This is a list of 50 of the best project management articles found from publications such as The International Journal of Project Management within the past few years. In the description of each, the original article abstract is provided.
Institutions are long-term and stabilizing mechanisms of social interaction that provide much of the groundwork for projects as temporary systems. Due to amassed change ambitions in contemporary projects, not least reflected in their increasing complexity, such systems to a greater extent revolve around processes of institutional change. This development sparks scholarly inquiries emphasizing the need for better understanding the linkages between projects and institutions, and how projects cope with and trigger institutional change. This introductory paper seeks to provide a background and backdrop to the study of the inter-linkages between projects and institutions – to demonstrate how they constitute each other. However, this paper also points to problems associated with them and the process in practice, and what problems require specific scholarly attention. Further, we discuss how the papers of this special issue inform a revised research agenda for the study of projects and institutions. Along with how they help us better understand some of the identified challenges.
Abstract: In project planning, visualisations can be powerful tools for communication and in supporting decision-making between stakeholders. However the graphical elements, in terms of form and presentational style, are typically poorly treated and can therefore diminish both the impact and conveyance of information. Traditional timeline representations need to be adapted and modified in order to meet the requirements of specific stakeholder groups and thus fulfil their role as effective visual boundary objects. This paper describes the visualisation designed and developed for the planning of technology upgrade projects across a fleet of military platforms. A real-world application of the visualisation is provided through an illustrative case study based on the front-line fleet of Type 23 frigates of the Royal Navy. Abstract from Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
Lean Product Development (LPD) is suggested as an approach that can reduce waste in projects aimed at developing technically complex items, which typically present substantial uncertainty about their output, as well as higher costs and longer development times. However, how can LPD be implemented in complex projects, where some redundancies in the development process are considered necessary in order to guarantee the quality of the final outcome? This paper answers this question, through a survey conducted at INAF, the Italian Institute of Astrophysics, that runs complex projects. The evidence shows that complex projects can actually be affected by the types of waste reported in LPD literature. Still, researchers may fail to determine the real priorities of intervention as they have trouble distinguishing between value-adding and value-destroying activities. Furthermore, they do not perceive the relevance of addressing the wastes generated by their own work; on the contrary, they place considerable attention on inefficiencies that are beyond the scope of their direct responsibilities. Recommendations to overcome this problem are proposed.
Shared leadership has rarely been studied in the project management context, despite its proven performance-enhancing benefits in other management domains. Based on a systematic review of the salient literature from multiple disciplines, this paper develops a new multi-level conceptual model to advance a holistic understanding of how shared leadership develops and how it may impact individual, team, project and wider organizational performance. The conceptual model draws upon the input-mediator-output-input perspective of systems theory, which is well-established in the general team literature. The new integrative model identifies the potential multi-level antecedents, proximal team functioning outcomes, and the more distal multi-level outcomes of shared leadership based on findings from the shared leadership literature drawn largely from other domains. Potential boundary conditions of the model are identified. A future research agenda is recommended for empirically testing the new multi-level shared leadership model and its different elements in a diverse range of project contexts.
Communication and teamwork are key determinants of whether a project will be delivered successfully. Team buildng is often used as a way of improving patterns of team interaction. This research tests the impact of a standardized and repeatable team building protocol on communication in a project team. It builds on the theory that increasing the interconnection within a team communication network will lead to enhanced project outcomes. A longitudinal Social Network Analysis approach was used to diagnose the patterns of communication in a project team, inform planning of the team building intervention, and test the impact of the intervention on team communication. Over a three-month period, the team building resulted in a significant change to project team members' comfort discussing personal matters, and the frequency with which they discussed personal and work-related matters.
Risk management is a common and widely adopted project practice. Practitioners use risk management based on a common assumption that risk management adds value to projects. Yet, in the complex and ambiguous environment of a project, value is often subjective. If this is the case, then how do stakeholders perceive project risk management to create value? This paper presents a literature review and an empirical study of project risk management as a means of creating value. The empirical study is based on interviews, analyzed through qualitative analysis, to unravel the subjective value of project risk management. Specifically, we addressed how practitioners perceived the connection between project risk management practices and value creation. We found that stakeholders' perceptions of value played an important role in how value was created through project risk management. What a stakeholder perceives to be important, such as the prospective outcomes of a project, influences the perceived value of a given project risk management practice. The empirical findings indicate the need for a contextualized understanding of the value of project risk management, and thereby provide a more nuanced view of the variety of forms through which project risk management can create value. The findings question the “universal ideal” of PRM value creation portrayed in the academic and practitioner literature.
