discipline: Economics , Business and Management
  • Methods: Qualitative data collection , Data collection , In-depth interviews
  • DOI: https:// doi. org/10.4135/9781529670479
  • Keywords: logistics , microfinance , project management , quality assurance , scope , teams , transcripts Show all Show less
  • Online ISBN: 9781529670479 Copyright: © 2023 SAGE Publications Ltd More information Less information

Project management (PM) is an approach for planning and implementing a project traditionally used in the business world. In this case study, we demonstrate the application of the PM approach for managing data collection in academic research; and specifically using qualitative interviews we conducted about the closure of microfinance institutions. We focus on the emerging need for adaptive strategies to address a world in lockdown and continuous research. PM takes place in stages, starting with planning, implementation, and monitoring. We show how understanding the concepts of PM, such as determining the scope of the project, determining all stakeholders, planning responsibilities, and clearly laying them out and monitoring progress can be done not only in research, but also as a strong analytical tool. As the research in this case study was conducted amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, online technologies played an important role in maintaining the effectiveness of PM tools in the research.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this case study, readers should be able to:

  • Understand the benefits of the basic project management application in social science research based on the example of qualitative interviews
  • Identify practical steps in implementing the project management approach for data collection, including project scope, responsibility matrix, work-based structure, network diagram, and project success evaluation
  • Learn how to optimize data collection logistics using the project management approach

Project Overview and Context

Traditional qualitative research data collection using in-depth interviews has a linear approach and focuses on meeting the goals based on the research question and research objectives ( Patton, 1990 ; Stake, 2010 ). In addition, managing the field and primary data collection logistics requires specific and technical skills, which in some cases may create a variance between the ability of the researcher and the research itself. Given the conceptual difference between the research design and the data collection logistics, the overall process is linear and sequential so that each party is focused on completing their work successfully, however, considering the variance in different forms of research, the process may not always be linear, but rather more flexible with a key point to achieve. While a focused approach leads to high quality, it is important to ensure continuous updates to the research process and parts of the research, such as the questions asked in interviews, and iteration between interview questions and data collection. Most qualitative research primary data collection, such as in-depth interviews and participant observation, is conducted first, the findings are analyzed next, and the final academic paper is prepared last.

In this case, we show that a project management approach can be used to manage both the research design and implementation, which includes field logistics, data analysis, and development of the final paper, all at the same time support with project management tools ( PMBOK Guide, 2017 ). This is particularly important for qualitative research as continuous updates of the codes, research themes, and other essential elements should be done as an iterative, i.e., continual, process.

Using a practical example from data collection of in-depth interviews that took place in 2019-2020 in Uzbekistan, we demonstrate that a project management approach can be used to manage data collection and field logistics, and more importantly, to ensure that all important qualitative research themes are refined along the way and not after completing the fieldwork. The PM approach is especially important when access to respondents is limited due to various external factors, e.g., pandemic, geography, and other obstacles. The PM approach is thus recommended for researchers as an important technique to manage the logistics, assuring high-quality data collection and efficiency in terms of time, cost, and project specifications. We also demonstrate how data collection could be optimized using digital technologies such as Zoom, Google Drive and Google Spreadsheets; and NVivo for analyzing responses from qualitative interviews.

Section Summary

  • This case study presents a project management approach as a valuable tool for managing the data collection process.
  • Qualitative data collection and qualitative research approaches could be enhanced using the PM approach.
  • Project management brings substantial benefits for researchers, helps to operationalize and manage the data collection process, and ensures that final results and findings are updated on an iterative process.

Research Design

This case study is based on academic research measuring the consequences of the closure of non-bank microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Uzbekistan in 2011. Our research is related to microfinance impact evaluation studies and provides an important contribution to measuring the closure effect, as opposed to traditional studies that measure the effect of opening a new microfinance institution ( Banerjee et al., 2015 ). In our impact evaluation study of the closure effect, we used a mixed approach combining quantitative and qualitative research methods. In the quantitative part, we used the household survey for 2011 (before closure) and for 2016 (after closure) to measure the impact caused by the closure using a modified difference-in-difference econometric model. For the qualitative part, we used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) and conducted in-depth interviews with seven types of respondents. We analyzed their experiences with bank and non-bank MFIs, their individual experiences, and the impact of the closure.

We used PM to structure the complex process of data collection, which was challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the nature of the qualitative research where new themes needed to be updated during the progression of interviews. PM is helpful in managing an entire team, including researchers who develop the research concept, as well as individuals who work on data collection and analysis. In some traditional processes, these two sides work separately, or are outsourced to a professional survey company. PM thus enabled us to build the research capacity of specialists, optimize the data collection process and ultimately ensure a high-quality research output. We, therefore, extend the application of PM to all researchers, academics, and professional data collection companies.

Figure 1 below represents how the elements of a qualitative research can be adapted and illustrated from a PM lens. This representation shows how each step of the process, while conceptually linear, is interconnected with elements that can be iterated upon. Each step follows another, while also returning to previous steps, which can be repeated and brought to a closure at the end.

The 12 interconnected steps depicted are as follows.

  • 1. Forming the research
  • 2. Developing interview questions
  • 3. Finding respondents
  • 4. Conducting interviews and observations
  • 5. Quality check and validation of interviews
  • 6. Translating the transcript to English
  • 7. Validating the transcript
  • 8. Coding in NVivo
  • 9. Identifying new questions of themes.
  • 10. Following up with respondent if needed.
  • 11. Revising interview questions for new codes and themes
  • 12. Writing the paper.

