Recent International Journal of Project Management Articles
Recently published articles from International Journal of Project Management.
Sanna Mutka | Pertti Aaltonen
Abstract: If projects are independent business organizations having goals of their own instead of being direct subordinates to the parent firm, then project-level goals might contradict those of the parent firm. This raises an empirical question on the impact of delivery projects in a project-based firm. We use the business model concept to study the mechanisms of generating revenues in five delivery projects in a case firm from the mining and metallurgical industry. Our findings suggest that although project-level business models are often derived top–down from firm-level business models, projects also create autonomous business models that have a bottom–up effect on the firm by shaping the existing business models or creating completely new ones. These results strengthen the understanding of the dynamic relations between a project-based firm and its delivery projects.
Jaakko Kujala | Tuomas Ahola | Satu Huikuri
Abstract: Project-based firms that have traditionally focused on product-centric project deliveries as their core business are increasingly complementing their deliveries with different types of service offerings to create customer specific solutions. Such deliveries frequently encompass the design and delivery of a fully operational system with additional components such as maintenance and optimization of system during its life cycle. From the perspective of customer value, solution deliveries can be divided in to three elements: core project delivery, facilitating service products that are mandatory for use of the core project delivery and supporting service products that create additional value for the customer. In this paper we aim to increase the understanding on the impact of the addition of different types of services such as consultation, conceptual design, feasibility studies, training, maintenance, operation support, and production optimization may have on the business of a project-based firm. We analyze their contribution from five distinct perspectives: strategic, marketing and sales, project implementation, learning and innovation and financial. We carried out an empirical multi-case study within three large-sized project-based firms representing different industries. The results indicate that services play a versatile role in supporting the business of project-based firms — a role which goes beyond simply ensuring the short term profitability of the firm. Furthermore, delivering a specific service, such as consultation or process optimization, may often contribute favorably to more than one of the five perspectives analyzed in this study.
Coordinating temporary organizations in international development through social and temporal embeddednessFebruary 2013
Abstract: Programs of international development utilize groups of individuals, or temporary organizations, to provide specialist knowledge inputs at key stages in an aid program. Despite their significant role nothing is known about the coordination of the activities of these groups. Using four case studies of temporary organizations created to provide inputs to aid programs in the WATSAN sector, this study inductively derives a 4-stage, 10-step process model of coordination of activities in this context. It is argued that the model of coordination is based on mechanisms of temporal and social embeddedness, such that there is a shared understanding amongst members of the required sequence of activities.
Relational competence in complex temporary organizations: The case of a French hospital construction project networkFebruary 2013
Bertrand Pauget | Andreas Wald
Abstract: Large and complex project networks are characterized by the collaboration of heterogeneous organizations and individuals. In addition to project management techniques and complementary skills, relational competence, i.e. the ability to actively create and develop collaborative relationships is an essential asset for managing project networks. Networks represent structured role systems which may be a substitute for stable organizational structures and routines. This study investigates relational competence in the network of a large construction project of a French hospital. Based on network data and qualitative interviews, we compare the formal roles and positions of actors in the network to their actual roles and positions and analyze how relational competence promotes the coordination of project work. We find several actors whose network position and relational competence correspond to the formal organization and several actors with a mismatch between the formal organization and the actual role and position. In the latter cases, other network members step in and contribute to an effective coordination. The concept of relational competence in combination with network analysis contributes to a better understanding of the functioning of project networks. In particular, it reveals dysfunctions in the project network and allows for identifying the reasons for failure.
National culture differences in project management: Comparing British and Arab project managers' perceptions of different planning areasFebruary 2013
Kelly Rees-Caldwell | Ashly H. Pinnington
Abstract: The influence of National Culture (NC) on Project Management (PM) and specifically project planning is not well understood. We report the results of an empirical study of British and Arab project managers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A structured survey method was used to investigate NC and the integrity of Planning processes. Differences between the Arab and British attitudes and perceptions of planning were analysed using Mann–Whitney U tests and Independent t-tests. Ratings in Scope, Time planning, Innovation/Technology, Integration, and Communication variables significantly differed between both groups, with the Arab group rating Communication higher and the British group rating the remaining variables higher. Hypothesised relationships on NC differences were supported for Scope, Time planning, Integration and Innovation/Technology. Since they rated the integrity of planning practices differently we conclude that NC influences the way a project manager understands the planning stage of the project.
