This research has replicated an earlier study examining the effectiveness of project investment frameworks and provided a second case showing that in a normal environment (using private sector managerial techniques) projects contribute little to the realisation of strategic goals. The replication has implications for both the public and private sectors.A promising new finding is that 'in some environments (with stable strategies and central oversight) projects make some contribution to the realisation of strategic goals'. However the contribution is smaller than expected and more research is required to explore how projects can contribute more to strategy. •Replication of Young et al. (2012) to conclude that projects contribute little to strategy.•Validate the minimal impact of projects on the realisation of strategic goals•Comparison of public-sector project effectiveness in different policy environments•Centralised oversight and stable strategies lead to higher rates of project success.•In some environments projects contribute to the realisation of strategic goals.