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Professor Darren Dalcher

Professor in Strategic Project Management

Darren Dalcher

The Management School



Tel: +44 1524 593507

Research overview

Professor Dalcher has amassed the world's largest collection of failure stories, which he uses as a basis for refining the notion of sustainable success. His aim is to refresh and rejuvenate management and leadership practice through the breaking of silos, the sharing of transdisciplinary ideas and the co-creation of new innovations and insights.

His research focuses on rethinking project success, connecting projects and portfolios to strategy execution, reshaping the notion of agility, enhancing professional and organisational capability, and developing a longer term perspective on usage, benefits, and value in artefacts, systems and projects.

PhD supervision

I have been supervising PhD and professional doctorate research in the following areas: project management, programme management, project success and failure, agile development and management, benefits and value in projects, information systems, development life cycles and processes. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss a research area or a specific topic.


Professor Darren Dalcher, PhD (Lond), HonFAPM, FCMI, FRSA, FBCS, CITP, SMIEEE, SFHEA, MINCOSE


Darren Dalcher is Professor in Strategic Project Management at Lancaster University Management School. He is a senior academic with a successful track record of consulting and working with businesses, charities, professional associations and governmental orgnaisations. He works to foster interactive dialogue about the integration of successful practice with theoretical research in the management of projects. He holds visiting appointments at a number of institutions, including the universities of Warwick, Kent, Drexel, WU and the Supply Chain Academy. He is the founder and Director of the National Centre for Project Management (NCPM), an interdisciplinary centre of excellence operating in collaboration with industry, government, academia, third sector organisations and the learned societies. 


Following industrial and consultancy experience in managing technology projects, Professor Dalcher gained his PhD from King's College, London for his work on continuous delivery, dynamic feedback and extended project life cycles. In 1992, he founded an IEEE taskforce focused on learning from systems failures. He is active in numerous international committees, standards bodies, steering groups, and editorial boards. He is heavily involved in organising international conferences, and has delivered many keynote addresses, masterclasses and tutorials. He has written over 200 refereed papers and book chapters and published over 30 books. His work has been translated into French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese and Portuguese. He is Editor-in-Chief of Wiley’s Journal of Software: Evolution and Process and Editor of two book series focused on advances in managing projects and change initiatives, published by Routledge.


He has built a reputation as leader and innovator in the area of practice-based education and reflection in project management and has designed, developed and launched the UK’s first professional doctorate in project management, alongside an extensive suite of executive and professional masters programmes and diplomas. He was named by the Association for Project Management as one of the top 10 influential experts in project management and has also been voted Project Magazine’s Academic of the Year for his contribution in “integrating and weaving academic work with practice”.


He has been chairman of the influential APM Project Management Conference for an unprecedented five years, expanding the scope of the event, setting consecutive attendance records, bringing together the most influential speakers, exploring the boundaries and interactions of the profession and forging cross-disciplinary dialogue.


He received international recognition in 2010 with his appointment as a member of the PMForum International Academic Advisory Council. In October 2011 he was awarded a prestigious lifetime Honorary Fellowship from the Association for Project Management for outstanding contribution to the discipline of project management.


He is a very popular speaker and is regularly invited to deliver lectures and courses at many international institutions. He has won multiple awards and prizes, including most recently, the 2015 Best Paper Award from the British Academy of Management, the 2016 CMI’s Management Articles of the Year competition, a 2017 Outstanding Paper Award in the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence and a 2017, 2018 and 2019 PMWJ Editor’s Choice Award. His research interests focus on rethinking project success and the concept of agility, especially in the context of strategy and innovation, as well as considering the role of process in relation to maturity and capability, process improvement, systems engineering, decision making, change management, and reflective practice.


Professor Dalcher is an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Project Management, a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, and the Royal Society of Arts, a Senior Member of the IEEE, and a Member of the Project Management Institute, the International Council on Systems Engineering and the British Academy of Management. He sits on numerous senior research and professional boards, including the PMI Academic Member Advisory Group, the APM Research Advisory Group, the International Advisory Council of PM World Today, the CMI Academic Council, and the APM Group Ethics and Standards Governance Board.


