Rich pictures as a research method in project management – A way to engage practitioners

Carl Marnewick, Alejandro Romero-Torres, Julie Delisle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Project management needs a greater variety of research methods that go beyond case studies, interviews, surveys, and so on. We claim that soft systems methodology (SSM) has underdeveloped potential to contribute to developing project management knowledge. In this paper, we propose to mobilise this original research method (SSM) to shed light on the topic of product and project management integration – an emerging matter that is a source of tensions in practice, given that they rely on different logics. This study aimed to illustrate how rich pictures can elucidate concepts for clarification. This was done through a workshop consisting of practitioners involved in product and project management. The results from this study highlight that SSM can be used as an alternative to interviews and surveys to conceptualise a ‘messy’ situation. We highlight some benefits of the method, such as participant engagement and sense of ownership, and the outcome (visual artefact) can be used afterwards for feedback and communication.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100127
JournalProject Leadership and Society
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024


  • Digital
  • Product management
  • Rich pictures
  • SSM
  • Soft systems methodology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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