For many years project management has been moving toward professionalization through voluntary certification. Simultaneously, recruiters increasingly use voluntary professional certification as a signal of applicant competencies and likely future performance, to increase the efficiency of the selection process. This practice increases the value of certification to holders and leads to the growth of certification. However, despite significant research into the value of voluntary certification in numerous occupations, results linking certification with performance are tentative at best. We contribute to the growing body of research exploring the performance signaling ability of certification by empirically examining the case of project management professional certification using survey responses from 452 (certified (370), and uncertified (82)) international project managers. Our findings provide some support for this recruitment and selection practice, not through a direct relationship between certification and performance but by showing that self-efficacy mediates the relationship. Certification also relates to higher levels of professionalism. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of these findings for recruiters, project management professionals, and professional associations.
This paper explores subtle strategies that megaproject teams develop in practice to manage stakeholders external to the project team. A governmentality approach is used to account for these strategies. A metro rail megaproject in India provides the case for the study. The strategies were identified through a content analysis of 640 project and non-project based Tweets posted by the metro rail organization. We augmented this dataset with the community's response through social media, as well as through semi-structured interviews that captured the project teams' responses. The findings indicate that the megaproject used various strategies: promoting the organization, giving progress updates, appealing to the community, as well as targeting of specific sections of the population. The effect of these attempts at governmentality through branding were observed in community discourses on social media platforms that echoed the strategic discourses projected by the megaproject while interviews enabled us to access the project team's responses. For the project community, the effects included a positive brand image, creating community brand advocates and building support for the project during contentious episodes. For the project team, the effects included job attraction, enhanced job perception as well as the creation of project team brand advocates. The relation between the governmentality instruments and their corresponding effects are theorized in six propositions.
Over the last years, project work in teams has become commonplace in organizations. Studies have indicated that the motivational climate in which teams operate is highly relevant in determining employee behavior. This study investigates the effect of motivational climates, as defined by goal setting theory, on collaboration in project teams. In a survey among 173 senior project members from different organizations, we found that congruence between performance and mastery climates is positively and significantly related to collaboration behavior in teams. Furthermore, we highlight the moderating role of prosocial motivation in the relationship between (in)congruence in motivational climates and collaboration. Specifically, we find that under conditions of low prosocial motivation, a focus on either a mastery or a performance climate is preferable to adopting a congruence between these two climates, at least in terms of collaboration in teams.
Inter-organizational projects face unique challenges and opportunities due to team diversities and task complexity. Mobile social media like WhatsApp and WeChat emerge as new-generation collaboration tools in such endeavors. Based on a literature review, this study posits that how well team-tool, task-tool and team-task relationships are handled shape virtual collaboration effectiveness. The conceptual framework, validated with the interviews from inter-organizational project team members in China and the USA, leads to a research model. The results of a larger-scale survey confirm that tool usability, task fit and team connectivity contribute to virtual collaboration effectiveness, which affects project management success and team appreciation. In addition, there are noticeable cross-country differences, especially the opposite moderating effects that degree of use imposes on the relationship between virtual collaboration effectiveness and project management success. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed
Research has established that ambidextrous organizations can successfully outperform their non-ambidextrous counterparts through exploitative and exploratory activities. However, there remains a scarcity of research on how managers orchestrate ambidexterity at the operational level, particularly in project delivery. Drawing on 55 qualitative interviews with middle managers on two engineering projects, we examine how managerial ambidexterity is enacted at the project level. We find that middle managers enable their own exploitative, exploratory and ambidextrous behaviors by invoking a repertoire of values selected from their organization's cultural toolkit, which serve as cultural resources for action. We discuss how the cultural toolkit perspective can inform the relationship between managerial actions in day-to-day operations and organizational ambidexterity. Implications for theory and practice are presented.
The abstract and article is from Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. "Regardless of context and scope, collaboration is consistently attributed to be an essential determinant of success in construction projects. Researches have long been concerned with the issue of poor collaboration, but situational determination of collaborative components has been overlooked. This paper focuses on the situational aspect of different collaborative components. The primary area of potential for improving productivity is within the collaboration between parties - and this is precisely the subject, which this article deals with. To do so, a questionnaire survey was carried out. The questionnaire was distributed electronically to 440 respondents; after sorting a total of 288 valid responses were obtained. The result is a set of components in a model of structures of collaboration that facilitates a more efficient and effective situational collaboration (EESC), it is denoted as target areas structured in type of contract, party and component."
