THE VALUE OF A COMMON PROJECT MANAGEMENT
FRAMEWORK
Hafez Shurrab
hafez@student.chalmers.se
1
1.INTRODUCTION
Project is a common method used to deliver a change. A high degree of variety is embedded
in projects for...
2
For instance, classic PM is used to apply a radical change to improve the economics of a
process, while its impact on bu...
3
5.REFERENCES
Cooke-Davies, T., Crawford, L. and Lechler, T. 2009. Project management systems:
Moving project management ...
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The Value of a Common Project Management Framework

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Project is a common method used to deliver a change. A high degree of variety is embedded in projects for how to define their scopes and deliver the expected products or results. Many organizations run a broad set of projects and programs, and assign many project managers with different project management (PM) backgrounds. By that, technical and non-technical problems are more likely to occur during a project planning and executing phases. For resolving such issues, concerned companies dedicate particular efforts whereby projects are managed through a common project life-cycle model. That may result in some benefits such as managing many projects in higher and more structured performance. However, determining and measuring values related to PM lack research agreement (Thomas & Mullaly, 2007), and therefore, it is helpful to stand at different cases to study how the value obtained from using common PM approach and generic processes is perceived. This report is used as a review to the benefits that different organizations obtain from creating or adopting common project life-cycle models and generic PM processes.

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The Value of a Common Project Management Framework

  1. 1. THE VALUE OF A COMMON PROJECT MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK Hafez Shurrab hafez@student.chalmers.se
  2. 2. 1 1.INTRODUCTION Project is a common method used to deliver a change. A high degree of variety is embedded in projects for how to define their scopes and deliver the expected products or results. Many organizations run a broad set of projects and programs, and assign many project managers with different project management (PM) backgrounds. By that, technical and non-technical problems are more likely to occur during a project planning and executing phases. For resolving such issues, concerned companies dedicate particular efforts whereby projects are managed through a common project life-cycle model. That may result in some benefits such as managing many projects in higher and more structured performance. However, determining and measuring values related to PM lack research agreement (Thomas & Mullaly, 2007), and therefore, it is helpful to stand at different cases to study how the value obtained from using common PM approach and generic processes is perceived. This report is used as a review to the benefits that different organizations obtain from creating or adopting common project life-cycle models and generic PM processes. 2.THEORY 2.1. Creating a Common Frame of Reference for PM Eskeröd and Riis (2009) showed four cases of companies dedicated a group of practices to create common project life-cycle models as frames of reference for managing projects. Each company had a specific challenge to deal with concerning PM including delivering high quantity of individual customer projects, cross-national and different-sized projects, and competitive projects in terms of performance maturity. According to the study, there are four main elements for establishing a common frame of reference from the cases. The first element is that every company created and/or adopted a common PM model including methods and tools requiring a common approach to PM. An example for that could be establishing a center for PM and unit of analysis to create and develop a common ground. The second element is establishment a companywide generic PM training programs. The third element is developing project managers’ career by tailor-made examination or certifications granted by external globally recognized bodies such as International Project Management Association (IPMA). The fourth element is the activities dedicated to share the knowledge related to the common approach among project managers. On the other hand, the practices and organizational efforts represent these elements were different for each company. The strategies and policies were also different. For instance, it was mandatory for project managers in one company to participate in all relevant activities, while that was not the case for the other companies. 2.2. Project Management Systems as Strategic Drivers Cooke-Davies et al. (2009) discussed how the implementation of project management systems (PMS) could be aligned strategically with the business beyond the operational role of projects. They discussed four different profiles of PMS drive specific business strategies.
  3. 3. 2 For instance, classic PM is used to apply a radical change to improve the economics of a process, while its impact on business differentiation is deemed to be incremental. On the other hand, innovation projects are more appropriate to apply radical changes for business differentiation, while their contributions to the economics of a process are just incremental. 3.ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION Eskeröd and Riis (2009) identified four main elements of organizational efforts concerning with creating a common PM life-cycle. These efforts contributed collectively and individually to obtain more values in terms of PM performance and deliverables for each company. That included better communication (e.g. common understanding), efficient use of resources (e.g. common terminology and templates), better time management (e.g. long preparation time is not needed), better project progress (e.g. escalation procedure to quickly solve problems), better financial management (e.g. follow-up system to ensure the project is within budget), better customer satisfaction (e.g. the successful project team appears more professional toward the customers), easier knowledge sharing (e.g. listening to others’ experiences), higher self-esteem (e.g. career development by trainings and certifications), and improved future possibilities (e.g. obtaining bigger contracts). From the discourse of aligning projects as strategic drivers discussed by Cooke-Davies et al. (2009), the difference of results among companies for the cases studied by Eskeröd and Riis (2009) becomes more rational. For instance, one company decided to create a common PM framework to deliver more than 60 individual customer projects in economically efficient and timely manner, which matches the strategic contribution of classic PM in applying a radical change to the economics of a process. On the other hand, the impact on differentiation would be incremental due to the inflexibility caused by the standardization. 4.CONCLUSION Creating a common project life-cycle model may bring significant benefits including better operational and financial PM performance, better customer satisfaction, easier communication and knowledge sharing, and improved business possibilities. However, there should be deliberate goals for the integration of a frame of reference for PM. The experience of companies shows that integrating common frameworks for PM came as a reaction to deal with specific challenges. That may include delivering high quantity of simultaneous, cross-national, different-sized, or competitive mature projects. Therefore, common project life-cycle models have to be aligned so that projects become strategic rather than operational business drivers.
  4. 4. 3 5.REFERENCES Cooke-Davies, T., Crawford, L. and Lechler, T. 2009. Project management systems: Moving project management from an operational to a strategic discipline. Project Management Journal, 40 (1), pp. 110-123. Eskeröd, P. and Riis, E. 2009. Value creation by building an intraorganizational common frame of reference concerning project management. Project Management Journal, 40 (3), pp. 6-13. Thomas, J. and Mullaly, M. 2007. Understanding the value of project management: First steps on an international investigation in search of value. Project Management Journal, 38 (3), pp. 74-89.

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