Heyecan Giritli | Ela Öney-Yazıcı | Gülfer Topçu-Oraz | Emrah Acar
Abstract: Organizational culture and leadership are purported to be deeply integrated and intertwined within an organization. Although there is a substantial amount of research demonstrating the importance of the interplay of culture and leadership, there exist few empirical examinations of the nature of this link. To examine this link, based on Cameron and Quinn's Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument and Hofstede's Values Survey Module, a questionnaire survey was conducted. The sample consists of 499 managerial personnel out of 107 contracting firms. With the aim of achieving a better understanding of how leadership style is influenced by organizational culture, Multinomial Logistic Regression was used. The findings demonstrate that managers in the contracting companies with different cultural characteristics tend to adopt different leadership styles to lead their employees to succeed in their business. Information contained in this paper will feed into country-specific understanding of leadership and organizational culture within the construction industry.
Learning in project-based organizations: The role of project teams' social capital for overcoming barriers to learningFebruary 2013
Vera Bartsch | Mark Ebers | Indre Maurer
Abstract: It is a major challenge for project-based organizations to learn across project boundaries by making project-level knowledge available to the organization as a whole. This study argues that project teams' social capital is conducive to overcoming barriers to learning in project-based organizations. Based on a large-scale analysis of engineering projects in Germany, the study shows that project teams' social capital, i.e. the intra-organizational social ties of project teams with their colleagues outside the project, compensates for project teams' lack of opportunity, motivation, and ability to make project-learnings available to the organization as a whole. By contributing to overcoming barriers to learning in project-based organizations, social capital represents an important driver of organizational learning about market conditions, products and technologies as well as project management.
Knowledge contribution in information system development teams: An empirical research from a social cognitive perspectiveFebruary 2013
Kuo-chung Chang | Hung-Wei Yen | Chih-Ching Chiang | Neeraj Parolia
Abstract: The extent of knowledge contribution is the key to the success of system development projects. Knowledge contribution refers to the knowledge that is provided to increase a team's efficiency and achieve its goal. This study proposes a research model exploring factors that influence the extent of knowledge contribution from a social cognitive perspective. These factors include the team relationship commitment, team relationship norms, and awareness of expertise location. Additionally, this study argues that a team's awareness of expertise location mediates the effects of affective commitment and relationship norms on knowledge contribution. The result shows that the awareness of expertise location plays a crucial mediating role in the relationships between the two socially prescribed motivations and knowledge contribution. Moreover, team relationship commitment has an important impact on team established relational norms.
Andrew J. Sense
Abstract: Drawing on a longitudinal action research case study analysis of project-based learning, this paper seeks to advance a deeper understanding of a project sponsor's impact on practice-based learning activity within a project. It represents a first case examination of the interface between a sponsor and practice-based learning phenomenon within projects. The reported findings argue for the project sponsor role to be acknowledged as dynamic and interactive and a dramatic influence on project practice-based learning. It also implies that a sponsor confronts some significant dilemmas in successfully stewarding such learning. Moreover, through such endeavour, the sponsor may also become an agent for organizational learning. The findings generated also encourage further investigations into the nexus between the sponsor and other social phenomenon within projects.
Bon-Gang Hwang | Wei Jian Ng
Abstract: A competent project manager is vital to project success. While many studies have examined competency of project managers, few have done so in the context of green construction. Therefore, this study aims to identify challenges faced by project managers who execute green construction projects and to determine the critical knowledge areas and skills that are necessary to respond to such challenges. Through literature review, surveys and interviews with project managers, this study will help establish a knowledge base for project managers to be competitive and to effectively execute sustainable projects.
Abstract: It has been suggested that standardisation improves productivity. Simultaneously, construction contractor project managers are given freedom to run projects as if they were independent firms. If this is a motivating factor for the managers, firms may have to find other ways to improve productivity than to increase standardisation to be able to stimulate their most skilled managers. It could prove important to recognise their need for freedom before they start looking for alternative places of employment.The purpose of this article is to inquire how standardisation may or may not conflict with contractor project managers' sense of freedom.Interviews with 15 contractor project managers from Swedish medium-sized construction contractor enterprises indicate that standardised processes do not necessarily conflict with their sense of freedom and work motivation as long as their ability to overview the production process is preserved.Based on the findings it is argued that standardisation should be implemented and developed with respect from top managers using a bottom-up approach.
Measuring the impact of a major project management educational program: The PMP case in FinmeccanicaFebruary 2013
Tommaso Buganza | Matteo Kalchschmidt | Emilio Bartezzaghi | Davide Amabile
Abstract: This work aims at providing evidence of the impact of project management training programs. The research focuses on the impact of training effectiveness (higher learning) on the project managers' competencies (applied behaviors). Data have been collected within PMP-Project Management Program: a corporate training program developed and delivered through an academic–industrial collaboration between Politecnico di Milano University and the Education and Human Resources Development Department of Finmeccanica SpA. The program started in 2007 and has involved more than 2300 participants worldwide so far. The empirical analyses are based on an extensive survey conducted one year (rolling) after the training activities. The analysis of the relationships among the different variables provides evidence of the positive impact of training effectiveness on project management competencies. Moreover, the results show that two other variables, role-training matching and environment factors, have a strong conjoint effect, significantly increasing the impact of training on the project management competencies.