Steps 1 to 12 are interconnected with left arrows to one another.

A down arrow connects step 4 to step 5.

Three down arrows connect step 8 to step 9, 10 and 11 respectively.

Two upward arrows connect step 10 and 11 to step 4 respectively.

Figure 1. Qualitative Research Represented in a PM cyclical model.

An illustration depicts a framework for writing the paper.

Source: Author’s development.

First, the research team was formed, including interviewers, validators, transcript developers, and data analysts. The principal researcher was responsible for hiring and pre-screening the team. Then, interview questions and instructions were developed and translated from English to Uzbek and Russian to match the needs of the respondents.

Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, interviews took place in blended forms, including face-to-face, Zoom, and telephone. Based on the record of the audio and videos of the interviews, we prepared transcripts for each interview in English. As our research focus was on understanding the reasons for the closure of non-bank MFIs and its impact on the various beneficiaries, interview respondents were also asked follow-up questions. After the quality check, the interview transcripts were passed to a data analysis specialist, who processed them in NVivo, creating codes and nodes. The data analyst also provided the research team with new themes and codes that were reflected in further interviews, which created room for discussion of which additional questions can be asked, or points that need to be covered during the interview. This iterative process was very important in ensuring that all research objectives were met and that the data collection process properly matched with the research hypothesis. The iterative process enabled us to write the research paper with findings during the process of the data collection.

Figure 2 illustrates the iterative process based on the project management approach in the context of qualitative research. It can be extended to quantitative and other types of research based on the context and research topic.

The 6 interconnected steps depicted are as follows.

Define initial hypothesis, objectives.

Develop interview questions, identify type of respondents.

Actual data collection

Analysis of responses: coding, themes.

New themes and updates on questions and respondents.

Paper with findings and results.

A cyclic right arrow is indicated from step1 toward step 6. A down arrow is indicated from step 6 is toward step 3.

Figure 2. Project management-based approach for qualitative data collection.

An illustration depicts a framework for writing a paper with findings and results.

Notes: Iterative process presented by node 6-to-node 3, could also go back to all previous nodes, i.e., 2, 4, 5.

Based on our microfinance project and the qualitative data collection, we define the following benefits of using the project management approach:

  • Data collection runs smoothly and consistently with the research question and objectives.
  • Researchers and parties involved in data collection and logistics are united and involved in the process.
  • Diversity in the data collection process is managed, i.e. combination of face-to-face, online, and digital technologies.
  • Codes and themes in qualitative research are generated and updated properly.
  • Quality of interviews and of written transcripts are verified by a validator.
  • Follow-up interviews are conducted based on identified new themes and topics.
  • The data collection process and final paper are linked and coherent.
  • The survey team is managed in an effective manner.
  • Timing and cost optimization are ensured by having clear steps that need to be taken and progress being monitored.
  • This case study is based on qualitative research and data collection measuring the impact of the closure of non-bank microfinance institutions.
  • The project implementation and data collection were optimized and managed using a project management approach.
  • Application of project management could be very helpful in managing a complex data collection process in a short period, ensuring cohesion of the research team and high-quality research output.

Method in Action

Project management, scheduling, and other planning tools are widely used in scientific research projects and research grants. Work plans, timelines, data management plans, and deliverables are almost always defined upfront and then altered as obstacles arise. In this case, we focus on sharing our practical experience of the application of the PM approach for managing qualitative interviews. We find that the application of PM techniques brings valuable benefits. We, therefore, present our case as one of the methods and approaches that could be used for professional data collection.

In this section, we present what project management is and how we implemented it in our research. Project management is defined as the application of processes, skills, methods, expert knowledge, and practical work experience to achieve pre-determined project objectives agreed upon with all parties involved in a project ( Murray-Webster, 2019 ). PM is a management system that elaborates further on traditional management, in the sense of having a final specific deliverable (i.e. completion of building a house, organizing a particular event, etc.) and a specific time frame/deadline by which the project should be finalized. In contrast, management is defined more as a process.

According to the 2017 Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) guide, project management consists of the following five phases: (1) project initiation, (2) project planning, (3) project execution, (4) project monitoring and controlling, (5) project closing, and evaluation of project success. In each phase, specific documents and elements are defined, as defined below in Figure 3 .

The sequence of 5 interconnected phases depicted are as follows.

  • Defining project goals and objectives
  • Creating a business case.
  • Completing the project charter.
  • Developing the list of project stakeholders.
  • Defining the project scope.
  • Creating project plan.
  • Setting the baseline budget
  • Forming the project team
  • Defining roles and responsibilities in the project team.
  • Allocating project resources, including human, physical, time.
  • Managing project resources, including human, physical time.
  • Actual building of the project object or process, that is house, event.
  • Meeting with project team and stakeholders; solving outstanding problems.
  • Tracking the effort and expenditures
  • Monitoring project progress against initial plans.
  • Ensuring adherence to original plans and any deviations
  • Preventing any probabilities in project disruptions: risk management
  • Submitting and revising project deliverables
  • Evaluating project success using different methods
  • Obtaining approval of project results
  • Documenting project lessons learned

Figure 3. Phases of project management and components.

An illustration depicts the phases for project closing and evaluation of project success.