He is the Editor and Academic Advisor of the APM Body of Knowledge, 7th Edition, released to mark the formal award of the Royal Charter to the project profession. The new edition positions project management in an organisational perspective and focuses on the delivery of beneficial change and strategic transformation through projects, programmes and portfolios.

Research Interests

The improvement of project practice, project excellence, strategic initiatives, managing change, systems engineering, decision making, narratives of success and failure, continuous improvement and development, the future of information, agile methods and the evolution of development, design, project and product life cycles.

Current Teaching

Postgraduate Supervision of PhD and Professional Doctorate students

Successfully designed and delivered industrial and professional programmes in project management, leadership, innovation and strategy. Extensive expertise in practice-based provision and work-based learning.

Developed and launched the UK's first professional doctorate in project management, alongside a suite of professional masters programme for experienced practitioners and senior executives.

Taught modules:

MSCI615 Business, Benefits & Strategy

MSCI616 Advances in Project Management

ITO.007 IT Project Management

Additional Information

Darren is a senior academic, editor, advisor, consultant and researcher with extensive expertise in collaborating with business and government bodies. He works to foster interactive dialogue about the integration of successful practice with theoretical research in the management of projects, change and innovation.

Passionate about solving real world problems, he has built a reputation as thought leader and innovator in the area of practice-based education and reflection in project management and information systems and has designed and developed the UK’s first professional doctorate in project management, alongside an extensive suite of executive and professional masters programmes and diplomas. 

Darren is the Editor of two project management book series published by Routledge and Editor-in-Chief of a leading software engineering journal published by Wiley, reflecting his hybrid interest in the connection between technology and its successful management.

Career Details

2018-current Professor in Straetgic Project Management, Lancaster University

2018-current Adjunct Proferssor, WU Executive Academy, Vienna University of Economics and Business

2017-current Visiting Professorial Faculty, Supply Chain Academy

2015-2020 Adjunct Professor, University of Warwick

2012-2018 Professor in Project Management, University of Hertfordshire

2009-2010 Visiting Professor, University of Southern Denmark

2009-2010 Visiting Professor, Geroge Washington University

2006-2018 Adjunct Professor, SKEMA Business School

2003-current Director, National Centre for Project Management

2002-2014 Visiting Professor, University of Iceland

2001-2012 Professor in Software Project Management, Middlesex University

1993-2002 Senior Tutor, Open University

1992-2001 Senior Lecturer in Systems and Software Engineering, South Bank University

1988-1992 Assistant Lecturer/Tutor in Software Engineering, King's College, University of London

External Roles

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Software: Evolution and Process

Editor, Advances in Project Management, Routledge

Editor, Fundamentals of Project Management, Routledge

Column Editor, PM World Journal

Academic advisor and Consultant Editor for the Association for Project Management's forthcoming Body of Knowledge, 7th Edition

Member of the Research Advisory Group, Association for Project Management

Member of the Academic Advisory Council, Chartered Management Institute

Member of the Academic Member Advisory Group, Project Management Institute

Member of the British Standards Institute Technical Committee on Project Management

Member of the APM Group Ethics and Standards Governance Board


PhD King's College, University of London

HonFAPM Honorary Fellowship, lifetime award, Association for Project Management

FCMI Fellowship of the Chartered Management Institute

FRSA Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce

FBCS Fellowship of the British Computer Society

CITP Chartered IT Practitioner

SMIEEE Senior Membership of the Institute of Electrical and Electonic Engineers

SFHEA Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy

MINCOSE Membership of the International Council On Systems Engineering

Business and Enterprise

Successful track record of working with businesses, third sector organisations, learned societies and governments on improving project outcomes and change capabilities.

Expertise in the design, development and delivery of project academies, leadership academies, open courses, bespoke courses, tailored workshops and masterclasses, corporate degrees, higher apprenticeships, industry-focused provision, work-based learning and professional practice programmes, benchmarking, project rescue services, consultancy, coaching mentoring and support.

Development of industry specific provision, including a suite of dedicated masters programmes for experienced practitioners and leaders, and the launch of the UK's first professional doctorate in project management.



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