Shaokai Lu | Hong Yan
Abstract: Due to the unique character of construction projects, perceived risk is widely used to quantify risks in the construction industry. This study investigates the two main types of measurement of perceived risk used in construction projects: direct measurement and expected utility-based measurement. Project managers from contract firms in China assess 15 independent risks using three different strategies: direct measurement, risk probability and potential impact. The last two are combined to create the expected utility-based measurement. The results show that the risk ranking order obtained from the direct measurement strategy is significantly different from that obtained from the expected utility-based measurement. Moreover, the former measurement is in general a better predictive indicator of relative managerial input than the latter. Based on these conclusions, some suggestions are presented for better risk management and cooperation in the construction industry.
The impact of contractors’ attributes on construction project success: A post construction evaluationFebruary 2013
Jaman I. Alzahrani | Margaret W. Emsley
Abstract: The success of construction projects is a fundamental issue for most governments, users and communities. In the literature that deals with construction project success and causes of time and cost overruns in the construction industry, there is some literature that highlights the role of the contractors in project success. While most studies rank contractors’ success attribute from tendering, prequalification, and a long term historical perception perspective, this paper aims to study the impact of contractors’ attributes on project success from a post construction evaluation perspective to identify what critical success factors (CSFs) that greatly impact the success of project. In an attempt to understand and investigate this impact, a questionnaire survey is used to establish construction professionals’ perception of CSFs of contractors that greatly impact on the success of construction projects. Factor analysis reveals nine underlying clusters namely :(i) safety and quality; (ii) past performance; (iii) environment; (iv) management and technical aspects; (v) resource; (vi) organisation; (vii) experience; (viii) size/type of pervious projects; and (ix) finance. Logistic regression techniques were used to develop models that predict the probability of project success. Factors such as turnover history, quality policy, adequacy of labour and plant resources, waste disposal, size of past projects completed, and company image are the most significant factors affecting projects success. Assuming that project success is repeatable, these findings provide clear understanding of contractors’ performance and could potentially enhance existing knowledge of construction project success.
Liyin Shen | Qian Shi | Hong Ren
Christophe N. Bredillet | Kieran Conboy | Paul Davidson | Derek Walker
Abstract: The dynamic and complex nature of project management (PM) in Australia provides exciting opportunities for universities to that are willing to actively engage with their corporate partners and other key stakeholders to develop program and course offerings that simultaneously address the needs of students, employers, and other stakeholders and further the current body of PM knowledge and research. This article identifies key challenges and opportunities for the future direction of PM university education. This draws on descriptions of successful program models, examining teaching on PM skills on generic business and engineering degrees, dedicated graduate masters programs in PM, doctoral research programs in PM, and forms of effective collaboration between industry and academia.
Global virtual engineering teams (GVETs): A fertile ground for research in Australian construction projects contextAvailable online 26 January 2013
M. Reza Hosseini | Nicholas Chileshe
Abstract: Implementation of global virtual engineering teams (GVETs) commenced since at least two decades ago, but construction has been behind other industries in terms of harnessing this new paradigm. Nevertheless, GVETs are receiving increasing attention within the construction context due to numerous potential benefits they can bring about for the projects. On the other hand, the research about GVETs in Australia is still in its embryonic stages. Australian scholars noticeably have paid scant attention to GVETs in comparison to their colleagues in other developed countries. This paper assumes the process of implementation of a GVET as an isolated project. The study then highlights the well-known main areas of necessary knowledge for managing a GVET project within the construction context based on a project lifecycle approach. Recognizing the weaknesses of existing literature, the paper sets out an agenda for further research within Australian construction projects.
J. Pollack | K. Costello | S. Sankaran
Abstract: The implementation of a Project Management Information System (PMIS) in three public sector agencies is examined using Actor–Network Theory, an infrequently applied approach to project management research. Use of the PMIS focused on practitioner capability, without acting as a mechanism of project control. This is different to how a PMIS is generally portrayed in the literature, suggesting a need to rethink the ways a PMIS can support project management.The research revealed that the PMIS software application, by itself, would have had limited impact, and similarly the practitioner–researchers who developed and implemented the PMIS would, by themselves, have been less effective. Instead, the contribution, effectiveness and capability came from the stable network of association between the practitioner–researchers and the PMIS; an actor–network, which allowed other networks to stabilise and develop, as new users learned how to conceptualise their work through project management concepts, and developed their project management capability.