For our microfinance project, we followed these five phases, although some components were adapted for academic data collection and the nature of the qualitative research. Based on our successful application, we believe that PM can be applied to other types of research and data collection processes. Below we present a step-by-step method of implementing PM in the context of our microfinance project.

Step 1. Setting Up the Project

Before beginning the project, we need to understand the framework under which it will be done. We first identify the S cope of the Project ( Hyttinen, 2017 ). The scope refers to the boundaries of the project planning and implementation.

When dealing with large-scale research projects, a lot of planning is needed to make the research process manageable. PM has many tools that help users plan and structure their projects before starting. It is essential to highlight the following: the main goal of the project; what you expect from the project; how you will achieve your expectations; objectives and; reflections on the final product.

Project scope: In PM, this refers to what exactly you want to do, and what you do not want to do. When determining project Scope, use clear and concise language to state what your project is going to achieve and what the limitations of your project are.

Project deliverables: Define what the main product of the project is. For our research, we defined our main deliverable as “to determine the causes, effects, and attitudes of microfinance institutions and users towards micro-credit by the end of 2021.” This particular deliverable, is more research-oriented since the project focuses on a research effort, hence it is written in a formal of the main research hypothesis. This can be enhanced further by dividing your research into manageable parts that can be measured. For our project, we made the following divisions:

  • 1. Develop a research question and research objectives
  • 2. Write a preliminary literature review
  • 3. Develop a framework for objective interpretation
  • 4. Team identification and team management
  • 5. Develop data collection instruments
  • 6. Develop guides and instructions for interviewers
  • 7. Validation and quality assurance
  • 8. Translate the transcripts
  • 9. Identify codes and themes
  • 10. Test the hypothesis
  • 11. Reflect on the conceptual framework
  • 12. Draft initial findings
  • 13. Write final paper
  • 14. Publish findings in the relevant academic journal

Keep in mind that the nature and depth of each deliverable can be different, and some aspects of the deliverables can be done simultaneously, which would make the actual illustration much more complex. For instance, this numbered sequence can be viewed in table form ( Table 1 ). In our case, tasks 5) and 6), and 8) and 9) were implemented in parallel, which helped in optimizing time and logistics.

Project initiation: We began our project before the COVID-19 pandemic, where the project initiation stage was completed based on project deliverables and using offline meetings with the project team and stakeholders. Project initiation was completed based on the structured plan and using simple paper and pen methods. The project initiation stage can be completed using online tools too. For instance, using NVivo software the project can be developed using a concept map, outlining the initial hypothesis and potential links between concepts. Microsoft Project can be used to draw out the main points that the project has to reach. In our case, it was important to ensure that the research team have an easy and accessible platform. Therefore, we used Google Docs where the authors developed, in either a bullet point, or table design, the main deliverables, and the initiation stages. Table 2 summarizes the project initiation stage and settings of the deliverables we’ve used for our project.

Project acceptance: This defines who will view and assess the final product. It is important to know who the project will be viewed by, and highlight the stakeholders involved in the project. The following stakeholders were identified in our microfinance project. We group them into the following three categories:

Group 1: Project implementation stakeholders

  • 1. Principal researcher: establishes the research goals and objectives as well as supervision of the research progress.
  • 2. University research department: the department of an affiliated University that deals with research projects; ensures institutional affiliation of the project and provides research ethics review.
  • 3. Quality assurance experts and validators: include individuals responsible for the quality assurance of the data collection, checking the quality of research instruments, the process of interviewing, and checking the final scripts. Interviewers: research team members who interview the respondents, and record each interview where possible.
  • 4. Transcript developers: individuals responsible for transcribing interview scripts supplied by interviewers.
  • 5. Other research team members: this includes research assistants, co-authors, and data analysts.

Group 1: Project supply and contractor stakeholders

  • 1. Journal editors: the representatives of academic journals, who provide comments and suggestions for publishing the research findings. input into the research methods, interpretation, and other points of the research.
  • 2. Grant agency funding for the data collection expenses: the grant agency that has funded the project and established relevant criteria for publication.

Group 3: Project beneficiary stakeholders

  • 1. Policy-makers and practitioners: the stakeholder who has the relevant experience and background in the MFIs, as well as who can be directly affected by the research results.

Project exclusions: This part is optional, but highly recommended to narrow your scope. You simply mention what you do not include in your project and simply set the boundaries. Since our microfinance project was exploratory in nature, we did not formulate the limitations of the project. Project exclusions could follow either of three criteria: i) time constraint ii) cost constraint, and iii) specification constraint.

Identifying instruments: It is a good idea to determine the instruments that you will use for your research. Project instruments refer to the data analysis tool(s), and you can even plan ahead on what you are expecting to get from your data. For example, we used NVivo software to summarize and code our data. NVivo is an application that allows researchers to structure and group parts of interviews. The tool is often used when there is a significant number of interviews being conducted over a long period.

Identifying resources: When finalizing your project plans, you may want to highlight the resources you will need for your project. This includes human and financial resources. This point can be formulated in a simple table or bullet points. For our project, we identified the following human resources and particular roles for each team member ( Table 1 ):

Checking the quality of scope: It is important to ensure that your scope is feasible and realistic. If your scope seems too large or unclear to you, try to make the terminology simpler or shorter. Be sure your scope is clear to you throughout the project, and if other people are helping you, it should be clear to them too. You can follow the SMART criteria (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) to check the quality of the scope.

