University of Oulu

Lappi, T., Aaltonen, K. and Kujala, J. (2019), "Project governance and portfolio management in government digitalization", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 159-196.

Project governance and portfolio management in government digitalization

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Author: Lappi, Teemu Mikael1; Aaltonen, Kirsi1; Kujala, Jaakko1
Organizations: 1Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Emerald, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-08-09


Purpose: This paper aims to increase the current understanding of the connection between operational level information and communication technology (ICT) projects and national level digital transformation by researching how project governance structures and practices are applied in an e-government context.

Design/methodology/approach: An elaborative qualitative study through public documentary analysis and empirical multi-case research on Finnish central government is used.

Findings: The study constructs a multi-level governance structure with three main functions and applies this in an empirical setting. The results also describe how different governance practices and processes, focusing on project portfolio management, are applied vertically across different organizational levels to connect the ICT projects with the national digitalization strategy.

Originality/value: This study integrates project governance and portfolio management knowledge into public sector digitalization, thus contributing to project management, e-government and ICT research streams by improving the current understanding on the governance of ICT projects as part of a larger-scale digitalization. This study also highlights perceived gaps between current governance practices and provides implications to managers and practitioners working in the field to address these gaps.

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Series: Transforming government. People, process and policy
ISSN: 1750-6166
ISSN-E: 1750-6174
ISSN-L: 1750-6166
Volume: 13
Issue: 2
Pages: 159 - 196
DOI: 10.1108/TG-11-2018-0068
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 222 Other engineering and technologies
Copyright information: © Teemu Mikael Lappi, Kirsi Aaltonen and Jaakko Kujala. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and noncommercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at