International Journal of Project Organisation and Management (6 papers in press)
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.
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.
Project Strategy for Product Innovation: The Strategic Project Management (SPM) Framework
by Tage Andersson, Ross Chapman
Abstract: This conceptual paper develops an integrated Strategic Project Management (SPM) framework for product innovation projects by integrating relevant theoretical concepts such as business models, value proposition, resource-based view, dynamic capability theory and contingency theory. The research develops an extended framework to assist practitioners and researchers in formulating appropriate project strategies for radical front-end Product Innovation Projects (PIPs). These strategies are aimed at optimising PIP business value creation and increasing the likelihood of commercial product innovation success. The SPM framework integrates findings in recent papers from research streams on product innovation, project management for product innovation, project strategy, project capability and project business.
Keywords: strategic project management; project business; project capability; product innovation; project strategy.
Relationship of Organizational Flexibility and Project Portfolio Performance: Assessing the mediating role of Innovation
by Muhammad Aamir Saeed, Yuanyuan Jiao, Muhammad Mohsin Zahid, Humaira Tabassum
Abstract: Hyper competition in the business environment has forced the companies to frequently innovate. The purpose of this article is to present a conceptual framework to highlight the mediating role of innovation between organizational flexibility and project portfolio performance. Dimensions of organizational flexibility are highlighted in the framework and is proposed that each dimension of flexibility interacts with each other. A link is proposed between the dimensions of flexibility and the performance of project portfolio, taking innovation as a mediator. Lastly, innovation is considered as a project and is argued that it affects the project portfolio performance. This study lays the groundwork for further empirical research.
Keywords: Strategic flexibility; Structural flexibility; Operational flexibility; Project Portfolio; Environmental Dynamism.