Identifying Critical Dimensions for Project Success in R&D Public Sector Using Delphi Study and Validation Techniques

Huma Hanif, Aamer Hanif, Ali Ahsan, Ali Safaa Sadiq, Seyedali Mirjalili, Basem Alkazemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the current century, organizations face ever increasing dynamic ecosystems and are constantly devising strategies to meet their challenges. These include the implementation of the right organizational structure and avoid project schedule delays to achieve projects’ success. Unfortunately, the classification of significant project success dimensions in the R&D public sector environment is still an elusive concept. This study adopts a multi-dimensional qualitative and quantitative approach to explore the critical dimensions of organizational structure and schedule management that enhance or hinder the project success in R&D of public sector organizations. In Phase 1, a Delphi Study is conducted, and results of reliability and other tests are the input of Phase 2. On the basis of these tests, variables have been selected for the next phase or final questionnaire. In Phase 2, through a survey of 285 responses in a public sector R&D environment, the proposed framework is validated by conducting face, content and construct validity. The results indicated that formalization, specialization, differentiation, coordination mechanism, decentralization and authority of managers have a significant effect on the schedule management and successful execution of R&D projects; whereas, centralization and departmentalization do not correlate strongly. The results also imply that decentralized organizational structures (organic) are more preferable than centralized structures (mechanistic) for the execution of R&D projects when proposed timelines are to be met timely. The proposed framework will act as a supporting mechanism for engineering managers to deal with organizational structure and schedule management factors in a highly uncertain R&D environment where projects deviate frequently from their anticipated timeline.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Delays
  • Organizational Structure
  • Organizations
  • Project management
  • Project success
  • Public sector organization
  • R&D projects
  • Research and development
  • Schedule management
  • Schedules
  • Task analysis
  • The Delphi study
  • Uncertainty


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