Nick Marshall | Mike Bresnen
Abstract: Looking at historical projects has much to offer our understanding of project management, for both research and practice. However, there are important challenges in how alternative narratives about such projects are reconstructed and related to each other. To explore these challenges, this paper uses the example of the Thames Tunnel project, completed under the direction of Marc Brunel in 1843, and reputed to be the first tunnel to be built under a major river. In telling the story of the project, we focus on five alternative discourses: technico-rational; practice; networks of people, things, and ideas; politics; and society. The common response to such variety is either to attempt to construct an overarching meta-narrative, or to explore the differences as a way of highlighting the localized and contingent nature of knowledge about projects, or adopt some intermediate position somewhere on the spectrum between these two extremes. Instead we seek a different route grounded in a sociology of knowledge that acknowledges simultaneous, provisional, and contested processes of division and stabilization in the ways that epistemic communities constitute knowledge through their own narratives and practices. These have implications for the stories that are told about project management and, crucially, the activities and interests that both shape and are shaped by such narratives.
An integrated approach to implement Project Management Information Systems within the Extended EnterpriseAvailable online 16 January 2013
M. Braglia | M. Frosolini
Abstract: Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) are software applications that help managers track projects from their conception to their execution. They provide them with pertinent information and collaborative tools. Currently, most businesses use disconnected instruments which are not designed for managing complex projects. Increases in complexity, both due to the extent of scope and the fact that the users who contribute to the decision making process are physically separated, have led to initiatives that deal with cooperation, teamwork and continuous improvement. This work presents an integrated approach to improve PMIS applicability within the Extended Enterprise. The study regards the definition and the building of a management framework where planning, scheduling, and communicating are made immediate and effective by the adoption of common standards, shared communication and appropriate software tools for the management of whole Supply Chains. The proposed approach has been successfully applied within the shipbuilding industry.
David Bryde | Martí Broquetas | Jürgen Marc Volm
Abstract: Theoretical developments in Building Information Modelling (BIM) suggest that not only is it useful for geometric modelling of a building's performance but also that it can assist in the management of construction projects. The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent to which the use of BIM has resulted in reported benefits on a cross-section of construction projects. This exploration is done by collecting secondary data from 35 construction projects that utilised BIM. A set of project success criteria were generated and content analysis was used to establish the extent to which each individual project met a criterion. The most frequently reported benefit related to the cost reduction and control through the project life cycle. Significant time savings were also reported. Negative benefits were mainly focused on the use of BIM software. Cost/benefit analysis, awareness raising and education and training are important activities to address the challenges of BIM usage.
Abstract: The basis of project management theory includes, as is the case of many management theories an “articulated collection of best practices”, drawn for the most part from the study of major North American engineering projects. There is no history of project management comparable to the ones that have been produced for marketing, accounting or strategic analysis. Very few historians have studied projects as a specific activity and academics in project management are rarely specialists with archives or have familiarity with historical reasoning. Defining the historic trajectory of project management implies specifying the scope of what this history includes beforehand. To write a history of project management we must specify the object of this “historicization”. What are we dealing with when we talk about “history of project management”? A first objective of this paper is to define object and scope of this history. The author suggests a difference between “managerial practices” and “management models” and recommends writing a history of models rather than a history of singular practices. A second objective is to sketch the transition between pre-models of project to the standard North American model.
Taryn Jane Bond-Barnard | Herman Steyn | Inger Fabris-Rotelli
Abstract: Call centres are increasingly being utilised in public sector programmes to facilitate and manage communication between numerous stakeholders. Yet, the impact of call centres on projects has not been investigated. This paper reports on a survey with 92 respondents that assessed the impact of a call centre for a repair and maintenance programme. An empirically verified model is presented to illustrate the relationship between call centre communication and project performance. A balance of frequent informal and formal communication is shown to reduce mistrust and conflict of interest resulting from each party trying to maximise his respective economic position in the principal–agency relationship. The data provides evidence that a call centre improves the communication, collaboration and trust in project principal–agency relationships which, in turn, is perceived to contribute to project performance.
Abstract: The paper reports upon an analysis of a programme of 19th century large-scale and complex construction projects initiated in order to improve sanitation in London. These projects managed by Sir Joseph William Bazalgette included the construction of the Main Drainage and the Thames Embankment and were facilitated through significant levels of government support, legislation and public funding, requiring the interaction of social, technical, political and environmental processes. They exhibited innovative forms of construction, estimating, partnership working and contracting. Two major conclusions may be drawn. Firstly, these successful projects and the work of Bazalgette and colleagues merit greater recognition in expanded accounts of project history. Secondly, there are real dangers in forgetting the prehistory of project management, a time when major projects were distrusted and perceived as invariably failing.
