Describe What Is Meant By Project Context.

Paul Naybour

Here is a sample answer for what is meant by project context.

Project context is the environment in which a project operates. It covers both the internal and external environment. Different projects have different contextual issues to deal with therefore is important to understand a project’s context.

The PESTLE technique can be used to analyse 6 main components of a project context:


This component covers the relationship of the project with external political stakeholders. It may also refer to gaining consensus across an organisations supply chain and its internal departments. For example the change of government may have significant impact on the execution of publicly funded capital projects, such as Building Schools for the Future and the NHS IT systems.


This component is concerned with balancing longer term benefits of a project with the cost of its implementation. For example, funding a large capital project is usually dependent on public funds, e.g. PFI or PPP. Also, long-term projects are more susceptible to the uncertainty around interest rates.


This component is concerned with interaction of the project with its users and understanding the needs of the society. For example building a power station requires a good understanding of the sociological trends surrounding the project and the impact on the society. This makes stakeholder identification process critical.


This aspect refers to a greater understanding of the technological specifications surrounding a project. For example, computer related technology advances at a high speed; therefore implementing a new software system requires thorough consideration of the availability of such systems, as well as the anticipated time by which it becomes out of date.


This component can refer to health and safety issues or data protection issues, which are legally bound. For example, the nuclear industry has a very high degree of regulatory framework in which it operates. Also, Health and safety of employees under the Health and Safety Act needs to be carefully managed.


This aspect is concerned with the impact of project on the surrounding environment. The disposal of waste from a construction site is heavily regulated. For example, working on a site with contaminated land which requires high degree of preparation before actual construction begins can have significant impact on project schedule.

3 thoughts on “Describe What Is Meant By Project Context.”

  1. Thanks Anastasia for posting this example – it will be really helpful to those currently studying for the APM PMQ. When you write this example answer to the exam question “Describe what is meant by project context. Explain a tool or technique for ascertaining a project’s context” the APM PMQ was known as the APMP but the course of study and the exam are the same it is just the name that has changed.

    So this answer is still relevant to those currently studying for the APM PMQ qualification.

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