Step 2. Development and Implementation of the Project Management Approach

Once the planning stage is completed, it is time to view how the whole project will be handled and who will handle it. There are a variety of tools available in PM to assist with this. We focus on the Responsibility Matrix , Work-Breakdown-Structure, and Network Diagram .

Responsibility Matrix: The project scope is important to keep in mind when dealing with and developing each model. The Responsibility Matrix lets the researcher know who is responsible for what task and to what extent. It simply has rows stating tasks, and columns denoting roles. The level of responsibility is then determined in the matrix and it provides a clear picture of what each team member should be doing. This also helps the team understand the role of each member and know who can be contacted if there are questions. The conceptual model of the Responsibility Matrix is larger in scope than what we focus on here, but for the sake of using the tool, rather than understanding its full concept, we can use the model as it is presented below ( Table 3 ).

Source: Authors’ development

The Responsibly Matrix of team members could be also defined using the RACI approach, where RACI stands for four different roles: R means Responsible defined as people or stakeholders who do the work. They must complete the task or objective or make a decision. Several people can be jointly responsible. A means Accountable , i.e., the person or stakeholder who is the “owner” of the work. C mean Consulted . I means Informed . As Table 4 illustrates, a variety of tasks need to be completed for the project. Each task is then divided between the research team, and the responsible category is then identified. There are more than two roles that can be given to different categories, such as Accountable, Consulted, Informed, and anything else that suits your research project.

For our microfinance project, we developed a Responsibility Matrix based on the RACI approach as we had certain tasks that should be coordinated with the Principal researcher and Code developer.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS): This is the next aspect to be planned by the researcher. When dealing with a number of stakeholders, it is key that each party knows what their work does for the entire project. This is where WBS can be used the most as it shows a decomposition of deliverables oriented specifically at each stakeholder. When this structure is viewed by all stakeholders, it allows each of them to understand the importance of their work and whom they can approach if they need to refer to a predecessor of their current deliverable.

WBS can be developed in four ways, each with its own benefits and preferences depending on the researcher and team working on the project. They are:

  • WBS in spreadsheet form
  • WBS in flowchart form
  • WBS in list form
  • WBS in Gantt Chart form

The application of a particular type of WBS form depends on the stakeholders involved, the preferences of the Principal researcher, and an understanding of the drawbacks and benefits of each type. Table 5 summarizes the type of WBS recommended for particular stakeholders and the reasoning. Ultimately, the purpose of WBS is to provide a clear illustration of deliverables to all the stakeholders in an easy and straightforward way.

WBS is important in understanding the project process and is usefully created when the whole project starts and the roles and processes are divided among the research team. WBS is best illustrated in a hierarchy but is not limited to that particular style of illustration. For our project, we developed WBS in flowchart form ( Figure 4 ). The hierarchy best illustrates what task falls under what deliverable. It is a good idea to have your tasks placed under specific deliverables as it keeps your project structure. As most deliverables are sequential, WBS will naturally form a path for the deliverables to be achieved, some of which may be simple enough in size that they can involve one step in the hierarchy without the need for additional clarification of tasks.

0. Research Projecto

1. Developing a framework for objective interpretation

  • 1.1 Framework brainstorm
  • 1.2 Choice of frameworko

2. Validation and quality assurance

  • 2.1 Providing preliminary draft
  • 2.2 Determining key points of research
  • 2.3 Feedback on current paper
  • 2.4 Revision based on feedbacko

3. Translation of the scripts

  • 3.1 Transcription on of translation
  • 3.2 Providing scripts to researchero

4. Coding and the themes

  • 4.1 Coding major themes
  • 4.2 Determining sub-codes
  • 4.3 Grouping coding

Figure 4. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for the microfinance project.

An illustration depicts a step-by-step approach for a microfinance project.

Figure 4 defines the deliverables for our microfinance project and shows the steps each deliverable has: some deliverables can be left as they are, being quite clear in nature; others that require more elaboration are provided. At first, it may be difficult to determine the steps that need to be taken for each deliverable, but this can also be an iterative process, whereby WBS can be updated as the project progresses.

Network Diagram (ND): The Network Diagram is complimentary to WBS as it not only provides an illustration of what task comes after the other but is also a powerful tool for the qualitative research itself. So far, the description for the above aspects of project management has focused on pre-planning for the project. The Network Diagram, by contrast, can be used in the process of the research itself. For our project, a Network Diagram can help clearly illustrate what can be used or what is being said in the interviews. Specifically, the researcher can plan what they expect to find in their interviews and illustrate it in a Network Diagram. This allows the researcher to have a framework and a hypothesis that will be evaluated and checked. Once the findings are viewed, the researcher can either confirm the framework, deny it or build upon the framework. Further analysis of the findings in the Network Diagram eases the burden of the reader and the researchers thanks to the clear structure it provides. See Figure 5 for an illustration of a Network Diagram for a microfinance project. This figure represents a simplified version of how the Microsoft Project file can be viewed and structured, in an example of one stage of the project deliverable.

A rectangular box on the left reads as follows.

Developing a framework for objective interpretation

Date: 01.01 2020 11:00

A rectangular box on the center top reads as follows.

Framework brainstorm

Date: 01.012020 11:30

A rectangular box on the center bottom reads as follows.

Choice of framework

A rectangular box on the right reads as follows.

Validation and quality assurance

Date 01.01.2020 16:30

Two left arrows from developing a framework for objective interpretation is indicated toward framework brainstorm and choice of framework respectively.