Continuity and change in interorganizational project practices: The Dutch shipbuilding industry, 1950–2010Available online 10 January 2013
Roland Levering | Rik Ligthart | Niels Noorderhaven | Leon Oerlemans
Abstract: The Dutch shipbuilding industry has a longstanding tradition in project-based production. Recently, industry actors have acknowledged a serious misfit between interorganizational project practices, defined as behaviors related to collaboration, and interorganizational project demands, defined as environmental conditions. This misfit leads to a weaker competitive position due to higher communication and production costs, and longer production times. However, the causes of this misfit remain unclear. Among project researchers there is a growing awareness that history has a major influence on contemporary practices in interorganizational projects, suggesting that some of the causes of the present-day misfit may be rooted in the past. This paper studies historical developments of interorganizational project practices in Dutch shipbuilding projects, in order to understand to what extent contemporary misfit in project practices is rooted in the past and results from path dependencies and lock-ins. We answer the following research question: How did interorganizational project practices and demands in the Dutch shipbuilding industry develop between 1950 and 2010 and to what extent do these developments help us understand the current misfit between project practices and demands? Our results show that a web of self-reinforcing mechanisms at least partially explains the current misfit in the Dutch shipbuilding industry. This paper answers to the conceptual call by Sydow et al. (2009) and supplements path dependence literature by showing that self-reinforcing mechanisms causing path dependence can be separated analytically, but are intertwined empirically.
Abstract: A contingency estimation model for software development projects is presented. The proposed model considers the estimated cost and the risk of software projects to estimate contingency resources; hence, contingency estimates are correlated to the cost and risk of software projects. The model uses a generic probabilistic representation of the estimated cost; hence, it can be deployed with any project development environment and provides a flexible choice to software managers. Furthermore, the proposed model considers the risk tolerance of software organizations to estimate the contingency and helps to abate the maximum impacts of risk events within the risk tolerance. The proposed model is scalable to a portfolio of software projects. The model produces sub-additive contingency estimates which is essential to optimize a software project or a portfolio of software projects. The results of a case-study show that the contingency estimates are comparable with the actual contingency resources needed for the development of real software development projects.
Reconceptualising mega project success in Australian Defence: Recognising the importance of value co-creationAvailable online 10 January 2013
Artemis Chang | Ying-Yi Chih | Eng Chew | Anne Pisarski
Abstract: Recent literature in project management has urged a re-conceptualisation of projects as a value co-creation process. Contrary to the traditional output-focused project methodology, the value creation perspective argues for the importance of creating new knowledge, processes, and systems for suppliers and customers. Stakeholder involvement is important in this new perspective, as the balancing of competing needs of stakeholders in mega projects becomes a major challenge in managing the value co-creation process. In this study we present interview data from three Australian defence mega projects to demonstrate that senior executives have a more complex understanding of project success than traditional iron triangle measures. In these mega defence projects, customers and other stakeholders actively engage in the value creation process, and over time both content and process value are created to increase defence and national capability. Value created and captured during and post projects are the key to true success.
Allen McKenna | Mike Metcalfe
Abstract: Prior and conflicting stakeholder concerns can make projects complex. Listening to, and integrating, this concern into the project is easier said than done. However the pragmatic ethics of the Australian ‘fair-go’ argues long term success requires an attempt be made. This pragmatic philosophy provides a solution by explaining the relationship between community, conceptualization and agreed reasonable action. After introducing pragmatism, this paper uses an Australian based re-organization project to explain why linguistic concepts might be used to conceive projects made complex by conflicting stakeholders. The philosophy is made operational by using idea networking to reveal the concepts underpinning stakeholders' comments. This method clusters similar statements to enable exposure of these underlying concepts (themes, meta narrative), which are named. It was found that using this concept driven method provides an internally consistent means of conceptualizing projects with conflicting stakeholders' concerns.
Abstract: This paper investigates project changes and their relationships with stage iteration and multi-functional interaction. Changes often occur in a complex solution-based project, which makes the linear management model limited in its application. Complex project planning is based on assumptions about future events. Assumptions often fail and as a result the plans contain activities that are impossible or unnecessary to execute. The consistency of project planning needs to be restored and maintained by revising or redefining project activities.Case studies were used to collect data from international solution-based companies based in the UK. Two solution centres and four projects were examined. Major findings suggest four perspectives for stakeholders to understand and manage changes in the development of complex bespoke system. Mechanisms such as tension management, specification management and organisational learning exist to enable project planning and (re)defining at multiple levels.
