International Journal of Project Organisation and Management (18 papers in press)
Challenges and Solutions across Project Life Cycle: A Knowledge Sharing Perspective
by Omid Haass, Neda Azizi
Abstract: Implementation of knowledge sharing frameworks within project-based organisations often fails due to numerous challenges and obstacles. This study focuses on identifying the challenges and solutions of knowledge sharing within project life cycles. Particularly, this research investigates the challenges and solutions of knowledge sharing via a single case study conducted in an Iranian consulting engineers firm. By doing so we designed a questionnaire in developing the concept of knowledge sharing and moving toward a more comprehensive knowledge sharing framework based on systemic literature review. The analysis of the case study assisted us to develop a conceptual framework to overcome the identified obstacles and challenges of knowledge sharing. This study also aims to provide a practical framework to assist knowledge management professional in successful implementation of knowledge sharing initiatives within project-based organisations.
Keywords: Knowledge Sharing; Knowledge Management; Project Management; Project-based Organization.
Considering representational gaps - How subsidiaries' relationship affects multi-location project management
by Fanny Seus, Marion A. Weissenberger-Eibl
Abstract: Our study of project cooperation between two company subsidiaries addresses everyday challenges in project management with a new focus on shared cognition. By conducting 36 in-depth interviews, we found that the relationship between the subsidiaries is an important factor when analysing the collaboration of engineering teams working at different locations. Different perspectives on the joint project arise from having different roles; due to this incompatible mental models, or representational gaps, are produced. Grounded in inconsistent assumptions, goal conflicts and divergent expectations are created. We advance project management research by identifying the relationship of the working groups in question that results from the respective roles the subsidiaries play in the companys strategy to be an important driver of typical challenges in project management. Consequently, we propose a model that acknowledges the influence of the site strategy on project cooperation, an aspect of everyday project management, rather neglected so far.
Keywords: International project management; distributed teams; headquarters - subsidiary relations; representational gaps; shared cognition.
Exploring the Determinants of Client Opportunism: A Study of IT Service Projects
by Smita Chaudhry
Abstract: Project literature has paid limited attention to opportunism in service relationships. Service relationships are characterized by intangibility, dependence for value co-creation and misalignment of partner goals. Considering this distinctiveness, a multiple case study method was employed to identify determinants of client opportunism in IT service projects. Results of content analysis showcase organizational and project level factors that can promote opportunity, propensity and incentive for client opportunism. They also highlight the role played by client maturity and client project manager in influencing opportunism. Besides, the study underscores the importance of vendor perception of client opportunism. Research directions and practical implications are discussed.
Keywords: client maturity; client opportunism; client project manager; multiple case study; IT service projects.
M&A integration: In search of a mega-project lens
by Jeffrey Voth
Abstract: Through a multi-case study investigating mergers and acquisitions at three leading Aerospace & Defense firms, I propose adopting a mega-project delivery model for navigating large-scale post-merger integration activity and introduce an empirically based conceptual framework identifying five synergistic success factors that support the integration team and capture deal value. In alignment with a mega-project management approach, these factors include an integration strategy aligned with the deal rationale and organizational context; adaptive, engaged leadership that remains accountable through progress metrics; a comprehensive communications plan addressing all stakeholders; successful management of cultural integration; and identification of an appropriate speed for the specific integration activities.
Keywords: mega-project management; post-merger integration; contingency theory; temporary organizations; acquisitions; aerospace and defense.
A framework for conceptualizing the organizational communications of a project management office
by Mahmoud Ershadi, Marcus Jefferies, Peter Davis, Mohammad Mojtahedi
Abstract: The project management office (PMO) plays a key role in linking the strategic and operational levels of a project-based enterprise. Fulfilling this mission requires effective collaboration with stakeholders since PMOs can no longer operate in organizational silos. This research aims to tackle the knowledge gap regarding the conceptualization of the content of PMO communications in project-based organizations. A critical literature review and qualitative synthesis were conducted to draw conclusions concerning the existing theoretical discussions on the topic. The results are presented in the form of a framework explaining eleven categories of stakeholders and respective potential communications with them in four directions; horizontal, vertical upward, vertical downward, and external. This study extends the literature by introducing a new theoretical framework of PMO communications and providing an insight into the main constituents required for maintaining effective relationships with stakeholders in practice.
