International Journal of Project Organisation and Management (9 papers in press)
Attitudes towards Face-To-Face Meetings in Virtual Engineering Teams: Perceptions from a Survey of Defense Projects
by Lawrence Blenke, Abhijit Gosavi, William Daughton
Abstract: Modes of communication used in virtual defense projects have changed dramatically over the years with tools such as email and video-conferencing dominating face-to-face (FTF) meetings. We conducted a survey at a defense firm with an aim to test current attitudes towards FTF meetings with respect to significant problems faced, project success, transfer of technical requirements, preference for FTF vis-
Keywords: Managing projects; Project Success; Virtual Teams.
Practitioners Preference: Which Project Planning Components Offer the Most Promise?
by Todd Creasy, Yang Fan, Nathan Johnson
Abstract: This research was designed to uncover top planning components as determined by current project management practitioners. A qualitative analysis was conducted involving 58 project managers representing diverse professional years of experience, project sizes, and industries. Various planning components were deemed to be value-adding including the top four which were (in descending order): WBS, scope planning, risk management and stakeholder management. Key findings from the content analysis produced themes which seem to support this ranking. These planning components and associated themes were: a) WBS - structure and accountability; b) scope planning - clarity and reflectiveness; c) risk management - uncertainties and insurance and d) stakeholder management - identification and influence.
Keywords: planning, stakeholders, WBS, risk management, scope
Detrimental Changes and Construction Projects: Need for Comprehensive Controls
by Rashid Maqbool, Yahya Rashid
Abstract: Changes are inevitable and put harmful effects on construction projects in the form of delay, cost overrun and productivity degradation. This study aims to explore what are the major causes of the project changes in construction Projects of Pakistan. Moreover, a set of change controls are also identified for minimizing the intensity of negative effects of project changes. Data are collected through structured questionnaires from construction industry located in Pakistan. Various statistical data analysis techniques such as reliability analysis, validity analysis, correlation, multi co-linearity, and regressions analysis are performed for data analysis and results inference. The findings show that client associated project changes are most critical hindrance in the construction projects, and their intensity is more than other change factors. Moreover the Freezing design and Clarify change order procedures are found to be the most important change control methods to minimize the severity of the project variations. The study is expected to provide significant insights to the project managers so that they can formulate the strategies to address the change and its effects in construction projects.
Keywords: Project changes; Construction projects; Change controls; Client changes; Contractor changes; Design changes
Its All Up Here: Adaptation and Improvisation within the Modern Project
by Stephen Leybourne
Abstract: This paper considers organizational improvisation, and in particular, adaptation as a specific component of improvisational work (Miner et al., 2001), and how it may assist in resolving or assisting with some of the challenges surrounding recent shifts in our understanding of project-based management. Examples focus on the use of adaptation to cope with ambiguity and uncertainty, caused by execution in problematic and turbulent organizational environments.
The literature on improvisation suggests that adapting previously successful interventions reduces and manages the risk of improvising by engaging with the adaptation component of organizational improvisation. This practice assists in ensuring that the additional risk of completely novel activity is avoided.
This paper explores adaptation within the project domain, and also unpicks the rhetoric from the reality of adaptation within projects, confirming its benefits, setting out the circumstances where experience informs the practice, and offering readily usable and applicable insights.
Keywords: improvisation; adaptation; project management; ambiguity; uncertainty.
Sources of Conflict and Conflict Management Styles in Temporary Work Environment: A Case of Plant Turnaround Maintenance Workers.
by Adiza Alhassan Musah, Zulkipli Ghazali, Shahrul Nizam Isha Ahmad
Abstract: This study explored common sources of conflict during plant turnaround maintenance project and the intensity of these conflicts. Also examined are the conflict management styles used by turnaround maintenance workers and how these choices are influenced by individual and organizational factors. Data was gathered from 21 petrochemical companies in East and West Malaysia. Results revealed that the commonest sources of conflict are conflict over schedule and sequencing of work, communication breakdown and personality issues. Integrating was the most utilized conflict management style and the least used was compromising. The results also highlighted a predictive relationship between organizational and individual factors and conflict management style, reiterating the fact that organizational and individual characteristics contributes to the management of conflict. TAM experience played a role in the use of integrating and obliging styles indicating that the more experienced workers were likely to use cooperative mode in handling conflict. Employee status (permanent and temporary) also contributed to the preference of dominating and avoiding styles indicating that those in permanent positions in the organization were more likely to be confrontational during TA conflict as compared to those in temporary positions. Participants educational level also played a significant role in management of conflict. It was revealed that the more educated the employees are the more likely they are to use cooperative conflict management. The findings were discussed in relation to conflict management in stable organization. The novelty of this study lies in finding the major sources of conflict and conflict management styles in turnaround maintenance in Malaysia. The study is predicted to be of value to plant turnaround maintenance workers and managers/supervisors in helping to minimize dysfunctional conflict. Theoretically, this paper adds to empirical support for sources of conflict, intensity of conflict, and conflict management styles in temporary work environment.