Analyses of systems theory for construction accident prevention with specific reference to OSHA accident reportsAvailable online 8 January 2013
Seokho Chi | Sangwon Han
Abstract: To enhance workplace safety in the construction industry it is important to understand interrelationships among safety risk factors associated with construction accidents. This study incorporates the systems theory into Heinrich's domino theory to explore the interrelationships of risks and break the chain of accident causation. Through both empirical and statistical analyses of 9358 accidents which occurred in the U.S. construction industry between 2002 and 2011, the study investigates relationships between accidents and injury elements (e.g., injury type, part of body, injury severity) and the nature of construction injuries by accident type. The study then discusses relationships between accidents and risks, including worker behavior, injury source, and environmental condition, and identifies key risk factors and risk combinations causing accidents. The research outcomes will assist safety managers to prioritize risks according to the likelihood of accident occurrence and injury characteristics, and pay more attention to balancing significant risk relationships to prevent accidents and achieve safer working environments.
Claus Beringer | Daniel Jonas | Alexander Kock
Abstract: Stakeholder behavior and stakeholder management are key success factors within project portfolio management (PPM). This empirical study of 197 project portfolios investigates the effect of the intensity of engagement (IoE) of portfolio-internal stakeholders on project portfolio success. We show that the effect of stakeholders is phase-specific and that role clarity as a measure of PPM maturity affects the nature of the relationship between the IoE of stakeholders and portfolio success. The effects of the IoE of senior managers on success are not clearly positive with regard to strategic portfolio structuring and are even negative in operative portfolio steering in established PPM systems. In immature PPM systems, line managers tend to take advantage of their position in resource management. Surprisingly, the influence of portfolio managers in portfolio steering is insignificant. Altogether, this paper shows the diverse effect of the IoE of stakeholders on portfolio success. This study enriches project research by applying stakeholder theory to the project portfolio context and offers practical guidance for further professionalizing PPM.
J. Rodney Turner
Abstract: Brokering knowledge is a fast growing innovative and important research theme in the project management environment. The current paper analyzes and classifies the research on knowledge brokering and knowledge transfer in project management published in the leading journals over the last decade. An array of classifications was implemented on the articles in order to identify patterns and themes of interest. The findings indicate that this field of research is rapidly developing, mainly in the engineering and information technology sectors. It was revealed that many studies are based on qualitative research methods and that research is focused on understanding knowledge transfer between individuals rather than groups. Contemporary issues of study include developing tools for knowledge transferring, understanding the unique characteristics of knowledge transfer in global projects, and discussing the social aspect of brokering knowledge. These subjects are probably expected to gain research attention in the following years.
How to manage international development (ID) projects successfully. Is the PMD Pro1 Guide going to the right direction?January 2013
Víctor Hermano | Adolfo López-Paredes | Natalia Martín-Cruz | Javier Pajares
Abstract: International Development (ID) projects have turned project failure into a rule rather than an exception. Developed in the 1960's, the Logical Framework Approach (LFA) is the most widespread body of knowledge for managing ID projects. However, LFA has proved to have several liabilities. This paper aims to provide a list of the critical success factors (CSFs) for ID projects. Then, the paper assesses how the LFA and the newly developed PMD Pro1 deal with those CSFs. Results confirm that the LFA presents several drawbacks while the PMD Pro1 appears as a more efficient tool for managing ID projects successfully.
Sofia Pemsel | Anna Wiewiora
Abstract: Current research into project management offices (PMOs) has stressed the PMOs' potential to act as knowledge brokers between projects, and between project and top management. Nonetheless, the literature does not provide sufficient evidence of the brokering role of PMOs. The research reported here aims to examine PMO's functions from a knowledge sharing perspective and explore whether or not these functions reflect the knowledge sharing needs of project managers (PMs). These issues are investigated through a cross-case analysis of seven organisations. The main contribution is insight into how PMs share knowledge and awareness of the need to structure PMOs to align with PMs' nature, needs and expectations in order to improve knowledge sharing in PBOs. Finally, some practical steps for helping PMOs to better adapt their functions to the needs of PMs and their learning and knowledge sharing style are proposed.
A process framework for theoretically grounded prescriptive research in the project management fieldJanuary 2013
Frederik Ahlemann | Fedi El Arbi | Michael G. Kaiser | Axel Heck
Abstract: Prescriptive research is at the heart of the project management (PM) disciplines. For decades, researchers and practitioners alike have been searching for methodological solutions to practical project management problems. Scheduling methods or risk management methodologies are just two examples. Despite this long tradition of prescriptive research, PM methods suffer from a number of problems, such as a lack of acceptance in practice, limited effectiveness, and unclear application scenarios. In this article, we identify a lack of empirical and theoretical foundations as one cause of these deficiencies. Based on a review of existing PM literature and a thorough analysis of other successful prescriptive disciplines, we develop a framework designed to serve as a guideline for theoretically grounded prescriptive PM research. The framework outlines how theories and empirical investigations can help build applicable and useful prescriptive research results. We illustrate our framework by applying it to the case of the critical chain method. Our contribution is twofold: our research results can foster the discourse on methodological support for prescriptive PM research; it may also help set up viable prescriptive research designs.