Keywords: project management office; PMO; organizational communication; stakeholders management; project-based organizations.
Developing a Multi-Mode Doubly Resource Constrained Project Scheduling Problem with Meta-Heuristic Approaches
by Sina Shokoohyar
Abstract: In real-life projects, a multi-mode resource-constrained project scheduling problem (MRCPSP) is one of the most crucial problems. Multi-mode resource requirements significantly increase the difficulty and increase the solution spaces. The purpose of this paper is to maximize the project profit by considering the real situation of a project in which the constraint of the predecessor relationships between the activities and doubly-resources in the multi-mode state is implemented. In this study, a problem with 16 activities is solved which includes two renewables, two non-renewable resources, a doubly-resource, and three performance modes for each activity. To evaluate the designed algorithms problem samples of different sizes are considered. Both doubly-constraint and the profit of activities are defined in this study. Since the type of the model is complicated, mega-heuristic approaches including the Genetic Algorithm (GA) and Simulated-Annealing (SA) are proposed as the research methods and their results are compared.
Keywords: Resource-Constrained Project Scheduling Problem; Multi-Mode State; Genetic Algorithm; Simulated-Annealing Algorithm; Doubly-Resources.
The influence of team commitment on client satisfaction in construction project organizations
by Hai Nguyen Luong
Abstract: Team commitment (TC) is a significant influencing factor on the success of a construction project. Although numerous studies on this topic have been conducted to develop TC frameworks, they have mainly been for more generic organizational settings, whereas none has focused on the construction project organizations (CPOs) context. The aim of this study is to perform this task and present an analysis of the link between TC dimensions and project success in regard to client satisfaction. This study draws on project-specific data collected from 195 completed construction projects in Vietnam, which was to the approach to Bayesian model averaging (BMA) technique. The findings reveal that contractors commitment to project quality, clients commitment to payment, and supervisors commitment to work contribute to improving client satisfaction with project quality. Similarly, contractors commitment to project budget, clients commitment to payment, and supervisors commitment to work can predict the clients satisfaction with the project budget. Additionally, contractors commitment to project schedule and supervisors commitment to work have a significant effect on client satisfaction with the project schedule. Additionally, contractors commitment and supervisors commitment are relatively significant influencing factors on all aspects of client satisfaction. The findings of this study contributes to knowledge-body of project management and has relevant implications for formulating prioritized plan and implement strategies to improve client satisfaction.
Keywords: team commitment; client satisfaction; project management; project success; construction project organizations.
Executive sponsor attributes and megaproject success
by Willem Louw, Herman Steyn, Jan Wium, Wim Gevers
Abstract: Megaprojects are failing at a rate that affects national economies as well as millions of people. The role of the executive project sponsor is merely one of the decisive factors in the success of these projects, but it is still much neglected in project management literature. This paper investigates attributes required by executive sponsors of megaprojects.
The paper reports on the perceptions of 26 executives who played key roles on six recently completed megaprojects. The findings include essential attributes that an executive sponsor should have in order to improve the probability of a megaproject's success. The single most significant attribute is seniority and power.
Keywords: Megaproject; Executive sponsor; Sponsor attributes; Megaproject success.
The differential practices of project management offices for supporting new product development in high-tech companies
by Sanderson Barbalho
Abstract: The article, through presenting a company
Keywords: New product development; Project Management; Project Management Offices; Configurations management; Manufacturing management; Design-build-test cycle; Project duration.
Management of non-technological projects by embracing agile methodologies
by Fernando Luis Almeida
Abstract: This study aims to address an emerging area of application of agile methodologies outside the traditional technological environment, particularly outside the context of software engineering. In this sense, it intends to understand and contextualize the problems and challenges that are posed by traditional methodologies and explore how agile methodologies can complement or substitute to traditional methodologies in non-technological environments. For this purpose, a qualitative study was performed through three case studies operating in different sectors of activity like digital marketing, management consulting, and tourism. The findings indicate that both traditional and agile methodologies can coexist, and it is common to find hybrid methodologies that are adopted and customized according to the needs of each project and client. Furthermore, it was possible to conclude that following agile practices that make sense to the cultural values of the organization is more important than adopting a specific agile methodology.