Keywords: Sources of conflict; Conflict management styles; project management; turnaround maintenance.
A Model of Risk Response Development for Managing Delays in Construction Projects
by Omayma Hashim Motaleb
Abstract: Due to the increasingly complex nature of construction projects completion, delay risks in that context are becoming more widespread. Identification and assessment processes are worthless in risk management unless the risk response process is developed. However, it is difficult to find mature mitigation measures for risk response in construction projects organisations because of traditional risk management practice. This study has considered the results from 102 questionnaire responses out of 200 and three case studies in Construction Organisations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to identify the relationships between four key success factors (KSFs) for risk mitigation measures and maturity levels of the Project Management Maturity Model (PMMM) for risk response development, and then to outline a suitable model for application in the construction context for delays control.
Keywords: Construction project management; delays risks; maturity model; mitigation measures; risk response; UAE.
Managing for Innovation Developments in Construction Organizations
by Sai On Cheung, Xiuwen Qi
Abstract: Abstract: This study posits to contribute to construction project management studies in general and to assist construction organizations to formulate management strategies to improve their performance in innovation developments. To achieve this aim, this study proposes a relationship framework between innovation determinants and innovation capacity in construction organizations. Views on innovation developments were collected from award winning innovators and construction professionals to verify the framework. After analysis, endogenous determinants are categorized into leadership and strategy, knowledge management, and staff creativity development. Exogenous determinants are categorized into technology flow, market demand, competition or cooperation, regulation and standards. The influencing power of those factors on different types of innovation is relatively different. The findings are further illustrated by reference to a study of an organization that has harvested about a hundred innovations as from 2010.\r\n
Keywords: innovation determinants; innovation capacity; construction organizations.
Project Manager and Systems Engineer: a literature rich reflection on roles and responsibilities
by Giorgio Locatelli, Mauro Mancini, Erika Romano
Abstract: There are several definitions of Systems Engineering (SE) in the literature, each with different definitions of its relationship with Project Management (PM), causing a great deal of misunderstanding. The paper offers a broad and critical discussion of the relevant literature with a deep reflection concerning the historical evolution and state-of-the-art of both the definition of SE and its relationship with PM. This endeavor provides two main results: (i) a conceptual framework to define SE in a project based environment and (ii) a model to identify the best formal interaction between the Project Manager and System Engineer based on the project characteristics.
Keywords: Systems engineering; Project Manager; Megaproject; Complex projects; leadership; project organization; stakeholders.
Agile project management in a public context: Case study on forms of organising
by Jouko Nuottila, Kirsi Aaltonen, Jaakko Kujala
Abstract: Agile development methods were developed to enhance innovations and productivity in software projects, increase customer collaboration and flexibility, and enable dynamic approach to change management. These key principles of agile approach responded to the challenges that project management faced with software projects. The agile methods are increasingly adopted by the public sector which traditionally is not considered as agile but control-oriented and bureaucratic. In this paper, a single case study method is used to explore how the adoption of agile methods is managed in the context of a large governmental agency. This study examines a public software development project utilising agile methods and analyses the form of organising in the agile project using a framework focusing on the universal problems of organising: task division, task allocation, reward distribution and information flows. As a result, the paper presents the case projects solutions to the problems of organising and discusses the differences between agile project setup and the traditional project management approach to manage a project organisation in the public sector context. In the case project, task division was centralised and owned by a project owner, task allocation was done by an autonomous agile team, reward distribution was not used to create additional incentives, and information flows were based on virtual communication tools and occasional meetings.
Keywords: agile; project; project management; agile project management; project organisation; temporary organisation; public project procurement; public project management; form of organising.