The relationship among power types, political games, game players, and information system project outcomes — A multiple-case studyJanuary 2013
Christina Ling-hsing Chang
Abstract: This paper presents a study of the information system project development (ISPD) process by examining 56 cases through the lens of McClelland's power type/political behavior (games) relationship theory. In this research, 192 political games were drawn from the 56 cases. These political games were categorized into 23 kinds and 4 types of power. The study found that the types of player power are complex and that the relationship between the types and kinds of political games displayed depends on the ISPD context. In addition to producing 4 major adverse effects, various kinds of games were found to be instrumental in successful IS project outcomes, the major players in which being MIS professionals. It is hoped that the detailed descriptions obtained from the data will be able to reduce, or even prevent, negative consequences arising in the ISPD process of other similar enterprises.
Robert M. Verburg | Petra Bosch-Sijtsema | Matti Vartiainen
Abstract: What conditions do project managers perceive as the most important to get the work done when working in fully dispersed settings? Rather than focusing on problems that managers experience when working in dispersed settings, our study highlights the conditions that are important for successful task accomplishment. We applied a Means-End-Chain (MEC) method to investigate the links between task accomplishment and relevant conditions that are attributes, benefits and values among a sample of experienced project managers (N=30). Our results show that important conditions for successful project execution in a dispersed setting include rules of communication and its clarity; project management style and goal-setting; and managers' competences and trust in a team. In addition to these internal conditions, project managers also stress the importance of both corporate and technology support. These four conditions are all perceived as vital for task accomplishment in global dispersed projects.
Eamonn Molloy | Allison Stewart
Abstract: This paper proposes that projects and programmes can be empirically distinguished by the way in which they are associated with expectations and evaluations of success and failure. Support for the proposition is grounded in analysis of over sixteen hundred examples of occurrences of the terms ‘project’ and ‘programme’ with ‘success’ and ‘failure’ derived from the Oxford English Corpus (OEC). The OEC is a structured and coded database of over two billion words of naturally occurring English collected from the World Wide Web. The analysis highlights that project and programme are each modified by the terms ‘success’ and ‘failure’ in significantly different ways, indicating that they are conceptually distinct phenomena. These findings imply that academics must be cautious in their use of language in investigations of project and programme evaluations, and that practitioners should consider the implications of considering programmes as ‘scaled‐up’ projects, given their propensity to different evaluation outcomes.
Virpi Havila | Christopher J. Medlin | Asta Salmi
Abstract: Project management literature tends to focus on the early phases of a project and on the associated generic project management competences, such as planning, scheduling, budgeting, resourcing and motivating. Only a small fraction of the discussion is devoted to project closure and to the competences needed when a project fails to reach the goals and so needs to be closed prematurely. The purpose of this paper is to develop an understanding of project-ending competences needed in premature project closures. Two cases of premature project closure are analysed in different contexts: in the car industry and the aircraft manufacturing industry. The key findings concern the managerial challenges that are present in premature project closures: the need for involvement of senior and also project managers, the need to understand the often changed role of internal and external project stakeholders, and the need to understand that the ‘future matters’ in premature project closure.
Key practices, manufacturing capability and attainment of manufacturing goals: The perspective of project/engineer-to-order manufacturingJanuary 2013
Abstract: Project manufacturing or engineer-to-order (ETO) manufacturing is an operation designed to provide unique but similar products. For ETO manufacturing, every product is the ultimate result of a project. In addition, unique orders may be managed like a project. The primary purpose of this study was to validate a model for assessing the relationships among manufacturing practice, manufacturing capability, and attainment of manufacturing goals from the perspective of project manufacturing. The analyses suggest that implementation of manufacturing practices in terms of production planning, quality management, human resource management, and capacity management may improve manufacturing capability. The results also imply that manufacturing capability may enhance attainment of project manufacturing goals. Furthermore, the findings indicate that stability of supplier's manufacturing acts as a moderator between manufacturing practice and manufacturing capability. Finally, the positive association between manufacturing capability and attainment of project manufacturing goals depends on process maturity, complexity, time availability, and team size.