Keywords: Agile; Non-technological Environments; Scrum; Kanban; Agility; Project Management.
Translating organisational strategies to projects using Balanced Scorecard and AHP: A case study
by Mozhgan Pakdaman, Alireza Abbasi, Shankar Sankaran
Abstract: Organisations need to link portfolio of projects to business strategy to optimise organisational benefits, and make sure their business will survive in competitive environments. This research aims to define the benefit of using mix approaches to integrate organisational strategies with their portfolio of projects for project-based companies. This paper illustrates how the use of mix approaches of Project Portfolio Management (PPM), Balanced Scorecard (BSC), and Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) can increase organisational performance and effectiveness in a real life case company. An effective PPM conceptual model is proposed to illustrate the overall roadmap from organisational strategy to projects. Further, a Portfolio Strategy Map is developed to visualise the cause and effect connection between portfolios and other strategic objectives using BSC approach. Finally, this study defines a Portfolio Selection Criteria procedure using AHP to evaluate and select the right projects. Four workshops of project experts were convened, and several case study projects were considered to facilitate the success of the portfolios thereby adding value to the company.
Keywords: Project Portfolio Management; Strategic Management; Portfolio Strategy Map; Balanced Scorecard; Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP); Organisational Project Management.
Modelling the Effect of Project Cost Management on Project Management Performance: An Application of SEM to Namibian MRCs
by Medsalem Nandjebo, Joseph Akande, Samuel Olutuase
Abstract: Government projects, particularly in developing economies, have continued to suffer setbacks leading to abysmal effectiveness and waste of resources. This study used a project management model to demonstrate how a projects time and quality performance can be improved by focusing on critical cost management elements. By developing and testing a structural equation model, the study analysed data collected in a survey involving 81 project management officers in selected Namibian Ministries and Regional Councils (MRCs). Results show that the cost analyses of previous projects and financial management implementations are critical components of project cost management that could significantly improve the time and quality performance of public sector projects in Namibia. Thus, the discipline to inculcate cost analysis and management skills and practices in public project management culture is essential for improving time and quality performance.
Keywords: Cost management; time performance; quality performance; public sector projects.
Follow the Collaboration Compass
by Haavard Haaskjold, Bjørn Andersen, Jan Alexander Langlo, Wenche Aarseth
Abstract: Many different mechanisms are available to project managers who wish to improve collaboration in the relationship between client and contractor in a project. However, it is not necessarily clear which mechanisms that are most suited to use for a specific project. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how experienced project managers from three different industries (oil and gas, construction, ICT) apply such collaboration mechanisms successfully in their projects. Based on the findings from 39 interviews with experienced projects managers, we apply Shenhar's framework for project classification and introduce a collaboration compass that project managers can follow to identify which collaboration mechanisms that may be most suited for their specific project depending on the project's level of novelty, complexity, technology and pace.
Keywords: Collaboration mechanisms; Project management; Practice; Project classification.
Factors influencing the success of cross-border projects in Africa: A case study of ten projects
by Rajeshree Moodley, Herman Steyn, Taryn Bond-Barnard
Abstract: Africas economic growth depends on direct foreign investment, primarily through global projects. However, literature on success factors for global/cross-border projects in Africa is non-existent. This paper reports on a study of ten projects, with a combined value of US$680 million, executed by a South African company in six other African countries. Best practices and success factors for cross-border projects were investigated, using a modified nominal group technique, a Delphi survey and thematic analysis. The top five success factors identified for African cross-border projects are: (1) front-end loading (FEL), (2) top management support, (3) planning, execution and control (including risk management), (4) leadership and establishing trust, and (5) stakeholder satisfaction. A model of the success factors and best practices framework for African cross-border projects is proposed. The paper contributes to the development of project execution strategies to improve African cross-border project performance.
Keywords: Cross-border projects; Africa; Project success factors; FMCG.