Two left arrows from framework brainstorm and choice of framework are indicated toward validation and quality assurance.

Figure 5. Network Diagram developed for a microfinance project.

An illustration depicts a framework for a microfinance project.

Step 3. Project Implementation, Digital Data Collection, and Monitoring

At this stage, we implement all project activities defined in the planning stage. This is when all the preparation really pays off.

Access to data and storage: For our microfinance research, we did not spend a lot of time developing the interview questions because the main goal of the interviews was to gather the thoughts of respondents and allow them to share what they see as important. The interviews were available in Google Drive, with access given to all members of the research team. Only two members of the project had access to edit everything in the drive. We also recommend that other cloud storage space tools could be used. Table 6 shows the access level of each team member.

Since this was in Google Drive, each team member still has the ability to view what other members are doing. This allows each member to be aware of the entire project. It is important to highlight that this is done easily on a cloud-based service since there is no need to handle physical papers and find recordings of interviews with different people. Everything is stored in one place, where everyone can view it and perhaps make their own suggestions or recommendations.

Data collection: When the interview process began, it is of note that the mode through which the interviews were conducted was not purely online. This is where a blended approach was taken in our research. “Zoom Meetings” was used as the primary source of conducting interviews, since the project began its implementation during the COVID-19 pandemic. This allowed the interviewers, with the permission of the interviewees, to record each interview. All the interviews were stored on Google Drive, and each interviewer had the chance to transcribe each interview at their own pace, without the pressure of having to do it during the interview, and could focus more on the interview process.

Other forms of data collection also took place, including face-to-face and phone calls. With the emergence of mobile applications that allow interviewers to record their phone conversations, keeping records has become a simpler task as well. These remote data collection methods allow for tremendous flexibility, which is natural for online and technological-based tools. Another benefit of conducting research online and having recordings of interviews available in digital form is the possibility to use transcription tools.

Research ethics: ethical considerations are very important in primary data collection. We’ve ensured that our research instruments successfully passed ethics approval from University Ethics Committee. Interviewers were trained in a proper way of communicating with respondents avowing any harm, and asking sensitive questions during the interview.

Data analysis: We will not focus on the details of how qualitative research analysis for interviews is conducted with NVivo since that is out of the scope of this case study, but what we will focus on is the ease the tools provide. Since NVivo is computer software, it allows the coder (NVivo specialist) to analyze the interviews. This is then saved in one single file, which is under 20 MB, allowing for fast updates in Google Drive.

Once the coder has access to interviews that are uploaded by the interviewer, the coder can start coding and update the NVivo file in Google Drive so that the principal researcher can view the progress and make relevant changes to the paper being written. Since this can be done remotely, there is no need to wait for updates from either side and the process can take place iteratively.

Coding and analysis: One of the final steps taken during the research project is to analyze the interviews. This step is more oriented toward qualitative research; hence the focus will not be on the principles of grouping, coding, and other aspects of research, but rather on the PM mindset of the analysis. The analysis can be viewed from the perspective of the analytical framework developed in the early stages. Preliminary coding groups are created and the interview analysis begins. Since this process was occurring online, it is easy to check recordings of some interviews to determine the accuracy of the translation. Once the interviews are checked for quality, coding can begin. This is a meticulous part of the research project, which is also separate from previous parts of the project. This means that new interviews can be implemented into the analysis as they arrive, allowing for iteration of the process. Interview intervals could vary, but as everything was stored in a cloud-based drive, access to the interviews and updating was seamless. We used NVivo software to automatically manage the codes and allocate them to common themes, defined as nodes (see Figure 6 ).

The details from the structure are as follows.

Figure 6. Example of coding developed in NVivo for a microfinance project.

An illustration depicts a step-by-step approach for a microfinance project.

Unexpected problems: One of the most time-consuming elements of identifying a problem is determining what the problem actually is and who is responsible for it. The benefit of having a WBS and Network Diagram is that you can trace the team members responsible for each part of the project. If there is a delay in uploading the interview transcripts, we know it is the interviewers’ responsibility. If there are no updates on the NVivo file, we know it is the coder. Other potential problems could emerge in any project such as a sudden change in the research team, data collectors; or amendments in original tasks and priorities.

Step 4. Final Paper Writing and Project Evaluation

The ultimate goal of the microfinance project presented in this case was to produce an academic paper based on qualitative interviews with various respondents and stakeholders who were involved in the microfinance closure story. Traditionally, final paper writing emerges sequentially: first data is collected, then responses are analyzed, and the final results are summarized in writing. The project management approach we used for our microfinance project enabled us to start writing the paper during the data collection process, synchronizing data collection, coding, and writing. Figure 7 provides practical examples from our project and illustrates how the three stages of paper processing evolved.

The details from of the process are indicated as follows.

Figure 7. Academic paper writing process for the microfinance project.

An illustration depicts the process of final paper writing.

  • Project management consists of five important phases: project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and project closure and evaluation of project success.
  • We used digital and online technologies in the project, including cloud spaces, Google Drive, and Google Spreadsheets for effective data storage, and controlling access to, and proper management of the data collection process.
  • The implementation of the PM in research can greatly benefit your planning and execution of the plan, this is exemplified best in this case study, where the COVID-19 lockdown affected the research strategy, but only slight medications were needed for the project to ensure its appropriate execution of the same results.
  • PM approach is also beneficial to maintain that various individuals are informed and updated along the project implementation thus avoiding any potential conflicts due to lack of communication. PM approach overall leads toward time, and resource optimization. PM approach can be also beneficial in other areas than social science. For instance, the PM approach could be applied in managing projects in areas such as business administration (i.e. conducting marketing surveys), law and economics (i.e. managing and analyzing diverse sources), and information technologies (i.e. developing new software, testing and probing it).