Lúcio Camara e Silva | Ana Paula Cabral Seixas Costa
Abstract: Human resource allocation (HRA) can be viewed as core processes of the project management of information systems. Both in organizations, the business of which is to provide solutions for Information Systems, as in units of companies that work with Information Systems (IS), there are frequent demands for human resources to be allocated to IS projects. However, this is not a simple task and becomes more complex as the numbers of projects and professionals, including the range of expertise required, increase. This paper presents a methodology, based on dynamic programming, to assign human resources to software development projects. The methodology takes into account the complexity of each project and the existing capabilities of staff and the skills required for the project. A simulation is used to demonstrate the decision model.
Tomoichi Sato | Masahiko Hirao
Abstract: In this paper, the authors analyze the trade-off problem between project budgets and critical risks. Project managers face the problem to balance cash flows and risks when preventive risk response plans require additional costs. Mathematical modeling approach is used with a metric called risk-based project value (RPV). RPV is an evaluation of projects calculated with cash flows and risk probabilities of activities that constitute the project network diagram. There exists an optimal solution for the budget allocation problem that maximizes the expected project value. There is a condition where additional budgets can improve the project value. The study result suggests that there should be an integrated process to optimize the budget plan with the risk management plan. Methods are developed to obtain optimum budget allocations for projects with various types of activity networks. Evaluation of the marginal cost sensitivity on the RPV supports project manager's decisions on reallocation of budgets.
Breaking the vicious cycle of flood disasters: Goals of project management in post-disaster rebuild projectsJanuary 2013
Kyung Nam Kim | Jae-ho Choi
Abstract: Korea has witnessed a significant number of post-disaster rebuild (PDR) projects following flood damages caused by unforeseeable super-typhoons. Efforts to improve the management performance of such projects are mostly limited to the development of several administrative guidelines for faster construction starts to avoid secondary damage from subsequent typhoons. However, no explicit and comprehensive studies have thus far been initiated to identify the causes of low performance outcomes of flood PDR projects in quantitative and qualitative ways. Hence, this study performed macro- and micro-level analyses to provide an overall view of the performance of flood PDR projects as well as created a comprehensive cause and effect (C&E) diagram, which reveals 12 major factors and 19 sub-factors adversely affecting the project outcomes. The findings of this study are expected to be useful in improving current project management capability as well as relevant laws and regulations both in Korea and in developing countries.
Outstanding knowledge competences and web 2.0 practices for developing successful e-learning project managementJanuary 2013
Daniel Palacios-Marqués | Rocío Cortés-Grao | Clemente Lobato Carral
Abstract: The article deals with the knowledge competences that a project manager has to develop to succeed when using the new web 2.0 environments. In order to achieve this, a literature review of the main leading e-learning models is carried out, along with a study of the key factors that affect project performance positively. The new Web 2.0 environments invite us to an alternative reality where the use of its tools can offer new possibilities in the development of e-learning projects, identifying under what conditions value is added: efficiency, innovation, complementarity and loyalty. As a guide of new researches, we conclude that the project manager must modify the existing key competencies (Pedagogical, Management, Technical and Social ones) and to develop new ones based on knowledge management to be successful in managing this web 2.0 e-learning project.
Mohammad Hossein Fallahnejad
Abstract: On the basis of Iran's strategic development plan, natural gas industry must develop the capacity of gas transmission up to 1300millionm3 per day until 2025. For this purpose, gas pipeline length should be doubled during the next 15years; however, experience shows a remarkable delay in nearly all gas pipeline projects. The main goal of this paper is to identify and rank the causes of delay in these kinds of projects in Iran. In this regard, 24 executed gas pipeline projects were studied and then extracted delay factors were conferred with 10 experts from several disciplines. The result was a 43-item list of factors which then was ranked by means of a questionnaire survey. The result reveals that the 10 major delay factors are: “imported materials, unrealistic project duration, client-related materials, land expropriation, change orders, contractor selection methods, payment to contractor, obtaining permits, suppliers, and contractor's cash flow”.
Juliane Teller | Alexander Kock
Abstract: Project risk management is recognized as essential in order to cope with the challenges arising from the environment. Literature suggests a portfolio-wide perspective for managing risks in project portfolios. However, research on risk management and its success in a project portfolio context is scarce. This study examines how portfolio risk management influences project portfolio success. Using a sample of 176 firms, this study provides evidence that portfolio risk identification, the formalization of the portfolio risk management process, and risk management culture directly influence risk transparency, whereas risk prevention, risk monitoring, and the integration of risk management into project portfolio management are directly connected to risk coping capacity. The findings also suggest that both risk transparency and risk coping capacity have a direct impact on project portfolio success. However, the results did not confirm the hypothesis that risk transparency and risk coping capacity have a complementary effect on success. Implications for scholars and project portfolio managers are discussed.
Recent International Journal of Project Management Articles