Eggers & O’Leary’s Project Management Framework for Implementation

… a core concept in Implementation and Delivery and Atlas107

Concept description

Leslie Pal (reference below) summarizes the tools and techniques for successful implementation proposed by Eggers and O’Leary.

Pal writes (p. 194):

“The challenge of implementation reflects the complex symbiosis between theory and practice: policy is initially nothing more than ideas or conceptualizations, while implementation is the specific means of execution and elaboration in practice. Theory guides practice, but practice must, of necessity, add details that were never contemplated in the origins of the policy. Finally, the importance of implementation comes through precisely this contribution of practice – it is, in effect, the test of the policy theory (assuming it goes well). By testing, we learn. So a properly designed implementation process should provide a mechanism for monitoring, policy feedback, learning, and improvement.”

“Eggers and O’Leary (2009, pp. 133–134) propose that implementers adopt a “project management” mindset or discipline, and recommend the following tools and techniques:

  1. Task and milestone management: Set goals and timelines.
  2. Stakeholder management: Identify stakeholders and their needs and expectations.
  3. Change management: Develop a transition strategy to increase support.
  4. Technical management: Use the technology you need, but nothing on the “bleeding edge.”
  5. Risk mapping: Identify the probability of significant risks.
  6. Set up a war room: This is a sort of “command centre” to manage implementation.
  7. Scenario plan: Develop scenarios of how and why things might go wrong.
  8. Segment your customers: Divide the universe of potential “customers” into similar and more tractable groups.
  9. Chunk your projects: Try to break large projects and initiatives into more manageable “chunks” that are less complex and less risky.

See also: Implementation Theory.

Atlas topic, subject, and course

The Study of Implementation and Delivery (core topic) in Implementation and Delivery and Atlas107


Leslie Pal (2014), Beyond Policy Analysis – Public Issue Management in Turbulent Times, Fifth Edition, Nelson Education, Toronto. See Beyond Policy Analysis – Book Highlights.

Eggers, W., & O’Leary, J. (2009). If we can put a man on the moon … Getting big things done in government. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified 12 April 2017.

Image: From cover of Eggers and O’Leary book at, accessed 6 April 2017.