Practical Lessons Learned

In this case study, we presented a practical example of our application of project management for academic research purposes. We used and tested our PM approach to managing the qualitative data collection for a microfinance impact evaluation project occurring during the pandemic. The PM approach helped to manage the entire data collection process, ensuring access to respondents remotely and using digital technologies for working with the data and for research collaboration. The following specific practical lessons learned to emerge in this case study:

  • Traditional ways of data collection should be updated and revised. The pandemic enabled us to re-think and develop new, very light, mobile, and cost-effective ways of data collection. Project management is a very promising approach to ensuring desired outcomes.
  • The traditionally separate roles of researchers and data-collecting parties should be revised. Although there are certain research roles that allow the researchers and data collectors to act as the same person, both can be actively engaged in the whole process, whether it is one person or multiple. This case study presents how each team member could play several roles simultaneously, thus contributing to personal and professional development and the effective use of human resources. We also demonstrate how the Principal researcher could be involved in data collection and all stages of project implementation without an exhaustive presence and workload.
  • The project management approach provides a simple and analytical framework that leads to better management of all low-level details and multiple tasks of the project based on an iterative process. Elements of PM, such as Work Breakdown Structure and Network Diagram, can be very helpful in evaluating proper responses and reactions to any deviations from original project plans.
  • Since the data collection takes place during a continous period of time, processing of interviews in qualitative research can be done alongside the data collection This allows for the identification of problems or amendments early on in the paper and can allow the researcher to disseminate the information to relevant team members in a timely manner.

In our case, we’ve provided a practical example of using the PM approach in managing qualitative research and data collection. It should be stressed that the PM approach could be equally used in other types of research including quantitative, and mixed. Particularly, the PM could be a handful in managing multiple sources, complex field works in surveys, processing the data, ensuring quality checks, and other research activities. PM could be also helpful in managing to code in Stata, R, Python, and other statistical packages by multiple users that are committed to working on a joint project. Recommended web links are provided in the web resources section.

  • Existing methods for data collection and analysis of responses can be improved substantially using a project management approach.
  • Use of digital technologies and cloud storage facilities are helpful in storage, management, and access for various project participants.
  • Covid-19 pandemic provoked rethinking approaches toward the primary data collection in research.

In this case we demonstrate how the Project Management approach is implemented into qualitative research and data collection. Project management is a tool and a process that helps business administrators to plan and implement their projects, but it can also be used to make the life of researchers significantly easier and improve collaboration between various members of the research team.

This case study also shows that changing times, namely the global pandemic, can result in forced movement in spheres of academic research and data collection. It gives us more time to develop effective plans and time to reflect on how we can do better. Project management and the scope with which it was used for this case study is a small example of how progress can be made with tools that are already available. Based on our case of data collection for one country example, we believe that PM is a very promising and important approach to managing international research collaboration, involving diverse stakeholders and cutting travel costs.

By getting to know your team, working together, and keeping everything transparent your project will basically complete itself!

Classroom Discussion Questions

  • 1. What five key components of Project Management are highlighted in this case study?
  • 2. What are the advantages of using PM to manage research and data collection?
  • 3. If you are a student willing to engage in data collection, how would you define your role and responsibility in the project following a PM approach?
  • 4. How could PM be used in other types of research, e.g., experiment, quantitative survey, and others?

Multiple-Choice Quiz Questions

1. Which one of the following answers is not part of the five stages of PM?

Incorrect Answer

Feedback: This is not the correct answer. The correct answer is B.

Correct Answer

Feedback: Well done, correct answer

2. Imagine that the marketing department asked you to develop the scenario, content, and the recording of 2 minutes promotional video about the new master’s course at your University. Which of the followings will describe the best your strategy for using PM for managing a given project?

Feedback: This is not the correct answer. The correct answer is A.

3. Cloud-based systems are a very practical way of storing files and sharing them with multiple users. Imagine you want to use cloud-based storage to conduct the household survey and regression analysis. What could be the potential cons of using cloud storage systems for a given project?

1. The authors acknowledge the Czech Science Foundation grant project (GACR), project number 19-19158S.

Web Resources

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  • Project Management

Top 15 Project Management Case Studies with Examples

Home Blog Project Management Top 15 Project Management Case Studies with Examples

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In the highly competitive era of today, case studies have become vital for every business. Companies that have been in a particular industry for years are likely to have dealt with and successfully managed a number of projects. They would have delivered exceptional results and gained a strong reputation. For such companies, it is important to document their project management case study examples effectively. It can help companies to market their brand better and attract more leads. 

Case studies serve as an excellent means of showing the capabilities of a business to potential customers. It can help in highlighting the past performances of the company and making the customers believe in its potential. Moreover, it can help in establishing a long-lasting relationship with the customers.

However, some companies fail to manage projects and require the assistance of professionals. For this reason, the demand for project management professionals is on the rise. If you want to make a successful career in the field of project management, getting a project management training certification can help.

What is Case Study?

