Open Economics and Management Journal


ISSN: 2352-6300 ― Volume 2, 2017

What is Strategic Project Leadership?

Aaron Shenhar*
The SPL Group, 1 Claridge Dr. Suite 227, Verona, NJ 07044, USA


As project management is becoming more strategic and business oriented, new and formal approaches are needed to address the changes in the profession. Strategic Project Leadership®1 (SPL) is a comprehensive, research-based approach to project management. It combines the strategic, business-related aspects of projects, the need to adapt a project to its unique level of innovation and context, the leadership perspective of inspiring and motivating the team, and the traditional needs of getting the job done. The main objective of SPL is to inspire project managers to be the business leaders of their projects and is giving them the tools to do that. In their new leadership role, they must deal with the strategic and business aspects of their projects, articulate a vision to inspire and motivate their teams, and learn how to adapt their management style to the right project and environmental context. This integrated, research-based, and industry-proven approach addresses the reality that most projects today are uncertain, complex, non-linear, and changing; and they must be managed in a dynamic and flexible way while, “one size does not fit all.” More important, it acknowledges the fact that meeting the ‘triple constraint’ of time, budget, and performance goals is insufficient to guarantee business success. Successful projects today require, in addition, the strategic and leadership perspectives, as well as considering the specific impact of innovation on each project. This paper starts by describing the shortcomings of traditional project management and addressing the context for building the SPL approach; it then outlines its major concepts, planning components, and managerial implications.

Keywords: Innovation, project management, project strategy, science and art of project management, strategic project leadership.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2015
Volume: 2
Issue: Suppl 1: M5
First Page: 29
Last Page: 37
Publisher Id: EMJ-2-29
DOI: 10.2174/2352630001502010029

Article History:

Received Date: 12/5/2014
Revision Received Date: 13/10/2014
Acceptance Date: 24/12/2014
Electronic publication date: 31/3/2015
Collection year: 2015

©Aaron Shenhar;; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the The SPL Group, 1 Claridge Dr. Suite 227, Verona, NJ 07044, USA; Tel: 201-323-3246; E-mail: ashenhar@splwin.com1Trademark Note: Strategic Project Leadership® is a trademark of Aaron Shenhar and the SPL Group. It is free to use for academic education and research purposes, as well as writing and discussion. It cannot be used for commercial purposes without written permission from the author.

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