"Project management must consider tradeoffs of risks regarding performance, time, and cost. These tradeoffs may often cause conflicts between the project stakeholders. When decision outcomes are ambiguous and time is pressing, decision-makers may use controversial conflict resolution strategies that are often detrimental, changing conflicts that have constructive potential into those that are unhealthy. We propose a simulation-based DMSS module that can be used to quickly analyse the risks of alternative project plans. Its implementation can reduce the usage of controversial conflict resolution strategies and focus, instead, on one of the cooperation strategies that can enhance performance and well-being at work. Whereas meeting technical specifications is a non-negotiable demand, we can make do with a two-dimensional tradeoffs model - consider tradeoffs between time and cost risks. Thirteen of 17 implementations of the DMSS module hinted that this tool may be beneficial in preventing conflict escalations (a numerical example is given)." Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
The construction industry in most developing countries suffers from severe problems due to lack of quality in their final products. Off-site manufacturing (OSM) plays a significant role in increasing project efficiency, through transferring production processes out of the construction site. This is a useful solution tested in most industrial countries around the world. This study aims to identify and classify advantages and disadvantages of applying the OSM in the construction industry, which are extracted from in-depth literature review. For that, simultaneous application of meta synthesis approach is run to investigate both OSM advantages and disadvantages. Introducing the advantages and disadvantages of applying OSM motivates the construction industry activists to provide better opportunities for its systematic implementation. The OSM simply facilitates a safer construction site and faster construction process. The final frameworks of advantages and disadvantages concluded in this study clarify the need for implementation of such a newly presented technology. Abstract from Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
The purpose of this research is to empirically investigate linkages among implementation issues, process phases, and knowledge areas of project management in construction supply chain management (CSCM). This research has extended Behera et al. (2015) on implementation issues and process phases and applied key knowledge areas of project management to study performance of construction supply chain on finance, quality, logistics and innovation only. The findings from this innovative conceptualisation can contribute to develop strategies for construction supply chains. Decision makers involved in CSCM can find this study useful for developing a broader decision support for performance measurement involving both knowledge areas and process phases. The study is restricted by methodological limitations associated with snowball sampling and anonymous survey-based research within the limits of a single industry sector. The present study however may facilitate decision makers of CSCM with an empirically verified framework to draw pragmatic decision rules for better management of construction projects. Abstract from Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
This paper develops a fuzzy-logic model to aggregate the numerous managerial risks driven by the various project stakeholders at different project stages. The model accounts for the various perceptions of assessors involved in the risk evaluation process. The proposed model provides means for performing scenario analysis at an early project procurement stage to manage macro risks. Four managerial processes or competencies were considered as critical success factors for infrastructure projects. These are communication, coordination, knowledge sharing and decision-making. A Sugeno fuzzy logic model was calibrated using three input variables representing the importance of the various projects stakeholder groups, the criticalness level of the management process as perceived by the various groups at the various project stages, and the effectiveness level of the management competency. The model was validated using surveys of various stakeholder groups of a mega project. Abstract from Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
The advantages of integrating construction knowledge into design development have long been recognized by the construction industry. Early contractor involvement and project alliancing are two recent relational contracting labels that have been largely utilized in the Australian construction industry for the public and private infrastructure projects over the last few years. Although both models are classified as collaborative form of procurement, there are some substantial different requirements in project management behaviors and working relationships between these models. This paper contributes to this area by comparing these two models through in depth interviews with experts. The findings suggest that the change in relationship; gaining greater control through trust, price certainty and contract formality together in different stages of the project; lesser extent and length of senior level managers involvement in the project; and reluctance of contractor to contribute in innovation before the construction stage, are the key project management behaviors. Abstract from Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
The presence of over-the-top (OTT) services on top of telecommunication networks has created disruption for communication service providers (CSPs). CSPs have been relying on connectivity services with direct charging models, while OTT players instead offer various applications and content services with indirect charging models or free-like services, such as freemium, two-sided markets model and market capitalisation. CSPs have been searching for the winning formula in response to potential opportunities and threats from OTT players who do not have to bear heavy investment connectivity service. CSPs must embrace OTT opportunities to maintain their market position, but the question remains as to how to select the most promising OTT projects (or initiatives) among unlimited possibilities and short windows of opportunity to realise the potential early. Current portfolio analysis models may not be able to answer this question adequately. This study combines a theoretical review and empirical research to gain insights from the previous common portfolio analysis models and compare those models with the expectations of OTT initiative portfolio managers. Upon gathering the required information, the research uses a group model building approach to construct and test a new portfolio analysis model specially designed for selecting OTT initiatives. Abstract from Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