A case study refers to an in-depth examination of a specific case within the real-world context. It is a piece of content that sheds light on the challenges faced, solutions adopted, and the overall outcomes of a project. To understand project management case studies, it is important to first define what a project is . A project is a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end, aimed at achieving a specific goal or objective. Case studies are generally used by businesses during the proposal phase. However, they are also displayed on the websites of companies to provide prospects with a glance at the capabilities of the brands. It can even serve as an effective tool for lead generation. In simple words, case studies are stories that tell the target audience about the measures and strategies that the organization adopted to become successful.

What is Project Management Case Study?

A project management case study is a piece of content that highlights a project successfully managed by the organization. It showcases the challenges that the organization faced, the solutions adopted, and the final results. Keep reading in order to explore examples of successful project management case studies.

Top 15 Project Management Case Studies and Examples 

Are you looking for some examples of PMP case studies? If yes, here are some of the best examples you can explore. Let’s dive in!

1. Mavenlink Helps Improve Utilization Rates by 15% for BTM Global

The case study is all about how Mavenlink helped BTM Global Consulting to save hours of work and enhance utilization with resource management technology. BTM Global Consulting offers system development and integration services to diverse clients. The challenges that the company faced were that tools like Netsuite OpenAir and Excel spreadsheets were not able to meet the customization needs as the company grew. It impacted their overall productivity.

In order to overcome the challenge, the solution they adopted was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was that it increased the utilization of the company by 10% and enhanced project manager utilization by 15%. It also reduced resource allocation work from 4 hours to just 10 minutes.

2. Boncom Reduces Billing Rate Errors by 100% With Mavenlink

Boncom is an advertising agency that collaborates with different purpose driven brands to create goods worldwide. The challenge was that the company relied on several-point solutions for delivering client-facing projects. However, the solutions failed to offer the required operational functionality. An ideal solution for Boncom was to adopt Mavenlink. The result was that the billing rate error got reduced by 100%. Accurate forecasting became possible for Boncom, and the company could generate reports in much less time.

3. whyaye! Reaches 80% Billable Utilization with Mavenlink

whyaye is a digital transformation consultancy delivering IT transformation solutions to businesses operating in diverse sectors. The challenge was that whyaye used to manage resources and projects using tools such as emails, PowerPoint, and Microsoft Excel. However, with the growth of the company, they were not able to access project data or gain insights for effective management of the projects . The ultimate solution to this challenge was to make a switch to Mavenlink. The result was an increase in the utilization by 6%, doubling of new clients, tripling of the company size, and seamless support through business growth.

4. Metova Increases Billable Utilization by 10% With Mavenlink

If you are looking for a project planning case study, Metova can be the right example. Metova is a technology firm, a Gold Partner of Microsoft, and an advanced consulting partner of AWS. The challenge was that the company handled several projects at a time. However, its heavy dependence on tools like Google Sheets limited the growth capabilities of the organization. So, the company looked for a solution and switched to Mavenlink. The result was that it was able to increase its billable utilization by 10%, increase its portfolio visibility, and standardize its project management process.

5. Appetize Doubles Length of Forecasting Outlook with Mavenlink

Appetize is one of the leading cloud-based points of sale (POS), enterprise management, and digital ordering platform that is trusted by a number of businesses. The challenge of the company was that its legacy project tracking systems were not able to meet the growing needs of the company. They experienced growth and manual data analysis challenges. The solution they found was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was an increase in the forecast horizon to 12 weeks, support for effective companywide scaling, easy management of over 40 major projects, and Salesforce integration for project implementation.

6. RSM Improves Client Satisfaction and Global Business Processes with Mavenlink

RSM is a tax, audit, and consulting company that provides a wide array of professional services to clients in Canada and the United States. The challenge of the company was that its legacy system lacked the necessary features required to support their work- and time-intensive projects and delivered insights relating to the project trends. An ideal solution to this challenge was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was better to risk mitigation in tax compliance, improved client-team communication, templatized project creation, and better use of the KPIs and project status.

7. CORE Business Technologies Increases Billable Utilization by 35% with Mavenlink

CORE Business Technologies is a reputed single-source vendor self-service, in-person, and back-office processing to the clients. It offers SaaS-based payment solutions to clients. The challenge faced by the company was that its tools like spreadsheets, Zoho, and Microsoft Project led to a hectic work schedule owing to a huge number of disconnected systems. The solution to the challenge was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was the enhancement of team productivity by 50%, time entry compliance by 100%, and enhancement of the billable utilization rate by 35%.

8. Client Success: Health Catalyst Improves Business Processes and Increases Consistency in Project Delivery with Mavenlink

Health Catalyst is a company that delivers data and analytics services and technology to different healthcare organizations. The firm provides assistance to technicians and clinicians in the healthcare sector. The challenge of the company was that the tools like Intacct and spreadsheets that is used for project management were not able to provide the required data insights and clarity for better project management. It also limited effective resource management. The solution was to embrace Mavenlink. The result was better resource forecasting, enhanced interdepartmental communication, consistency in project delivery, and better resource data insights .

9. Client Success: Optimus SBR Improves Forecasting Horizon by 50% with Mavenlink

Optimus SBR is a leading professional service provider in North America. It offers the best results to companies operating in diverse sectors, including healthcare, energy, transportation, financial services, and more. The challenge was that legacy software tools that the firm used gave rise to project management issues. The company was not able to get a real-time revenue forecast or gain insights into its future financial performance. The solution that the company adopted was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was better data-driven hiring decisions, efficient delivery of remote work, and enhancement of the forecasting horizon by 50%.