Risk Management of Oil Refinery Construction Project: An Indian Case Study
by Ruchita Gupta, Biswadeepak Das, Karuna Jain
Abstract: To meet domestic and international requirements, new oil refinery construction projects have been initiated in India. However, major projects are months behind the schedule. The purpose of this paper is to identify and rank risks and understand interrelationships among them in Indian oil refinery construction projects. A case study research design is adopted. Oil and gas organisation experts involved in refinery projects were interviewed to identify risks and to make their assessments on the probability and impact of risk occurrence. Using interpretive structural modelling, interrelationships among the highly ranked risks are revealed along with their driving and dependence power. The research contributes by identifying three risks having high driving, low dependence power and nine risks with high dependence, high driving power requiring maximum attention for project completion. These insights are important during initiation and planning phase of refinery construction projects to take appropriate measures for risk mitigation.
Keywords: Oil and Gas; Refinery; construction project; Risk management; India; ISM.
Determinants of Employee Well-Being in Project Work
by Charlotte Bråthen, Margrethe Ommundsen, Andreas Wald, Maria Magdalena Aguilar Velasco
Abstract: Projects are supposed to foster innovation and flexibility and to create better conditions for learning. Accordingly, project work usually has a positive connotation for both, firms and the individual worker. However, project work can also involve stress, poor work-life balance, and burnout and thus be detrimental to employees well-being. Well-being not only has an instrumental function for stimulating employees motivation and work performance, but it is a fundamental human goal itself. This paper contributes to research on work-related well-being in projects by investigating the antecedents of well-being. We develop a research model based on the Job-Demand-Support-Control model which we test using a sample of Scandinavian project workers. We identify project control and co-worker support as factors enhancing the well-being of project workers and project demand as a negative factor of influence. Our findings can help organizations in creating project-work environments that support the well-being of project workers.
Keywords: Job-Demand-Support-Control model; project complexity; project demand; project work; project worker; well-being.
A flexible operating tool to provide an efficient projects staffing and resource allocation
by Massimo BERTOLINI, Mattia NERONI, Francesco ZAMMORI
Abstract: Resource allocation is paramount to assure the success of complex projects. Unless the Project Manager (PM) can leverage on multi skilled teams, meeting projects specifications in time and within the budget is almost impossible. Although many allocations and staffing models have been proposed in the literature, they have not found a way into practice, yet. Even the best software solutions for project management offer very limited support, and none of them fully automate the resource allocation process. In this paper, we propose a tool to provide an efficient projects staffing and resource allocation. The basic idea of the tool is to support the PM in the creation of cohesive teams, finding an almost perfect matching among time/quality requirements and resources skills. The tool tries to keep costs down and prefers allocations that allow resources to progress by learning on the field. To this aim, the tool is based on a specific heuristic that reproduces the reasoning of an expert, using logical rules based on sorting and prioritizing criteria, both for tasks and resources. To validate the tool, we applied it to a comprehensive set of past projects, completed by a consultant company over the past five years. Solutions provided by our tool were assessed by a team of experienced PMs, and they were found superior than the ones originally implemented by the company.
Keywords: Constructive Heuristic; Multi-Skilled Workforce; Project Management Tool; Resource Allocation; Resource Levelling.
The Relevance of Project Management Software's Features in the United Arab Emirates
by Ilija Stojanovic, Adis Puska, Nasiha Osmanovic
Abstract: Increased project complexity leads to huge amounts of paperwork. In order to avoid the problem of poor coordination, automation of project tasks is needed. Project management is unthinkable nowadays without the use of appropriate software. There are plenty of software solutions available on the market. We compared different features of Asana, Basecamp, Microsoft Project, Smartsheet and Oracle Primavera software and this paper investigated which of these solutions has the best characteristics in the opinion of the project managers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In this study, a multicriteria analysis was used to evaluate selected software solutions. Entropy and MABAC (Multi-attributive border approximation area comparison) methods were used. The Entropy method was used to determine the weights of the criteria, while the MABAC method was used to determine the software ranking. Data for the purposes of this study were collected for five software ranked at the top project management software by the g2.com user community. The results obtained showed that Asana software was rated the best, while Oracle Primavera was rated the worst from selected software solutions. These results were confirmed by the performed sensitivity analysis. This paper has shown great flexibility in using multi-criteria analysis methods to rank software for project management. Therefore, in future research, it is recommended to use these methods to solve this decision-making problem.
Keywords: project management software;software features comparison; Asana; Basecamp; Microsoft Project; Smartsheet; Oracle Primavera; United Arab Emirates.