This paper develops an analytical approach for selecting projects that are most attractive for development from an economic point of view and assigning them to one of several implementation options. These options represent alternative ways to develop projects, such as private contractors and an in-house group. A relevant limiting resource in addition to the availability of funds is the in-house manpower availability. The concept of Mahalanobis distance (MD) is used as the classification criterion to select the most appropriate option for any project. The allocation methodology is formulated using two binary integer programming models. The first formulation maximises the dollar value of benefits derived from those projects being implemented subject to budget, total-sum of projects MDs, and in-house manpower constraints. The second formulation minimises the total-sum of project MDs subject to budget and in-house manpower constraints. For illustration purposes, the proposed approach is used in an application involving seal coat. Abstract from Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
The success of any project depends upon different dimensions like time, cost, quality and customer satisfaction. Of all these, time and cost have been treated as the most common and major tangible measures from the perspective of both developer and user. Each project phase has a unique set of activities and its successful completion will be influenced by such factors. This paper aims to examine the emphasis attributed to time and cost in handling different phases of pharmaceutical projects. From a survey around four big Indian pharmaceutical companies, useful feedback was collected. After weighing the importance of both time and cost dimensions, analytic hierarchy process (AHP) was used to prioritise different phases of pharmaceutical projects. Results top ranked 'execution' phase followed by 'monitoring and control' phase. The findings are helpful to pharmaceutical project people in successfully completing different phases of projects on the basis of time and cost dimensions. Abstract from Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
Currently, more and more organisations are embedding sustainability into their business strategy, but implementation remains a challenging task. Projects and project portfolios have proven to be 'powerful strategic weapons' in strategy implementation, although the current methods and practices for project portfolio management (PPM) fail to integrate sustainability. Therefore, we have aimed to develop a theoretically founded framework that integrates sustainability considerations into PPM. From a high level literature analysis we have derived four key concepts of sustainability and five concepts of project portfolio management. By mapping these concepts we propose a new objective for sustainable PPM and a conceptual framework. The framework is characterized as an open intra organizational model, linking stakeholders representing economic, environmental and social interests to the strategy planning and PPM-process through a sense making process. The framework embraces the possibility to incorporate emerging sustainability strategies derived from project execution. Abstract from Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
Project scheduling has received growing attention from researchers in recent decades in order to recommend models and methods to tackle problems for real-size projects. In this paper, we consider the resource-constrained project scheduling problem (RCPSP), which consists of scheduling activities in order to minimise the project duration in presence of precedence and resource constraints. We propose a hybrid metaheuristic based on scatter search that involves forward-backward improvement and reversing the project network at each iteration of the search. A bidirectional path relinking method with a new move is used as a solution combination method and a new improvement procedure is proposed in the reference set update method. The proposed method is applied to the standard benchmark projects from the PSPLIB library. The computational results show that the proposed scatter search produces high-quality solutions in a reasonable computational time and is among the best performing metaheuristics. Abstract from Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
Collaborative working (CW) has emerged as a key innovative procurement concept adapted to construction projects in an effort to improving performance, ameliorating the fragmentation and adversarial nature associated with traditional models in project delivery. In spite of the concept gaining increasing acceptance in the global construction industry, several studies have highlighted social barriers that hinder effective CW in construction supply chain. However, growing interest in improving effective CW in construction has not been matched by empirical knowledge that captures the understanding of the social behaviours behind the social barriers. Using an exploratory research design on three case studies, this study revealed personal cognitive domain, behavioural and environmental factors as the dimensions of social barriers to CW in construction supply chain. By understanding these dimensions, stakeholders and practitioners can better evolve approaches tailored at improving the social environment of CW in construction supply chains. Abstract from Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
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. Abstract from Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
Project activity scheduling is one of the most important steps in numerous industrial processes, from building construction to manufacturing. The proposed paper aims at defining a multi-criteria priority indicator integrating the principles of critical chain project management (CCPM), which considers the human factor for delay in task completion, and the fuzzy logic (FL), which model human reasoning. The defined priority indicator provides a different distribution of the activity weights according to their position within the project scheduling. In particular, the fuzzy scheduling approach has been performed in order to overcome the lack in the literature about it. Results have demonstrated the efficacy and efficiency of the method improving the project makespan with a reduction equal to 40% compared to traditional approaches.
Abstract from Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.