10. Client Success: PlainJoe Studios Increases Projects Closing Within Budget by 50% With Mavenlink

PlainJoe Studios is an experimental design studio that focuses on digitally immersive and strategic storytelling. The company has a team of strategists, architects, and problem solvers to create value for the clients. The challenge of the company was that the manual processing of the company affected its ability to grow and manage the diverse project effectively. They lacked clarity about their project needs and profitability. The solution to deal with the challenge was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was an enhancement in the billing rates by 15%, better project closing within budget by 50%, better data insights for the success of different projects, and a faster shift to remote work.

11. Client Success: RPI Consultants Decreases Admin Time by 20% With Mavenlink

If you are looking for an example of one of the best software project management case studies, then RPI Consultants can be the ideal one. RPI Consultants offer expert project leadership and software consulting services for enterprise-level implementation of solutions and products. The challenge was that the task management solutions adopted by the company gave rise to a number of complications. It resulted in poor interdepartmental transparency and time-consuming data entry. The ultimate solution that the company embraced was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was a rise in the utilization rate by 5%, lowing of admin time by 20%, better forecasting and resource management, and a single source for gaining insights into the project data.

12. Client Success: CBI's PMO Increases Billable Utilization By 30% With Mavenlink

CBI is a company that is focused on protecting the reputations, data, and brands of its clients. The challenge that the company faced was that the solutions used were unable to meet the growing needs of the organization. The systems were outdated, data sharing was not possible, and time tracking was inconsistent. The solution to the challenge was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was better interdepartmental alignment, enhancement of time tracking to support business growth, an increase in the billable utilization rate by 30%, and detailed insights for a greater success of the projects.

13. Client Success: Butterfly Increases Billable Time by 20% with Mavenlink

Butterfly is a leading digital agency that provides digital strategy, website design and development services, and ongoing support to businesses across Australia. The challenge was that the different legacy systems used by the agency limited its capability of effective project management and reporting. The systems were time consuming and cumbersome. In order to deal with the challenge, the solution was to make a switch to Mavenlink. The result was the enhancement of billable time by 20%, fast reporting insights, enhancement of productive utilization by 16%, and better Jira integration.

14. Client Success: TeleTracking Increases Billable Utilization by 37% With Mavenlink

TeleTracking Technologies is a leading provider of patient flow automation solutions to various hospitals in the healthcare sector. The challenge of the company was that it used different systems such as Microsoft Excel, Sharepoint, MS Project, Jira, and Netsuite. The use of a variety of solutions created a number of challenges for the company. It had poor forecasting capability, an insufficient time tracking process, and unclear resource utilization. The solution was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was the enhancement of time tracking compliance by 100%, rise in hours to date by 18%, and enhancement of billable utilization by 37%.

15. Client Success: Taylors Improves Utilization Rates by 15% with Mavenlink

This is a perfect example of a construction project management case study. Taylor Development Strategists is a leading civil engineering and urban planning organization in Australia. The challenge that the company faced was that the systems that it used were not able to support the growth of the business. There were a lot of inefficiencies and limitations. The solution to the challenge was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was better global collaboration, an increase in the utilization rate by 15%, consistency of timesheet entry, and in-depth insights relating to utilization and project targets.

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Start Creating Your Project Management Case Study

Not that you have a detailed idea about project management case studies, it is time to prepare your own. When doing the project management case study exercise, make sure to focus on covering all the important elements. Clearly stating the challenges and the solutions adopted by the company is important. If you want to get better at project management, getting a PMP Certification can be beneficial.

Case Study Best Practices and Tips 

Want to prepare a project management case study? Here are some tips that can help. 

  • Involve your clients in the preparation of the case study. 
  • Make use of graphs and data. 
  • Mix images, texts, graphs, and whitespace effectively.

Case Study Template 

Here is a simple project case study template that gives a quick glance at what must be included in your case study. 

  • About the client’s company 
  • The challenge 
  • The solution 
  • The results 

By now, you must have gained a comprehensive knowledge of preparing a project management case study. Follow the tips and use the template for the best-case study. To master your project management skills , knowledgeHut’s project management training certification can help.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

1. how do you write a project management case study.

In order to write a project management case study, keep everything brief but mention everything in detail. Make sure to write it with clarity and include graphs and images. 

2. Why is a case study important in project identification?

It is important to highlight the story of the success of your company and your clients.

3. What are case studies in project management?

A case study in project management is the success story of how effectively a company was able to handle a specific project of the client.

4. What should a project case study include?

A project study must include information about the client, how your company helped the client in resolving a problem, and the results.

5. Which are the best-case studies on project management?

The best-case studies on project management have been listed above. It includes BTM Global, Butterfly, Boncom, and more.


Kevin D.Davis

Kevin D. Davis is a seasoned and results-driven Program/Project Management Professional with a Master's Certificate in Advanced Project Management. With expertise in leading multi-million dollar projects, strategic planning, and sales operations, Kevin excels in maximizing solutions and building business cases. He possesses a deep understanding of methodologies such as PMBOK, Lean Six Sigma, and TQM to achieve business/technology alignment. With over 100 instructional training sessions and extensive experience as a PMP Exam Prep Instructor at KnowledgeHut, Kevin has a proven track record in project management training and consulting. His expertise has helped in driving successful project outcomes and fostering organizational growth.

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